The American Farm Bureau says the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner went up slightly this year. Farm Bureau economist Jim Sartwelle, says the survey is based on a meal that includes the turkey, pumpkin pie and fixings.
Sartwelle says the meal for 10 people went up a little over $4 compared to last year, with a meal that costs about $4.25 for each person. The biggest increase in cost came from the turkey — up nearly $2 — and milk — up 95 cents a gallon. Sartwelle says the cold storage supply of turkeys was a little lower, and that’s why the prices are up a little. He says the foreign demand for dairy goods has been skyrocketing all through 2007, and that’s translated into high domestic prices.
Sartwelle says the $42.26 cost of the meal did vary some in the 31 states that were surveyed. He says some states were $10 or $12 below the average cost, and some the same amount below, but says "the lion’s share" were right at the average. Sartwelle says the midwest region was very close to the average. Sartwelle says the meal is still a good deal today when you compare the cost to the first survey in 1986.
Sartwelle says on a constant dollar basis the meal has gone up about 16 dollars over the years, but he says when adjusted for inflation, the meal is about 10-percent less than it was in the first survey. Sartwelle says farmers and ranches who raise the food deserve the credit for keeping the meal affordable.