Over the past 20 years, inflation on food prices has averaged about 2% per year. But, last year, inflation accelerated.

Between 2020 and 2021, inflation on food prices jumped 3.5% — an upswing of 75%, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Meat and fish prices led the way: beef and veal rose 9.3%; pork, 8.6%; and fish and seafood, 5.4%. The new data reflects a trend of meat prices rising faster than prices for other kinds of food.

The USDA expects the high prices to continue in 2022. The inflation will likely be between 2% and 3%, the agency predicted.

The USDA based its analysis on the Consumer Price Index, a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services.

Amanda Pérez Pintado is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Top image: A shopper examines a package of meat in a grocery store for freshness on Jan. 17, 2012. USDA photo by Stephen Ausmus