Highlights:



• Turkey prices are lower this year than in 2011 and 2010. The U.S. city average price for turkey is $1.66/lb., down slightly from the previous two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

• USDA projects 2012 turkey hen prices will be just 3.8 cents/lb. higher than 2011 prices, while 2013 prices could decrease by nearly 5 cents/lb. 

• Turkey production is projected to hit a five-year high in 2012, followed by strong output again in 2013.

• Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will be $0.80 lower this year in Virginia and $0.61 lower in North Carolina, according to the same Farm Bureau sources.

• The groups decry that “food prices have spiked nearly 18% since 2005,” the year the first RFS was passed by Congress. That’s an average of just 2.57% per year, which is right in line with the 20-year average for annual food inflation.

• Additionally, 2010 saw the lowest year-over-year food inflation in nearly 50 years. Meanwhile, the ethanol industry produced a record amount of fuel that year.

• If there was any truth to the myth that retail food prices have increased abnormally since 2005, it would be mostly because of surging energy prices.  In fact, 86% of the average household’s food bill pays for energy, transportation, processing, packaging, marketing, and other supply chain costs. Just 14% pays for the raw agricultural ingredients in our groceries.

• Contrary to Big Food’s rhetoric, ethanol is helping reduce the cost of the Thanksgiving holiday for the average American family. Recent economic analysis from Louisiana State University, the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University demonstrate that ethanol significantly reduces gasoline prices.  According to AAA, 39.1 million Americans will travel by automobile an average distance of 588 miles this Thanksgiving holiday. That means the average American family traveling this holiday will save $29.13 on gasoline purchases because of ethanol.