Global Food Crisis

    Does it feel as though food is getting pricier at your local store? Everyone, from rice farmers in Indonesia to shoppers at New York’s Dean & Deluca, is seeing their food bills go up. Recent studies show that global food prices have skyrocketed, putting 36 countries into crisis according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
food crisis map.jpg
Since February, deadly clashes over high prices have occurred in Mexico City, Senegal and Egypt, to name only a few. The recent rise in prices isn’t the result of just one event, but is rather the result of an increasingly global economy. In a potent geographical mix of cultural demands and physical changes, growth in demand in China and India, increasing oil prices, and bizarre weather patterns all contribute to this trend-one that doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon.

    While food prices reached an all time high during June 2008, the rise in commodities costs had begun climbing as early as 2001. With rising oil prices, the European Union and the United States have seen sharp climbs in the demand for biofuels–fuels  produced from renewable resources–, including ethanol. This year, a quarter of the U.S. corn production went to production of biofuels, rather than into people’s stomachs. Less supply means higher costs and, in staples like corn, wheat and rice, that means higher prices for just about everything else made from them, such as pasta
ngs egypt.jpgn Italy, croissants in France or pork dumplings in China.


Although there have been food crises in the past, the impacts in the
wake of today’s global hike in food prices is something new. In Haiti,
where many live on less than a dollar a day, people have no choice but
to eat less. This has an unfortunate ripple effect; the decrease in
consumption is taking money away from their already impoverished
economy. For example, vendor Fabiola Duran Estime had to take her
daughter out of kindergarten because the risingus food increases.jpgfood prices has hurt
her business so much that she can no longer afford the $20 a month. In
past years, the U.N.’s World Food Program has been a helpful source to
aid governments in feeding their people, but the global recession has
yielded a $500 million shortfall in their funds.  

    The FAO projects that consumers worldwide will face at least 10
more years of expensive food. The question remains, will prices then go
down? With an increasingly strong environmental movement and high oil
prices, countries around the world are looking for ways to shift to
more renewable resources. Cars are increasingly able to run off of an
ethanol gasoline mixture and many hope that in the future cars will be
able to use solely ethanol. The problem? Ethanol is made from corn and
the less that goes to food, the more that food prices may rise. For the
sake of a more environmentally friendly planet, will more people face
riots over pita bread or will there be a better way for automobiles to
be eco-friendly? Only time will tell, but for the next ten years,
global citizens will be challenged to work together to address complex,
interrelated questions and to pull together help those who are most
affected by this crisis.

african starving baby.jpg(If you want to help do something to help immediately, consider
checking out the U.N’s World Food Program Web site to make a donation,
or visit their engaging FreeRice word game.

Melissa for My Wonderful World

World Bank
Associated Press
National Geographic Magazine

One thought on “Global Food Crisis

  1. Dear Sir/ Madam,
    Good Morning.
    Basis of Environment friendly crop-based Balanced NPK Fertilizer Rcommendation for Crops:
    Integrated organic and inorganic fertilization is needed to
    increase the yield of crops. Fertilizer policy
    is initiated based on the longterm experimental findings,
    practical experience and observations.Fertilizer
    recommendation for any crop is made depending on soil,
    plant analytical results, yield of, reach
    desired goal checked-climate,plant population,pest and
    disease control measures,the critical values of
    specific crop soil in specific areas.More at
    Thanking You
    Kbd. Durlave Roy
    R and D MANAGER and International Executive

Leave a Reply