Bad news for those of you planning to ride out this recession on a diet of peanut butter and jelly, spread atop tiny Saltine cracker "sandwiches," consumed by candlelight in the single dry corner of your leaky urban squat, as the howls of alley cats and junkies serenade you with the symphony of the night: peanut butter is now out of your price range.

Did you know that—thanks to scorching droughts induced by both man's hubris and god's wrath—the price of the humble peanut have gone from $450 a ton to $1,150 a ton in a single year? What was once a staple of the poverty diet is not perilously close to becoming a foodstuff only affordable by the lower-lower-middle class. The WSJ reports:

Wholesale prices for big-selling Jif are going up 30% starting in November, while Peter Pan will raise prices as much as 24% in a couple weeks...Skippy [prices] are 30% to 35% higher than a year ago. Kraft Foods Inc., which launched Planters peanut butter in June, is raising prices 40% on Oct. 31

Forty percent! Peanut butter price futures turn out to have been America's best investment. Ah well. Time for Diet Plan B, poors. (Jelly sandwiches and trapped rat, for protein.)

[WSJ. Photo: Heather/ Flickr]