Australian droughts are killing rice fields. Flour prices are up. Hops shortages mean crazy-expensive beer soon. Maybe grocery stores aren't selling milk for $450 a gallon yet, but dramatic food shortages are happening globally, and the backlash is huge. After last week's fatal riots in Egypt, Cameroon, and Haiti, the World Bank stepped up Monday with a 2,500-page report on the growing international crisis, listing 33 countries in serious danger.
No wonder both Slate and the Washington Post ran pieces yesterday on the conflict. And they weren't written by the expected economist or agripolitical writer. Both were food writers who might typically ogle over truffle oil or Anthony Bourdain.
This is officially a big deal. According to Condoleezza Rice this morning, President George W. Bush threw down $200 million in U.S. emergency food aid on top of an already spent $350 million. These funds will temporarily ease global hunger, but the greater picture is depressing and already making us hungry.
There are too many factors at hand. Biofuel, crop failures, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, currency shifts, the Chinese eating more meat. All reasons raised in a Green Tech Blog post. It's been confirmed. The sky is falling, metaphorically, and though we're tempted to hide in a closet and eat cookies until the situation diffuses, that's not really happening. Especially with wheat prices shooting up. Cookies will undoubtedly cost $3 million dollars soon. Per crumb!
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