Monday, August 25, 2008

Milk vs Oil

Lately I've been fascinated by the variations in price of a one gallon container of milk. The fascination began after seeing this photo in a local grocery store window.

The numbers reminded me of the ticker-board signs at gas stations indicating prices. These signs have interchangeable numbers so they can be easily customized and (especially) adjusted regularly. So now I'm wondering, is the price of milk just as unstable as the price of oil? Is milk more or less of a commodity than oil? Necessity? Perhaps only coincidentally, oil in Manhattan is also $4.39.

If nothing else, the price of milk is a good indicator of the alarming overall increase in household items. The not-so-quiet increase has bumped everything up 10-20% in the New York metropolitan area. Even my hummus is up $5.49 from $4.99.

So I'm curious, what is the cost of a gallon of milk where you live? What about oil?


Robert J. Williams said...

I am personally taking both of these big industries head-on and not pulling any punches. Not only am I biking to work everyday (heres the kicker) I am filling up on soy-milk instead of regular milk.

When you have a can-do attitude like aren't afraid of taking on anybody, be it the large oil companies or the behemoth that is Americas milk industry.

Some say "activist" others say "rebel", but if you ask me...
I say both.

melissa tioleco-cheng said...

Ha-ha. If you're interested I have some leftover baby formula, rebel.

In SF, non-organic milk is $3.99, close to our gas price, I believe.

Maria Johansson said...

We've got a different measuring system here in Sweden... after so serious math conversion one gallon of milk here in Sweden cost $4, but mind you the economy is much better here, so the price is really not that bad. I'd say it is about a buck or so.
I gotta get back to you on the oil, I know gasoline is significantly higher in price in Sweden than in the USA.

I myself don't care much about the little I pollute with my car. I say over-population is a bigger deal! It was hilarious when Al Gore came to Sweden to present his bad graphs. Sweden has been caring for the environment for decades while Al Gore made it profitable just now! :)

Beigene said...

Everything gets inflated relative to oil prices. That's why nations closely watch the price of oil per barrel. It doesn't matter what your selling milk, soy milk, breast milk if it needs to be transported (which is just about everything) it's going to be more expensive.

I think the Chinese government heavily subsidizes oil to maintain stable gas prices for consumers in order to support the growing economy.

Beigene said...

Al Gore brought global warming to the fore of U.S. mass consciousness when the fact of global warming has been dismissed as theory by the Bush Admin. propaganda machine over and over again. Why do you think the U.S. hasn't supported the Kyoto protocol? I think it has more to do with swaying U.S. opinion than anything else, because it is one of the largest polluters, most to all European countries accept global warning as fact. And fuck if you gonna turn a profit by preaching environmentalism, more power to you! The growth of the renewable fuels and energy industry is due to public demand, desire, and education to which Gore contributed. FUCK YEA, make environmentalism profitable!

lenny said...

Here in Dubai, petrol (don't dare call it gas) costs 6.7 dirham, the equivalent to $1.80 per gallon. I consulted a taxi driver and discovered that regardless of the oil rig illustrated currency here, they import petrol from neighboring Saudi Arabia. Surprise surprise.

In terms of milk.. that's a whole different story. Locals drink anything from camel to goat milk, with the occasional cow. In a nearby market, I found but sadly did not purchase camel's milk for 5.5 dirham ($1.49) per LITER (no gallons to be found!). Gas, in the middle east, is cheaper than milk.

Now, if we're talking chicpeas, I can get you a truckload (petrol included) for less than a buck. Beat that Sabra.

Maria Johansson said...

My point though is that Gore's preaching doesn't sell anywhere but in the US!

Maria Johansson said...

Oh one more interesting country to look at in terms of oil is Norway! They got some insane amounts of oil and gas and has become a very rich country that can't afford to buy their own food or educate their own people. Instead they go to sweden to buy their food and import labour from many scandinavian countries because it is cheaper and better for their economy to do so!