As the price at the gas pump continues to climb, so does the cost of diary, grain and meat products. Why? Because increasing fuel prices make it more expensive to grow, harvest, transport, process and package food. Indeed, food costs rose by 4 percent in 2007, the highest annual increase since 1990 . In 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the consumer price index for all food will increase 4.5 to 5.5 percent as retailers continue to pass on fuel costs to consumers .