Thanksgiving dinner prices up this year

Nov 16, 2011

If you're planning to have the family over for Thanksgiving, be prepared to spend a bit more this year.

The latest annual survey by the Arizona Farm Bureau finds the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner this year will exceed $50. That's up by more than $6 from last year alone. The big jump is in the price of the centerpiece: a 16-pound frozen turkey. The organization's Peggy Jo Goodfellow said demand for the birds is up across the nation. But farmers were conservative in how many turkeys they decided to raise in the hope of boosting prices.

"Farmers will base it on the previous year's demand," Goodfellow said. "And then they'll drop a percentage because they're always concerned. They don't want to overdo it. So what they'll do is they'll just drop it a little bit and try to get it even across the board."

This is the first year the Farm Bureau has also looked at what the same items would cost if you buy only organic products.

"There are enough consumers now that show they're interested in that, they want that," Godfellow said. "So farmers and ranchers naturally rallied and said, OK, we'll offer that. And they do."

Goodfellow said she's not personally convinced that organic is better. But it is a choice -- albeit an expensive one: Going all organic shoots the cost of that $50 dinner for everything from the turkey and peas to the pumpkin pie and coffee to more than $106. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.