Odd Lie Watch: “That Jerky Stuff”

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 12 2011 @ 4:42pm

by Zoë Pollock

In this week's Newsweek interview, Palin offered this uber-American anecdote about the economy:

"I was ticked off at Todd yesterday,” she said. “He walks into a gas station as we’re driving over from Minnesota. He buys a Slim Jim—we’re always eating that jerky stuff—for $2.69. I said, ‘Todd, those used to be 99 cents, just recently!’ And he says, ‘Man, the dollar’s worth nothing anymore.' A jug of milk and a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs—every time I walk into that grocery store, a couple of pennies more…”

PolitiFact asked ConAgra, the food giant that makes Slim Jims, directly:

Teresa Paulsen, a ConAgra spokeswoman, said that "we admire Mr. Palin’s taste and appreciate his support," but added that "we haven’t raised the price significantly on any Slim Jim products." She also offered a possible explanation for the confusion. "Our iconic Slim Jim Giant Sticks are priced around $1.30," Paulsen said. "Mr. Palin might have been reaching for one of our Slim Jim Monster Sticks, which offers double the meat for $2.30, or our Slim Jim Kippered Beef Steak, which typically sells for around $2.65."

They also address the larger point behind Palin's anecdote:

Food prices — an always-volatile sector — are indeed going up, and that may or may not be a worry for the longer term. However, food prices are not rising by anything approaching 169 percent. Her anecdote offers spice, but not a lot of meat. We rate it False.