from usatoday.com: Prices are rising for a range of food staples, from meat and pork to fruits and vegetables, squeezing consumers still struggling with modest wage gains. Food prices rose 0.4% in February, the most since September 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday. Beef and veal shoppers were socked with some of the biggest increases, as prices jumped 4% from January. Overall inflation remained tame, as falling gasoline and other energy costs offset the food price increases. The consumer price index ticked up just 0.1% from January and 1.1% in the past year. Droughts, unusually cold winter weather, rising exports and a virus outbreak in the hog population are among the causes of food inflation, which is expected to accelerate in 2014. The Agriculture Department expects grocery store prices to increase as much as 3.5% in 2014, up from 0.9% last year.