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FOOD CRISIS: Canada faces cooking oil shortage

Thomas Lambert

May 11, 2022

Just when it looked like things couldn’t get worse, Canada and several other countries are now going to face a cooking oil shortage.

According to Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University, restaurant operators have begun alerting him to vegetable oil prices skyrocketing due to the low output of Ukrainian sunflower oil and Indonesia restricting exports of palm oil.

“I’m hearing from restaurant operators that they’re likely going to see prices triple by the end of this year when it comes to vegetable oil. Food service is a big deal when it comes to vegetable oil in Canada… so don’t be surprised if menu prices are impacted by that,” Charlebois told CTV News.

“I know a lot of people want to go out and should go out and celebrate and live a normal life, but it will cost you more at the restaurant for sure and vegetable oil prices are one of the main reasons unfortunately.”

Not only will this increase the price of restaurant food, but Charlebois also says it will increase the price of nearly every processed food in the grocery store, as vegetable oil is almost “in everything we buy” and is a “key ingredient around the world.

Of course, food isn’t the only thing that’s getting more expensive for Canadians. Across the province, gas prices are soaring to record highs day after day.
For example, in Vancouver, BC, gas is currently selling at 222.9 cents per litre, while in Toronto it’s selling at 204.9 cents per litre. It’s no better in Montreal, either (207.9 cents per litre). The only place where gas hasn’t skyrocketed is in Alberta, with Calgary selling gas at 163.9 cents per litre and Edmonton selling gas at 159.9 cents per litre — though it’s not like these prices are much more affordable.

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