Poor harvests, supply chain challenges, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have contributed to food production shortages throughout the world, with cooking oil being the most recent product to be affected. And sadly, some people are warning that restaurants around the world might be forced to increase prices due to rising costs associated with cooking oil.
According to Yahoo News, Indonesia recently banned some exports of palm oil, the world's most used vegetable oil. And since Indonesia accounts for approximately half of the world's supply of palm oil, consumers in many countries can expect to see higher menu prices due to a lack of global supply.
People are most likely to feel the impact of the palm oil ban while dining out at restaurants, per CTV News. Therefore, you should budget appropriately as prices may creep higher over the coming weeks and months.
Because of the scarcity of alternative cooking oils, companies may also raise the prices of items in the grocery store that contain palm oil to cover the increased cost of production. For example, pizza dough, instant noodles, and cookies all contain palm oil, according to the WWF.
"The World Bank expects prices to keep rising; more than 20 percent in the coming year," per NPR. "The result could be catastrophic. Many poorer countries are already feeling the squeeze, financially and politically, as governments rack up debts and unhappy citizens take to the streets to protest the effects of inflation. It might be tempting for Western nations to dismiss the problem: it's just cooking oil, after all. But rising food costs and the consequent political discord can lead to collapse, coups, and even war. And then we'll all be paying the price."
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