The Labor Department has reported that food prices increased by the biggest monthly gain in three years in January. The increase in food costs, due to demands from ethanol production, was estimated at 1.7 percent, the biggest monthly increase in three years. The jump was the largest monthly increase since October 2004.

Prices for beef, bakery products and eggs were all up sharply. Overall, U.S. wholesale prices rose 1 percent in January, much higher than the forecasted .4 percent increase, as a result of the hiking food and energy costs.

The accelerating costs of food and energy have caused producer prices to rocket 7.4 percent in the United States in the past twelve months.

 Source: American Meat Institute