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Talkin’ Food Price Blues

Plus bird flu's back baby and 89.3 the Current adds a new host in today's Flyover.

Will this delicious Galactic Pizza soon cost more? Possibly!
Facebook (Galactic Pizza)

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Pizza Prices, Not Unlike Certain Pizza Crusts, Are on the Rise

At Racket we love stuffing our grubby lil faces with pizza for journalistic purposes, only pausing to talk shit and/or bestow greasy praise. Our data-crazed pals over at MinnPost took a more analytical approach with this neat investigation into local pizza prices. The major takeaway? Pizza parlors—Black Sheep, Fat Lorenzo’s, Football Pizza, Galactic Pizza, Leaning Tower of Pizza, Mama’s Pizza, Mesa Pizza—are taking more of your dough in exchange for theirs. Prices are up $2.21 per pie since 2018, discovered reporter Greta Kaul, who even contacted the VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to talk ‘za. The culprit, as expected, is the inflation that’s currently jacking up consumer costs across industries. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t helping either, as both countries export literal boatloads of wheat. “I think in July when we redo the menu I will have to do a larger price increase because I’m getting battered,” John Wackerman, owner of Lyn-Lake’s Galactic Pizza, tells MinnPost. “The cost of cheese and all the other ingredients are going up quite a bit.” As working people get squeezed in new and excruciating economic ways, you’ll be happy to hear the world’s 10 richest men saw their fortunes double during the pandemic. No limit on toppings at the Musk house tonight!

Eating the Cost

Speaking of food prices, we missed this Star Tribune report last week on the people dropping big bucks on semi-private dinners—we’re talking $500 meals for two—as the pandemic draws on and folks start eating out again. It’s an interesting (if not exactly relatable) look at the evolving world of fine dining, which some biz brains theorized would meet its end thanks to COVID. As it is, those who emerged from the pandemic financially unscathed are still celebrating special occasions with memorable, expensive meals. Especially if those meals expose them to fewer people. “It’s kind of one way or the other, and I think a lot of the middle is disappearing,” Travail chef/co-owner Mike Brown told the Strib. Some of these exclusive pop ups, tasting menus, and one-night-only affairs even take place in chef’s homes—the Strib story gets into the legal murkiness of those high-end affairs. 

Birdemic is Back

Confirmed cases of bird flu are being reported in Minnesota, and it’s believed that this new variant is especially aggressive and contagious. The impact could be devastating for both poultry farmers as well as the general bird population. The virus is spread through the air and through feces, two things birds love. So far two farm flocks have confirmed cases of bird flu (H5N1): a commercial turkey flock in Meeker County and a backyard flock of chickens, ducks, and geese in Mower County. Those flocks have been euthanized. “It’s very devastating to a farmer to have to euthanize or kill off their livestock that they put a lot of time and money into,” Northfield farmer John Zimmerman tells FOX 9. “It’s emotionally difficult, as well as financially difficult.” Meanwhile, after confirming a wild duck had the flu late last week, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota announced that it will no longer take birds who are susceptible to the flu, and will euthanize animals brought in for care. “We’re hearing about geese dying in Como Park, this is just a very different scenario than 2015 and it’s very alarming,” says medical director Dr. Renee Schott. One kinda good thing about the flu: Bird-to-human transference is very rare.

The Current Has a New Evening Host and…

…her name is Ayisha Jaffer. Previously, Jaffer was midday host and assistant program director at WNXP Nashville, and before that she was in Milwaukee at WYMS . “As a true Midwesterner, joining the team at the Current feels like coming home,” Jaffer says in a statement. She’s also lived in New Zealand, which seems like an objectively better place to live, and has worked as a park ranger in Alaska, which is more than I can say for some DJs. Says the Current’s program director Jim McGuinn, “She brings together tremendous energy, knowledge, and a passion for the music, a fascinating background both in radio and around artists—and even bears!” (Her predecessor, Mark Wheat, was no stranger to bears himself.) Jaffer can be heard on-air in the evening starting the week of April 18. That’s also when taxes are due. Relevant to this story? Who’s really to say?