… That the price of food is going to shoot sky-high! I’m not trying to scare anyone, it think it may not be that bad here, you will have to sacrifice some of lifes little luxuries but you’ll get by. In east asia where rice is the staple of their diets there’s been food riots! In places like Indonesia and Thailand if the price of their staple diet, i.e Rice and wheat gets even higher then a lot of the population will go hungry and even starve! So there’s going to be a global shortage of food for everyone!
So… what’s the cause of this?
(1) A increase in the world’s population, with more mouths to feed the more crops that need to be grown. We could just grow more crops to keep up with demand, simple enough eh? No, remember a lot of the land is arable in the world but a lot of it has forestry or fauna on it as well as humans. If we cut this down to make more farming land the environment will get worse as there will be fewer trees to take in carbondioxide, thus helping to increase global temperatures. You don’t need to be a brain box to know that’s a bad idea!
(2) The weather. It has been a bad season for growing crops in asia this year, even though last years crops were good the price has still gone up because Africa and Asia have been buying rice up to stave off social unrest.
(3) Change in eating habits of the world population. 100 million rural migrants to the big cities in China have switched to eating rice instead of wheat because of their increased wealth. This has been happening in other parts of the globe too. Also, some people have switched to eating more meat which means more cereal will be used to feed cattle and live stock.
(4) The price of oil/fuel. Since the UK and US invaded Iraq to secure the oil there has been more civil unrest in the country and sabotage of the pipe lines that deliver the oil. The inconvenience and cost of repairing the pipe lines doesn’t help. Also, the country with the worlds largest oil reserves, Saudi arabia, will not increase oil production to help the US and the worlds flagging economy. This means as well as food costing what it does the price will increase even more because the food has to be shipped across the world and driven to its destiniation when it gets in the country.
(5) The speculators. These people are the ones who speculate how much oil, rice, wheat ect… will cost, and people usually go by what these guys say. They’ve been speculating very high recently because of all the above happening. Actually, that’s nonsense, they use that as an excuse to over speculate on goods because they’re greedy! That’s right, the same people speculating are the ones who benefit when stocks go high!
(6) Other. biofuel! Large areas of the world have now switched to growing crops souly for the use in biofuels. Biofuels are crops grown for the use as fuel with no nasty after effects when used. These crops are sugar cane, sugar beet, yeast and starch to produce ethanol. The others are plants that naturally produce oils like soy bean, oil palm and jatropha, these (once mixed right) can go straight in to a diesel engine! Or they can be processed and used as biodiesel.
All in all though there are three things that I think are to blame for this. They are: human greed, our flawed capitalist system and over population. If we continue the way we are doing it’s going to be disastrous, not just for the developing world bur for us too! In fact we’re already a quarter of the way there! Lets just see what happens and hope for us and the developing world that things get better.