The Guardian has posted an excellent summary of the crisis caused by rising food prices. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, global food prices are up 37 percent since last year and likely to remain high. This poses extreme stress on poor countries and people now living in poverty.
A timeline of the global rise in food prices in an interactive map: (go to link. below is just a screen grab)
Tom Daschle, the former senator from South Dakota, has written an op-ed in Politico on what he thinks we need to do to avoid an even bigger crisis. Daschle’s editorial is kind of lacking in specifics, with lots of buzzwords, but the main point is that the global food crisis should matter to everyone.
Behind the soaring food prices lies a debate about what’s to blame. Everyone has a favourite culprit: a growing population, a concentration of corporate control, a booming biofuels industry, China’s demand for meat. Others point to the massive influx of big investors into deregulated commodities markets – searching for a “safe bet” after the dotcom bubble burst – who speculate on the future price of food. On Sunday, a UN conference on trade and development said it may be necessary for governments to intervene with regulation to rein in rising food prices. The FAO adds that more must be done to improve transparency in global food markets.