Mar 11, 2008

Follow-up on food prices

The New York Times published an interesting (and albeit disturbing) article about food prices and how they are going up because of demand and worldwide crop shortages. One quote pretty much sums it all up:
“Everyone wants to eat like an American on this globe."
As the lives of people in developing nations stabilize, they move away from "traditional" crops and import more food. Supply and high demand at work, plus a little drought and failed crops equals higher prices. America's high production and the weak dollar are also at play.

[As an aside, I just have to mention that biofuels were not once mentioned in this article.]

What is really disturbing, something that I haven't been able to internalize yet, are the comments about how cheap food is not going to be reality for much longer. As a child of the 80's, I've never seen high commodity food prices, and I know that I've been taking this for granted.

Beans and rice have always been cheap, because they are beans and rice...

If these basic commodity prices go up, what happens to everyone who is depending on cheap food to feed their families? What happens to people who gave up farming because they can import cheaper grains?

This really is one more argument for local: take control of your food and take control of your fuel by sourcing from your region. When you need to augment your supply, import.

No comments: