Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians fear that food prices are rising faster than their incomes, according to a new survey from Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

“We are talking about a much higher food inflation rate across the country including B.C.,” said Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of Agri-Food Analytics Lab. 

The biggest concerns regarding higher prices involve vegetables, fruits and meat.

China is gobbling up beef and pork, reducing supplies in Canada and driving up prices.  Climate change has affected produce prices across the globe along with shortages blamed on recalls like the romaine lettuce contamination this past year.

“That will compel many Canadians to adopt different shopping habits and different habits related to food in the New Year,” said Charlebois.

However, the survey also found that British Columbians are the least concerned about prices and less likely to change habits – but not all.

The biggest change people are expected make this year is to eat out less often – 60 per cent vow to that. 49 per cent plan to look for sales and deals in flyers and coupons and 41 per cent intend to buy bulk.

Making great use of your freezer and throwing out less food can also help to cut down on costs.

A growing trend toward urban gardening is a step in the right direction but it won’t make a huge difference for many.

“You need two things: You need land and time, and not everyone has both,” Charlebois added.