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Woman shocks viewers after showing ‘obscene’ grocery prices in rural Alaska: ‘This should honestly be illegal’

A woman has shared insight into life in rural Alaska through a trip to the grocery store, where prices for a carton of milk can reach $18.

Emily, who goes by the username @emilyinalaska_ on TikTok, where she regularly shares videos about her life living in the state, uploaded a viral video of the “grocery prices in rural Alaska” last month.

In the clip, Emily began by showing the cheese section, where blocks of Tillamook cheese were priced at $24.99. The TikToker then moved onto the milk section, where she showed the price for a carton of milk is more than $18, while creamer costs $12.89.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average price for a gallon of whole milk in the US in November 2021 was $3.72.

After showing viewers the cost of one 1lb of pre-packaged deli ham, which cost $10.29, Emily noted in the caption that “goods are priced higher since they have to travel farther by plane or barge to get to rural areas”.

The increased prices apply to a large number of items, with the video also showing Tostitos salsa priced at $7.99.

“The cost of living in Alaska is 24 per cent higher than the national average,” Emily explained in the caption, before concluding the video in the coffee aisle, where bags of coffee beans were priced in the $15 range.

The video has since gone viral on TikTok, where it has been viewed more than 2m times, and where viewers have expressed their shock over the high prices for grocery items.

“I’m going to stop complaining about my grocery store prices!” one person commented, while another said: “Omg those prices are crazy.”

Someone else added: “And y’all think New York City is expensive.”

The clip also prompted some to joke about what it would be like if they were to move to Alaska, with one viewer writing: “So now I gotta be cold and broke.”

While many were surprised by the prices, the video also sparked a conversation about wages and salary in the state, with viewers questioning whether residents are paid more in Alaska.

As of 2021, the minimum wage in the state is $10.34, which makes it one of the 29 US states with a minimum wage above the federal minimum wage of $7.25, according to SquareUp.

Emily also addressed the comment in a follow-up video, where she showed that the minimum wage paid at a McDonald’s in Anchorage, Alaska, is $12.50 an hour.

The video prompted renewed shock over grocery prices in the state, with one viewer writing: “You would have to work at least two hours to afford a block of cheese???” while someone else added: “So it’s like you just can’t live there.”

However, some people did note that the grocery prices in urban parts of Alaska, such as Anchorage, are more reasonably priced.

In a video posted this week, Emily confirmed that the prices do go down when you are in more central areas of the state, with a trip to a grocery store in Anchorage showing the same block of cheese priced at $11.99 while a gallon of milk costs just $3.99.

“If you can travel to Anchorage or Fairbanks, the prices are much more reasonable,” she explained in the caption.

This is not the first time that grocery store prices in Alaska have surprised social media users, as a TikTok user who goes by the username @oh_its_suzi previously shared a video of her own experience shopping in a supermarket in a rural part of the state, where the price of canola oil was $11.29 and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos cost $7.99.