food crisis

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Category archives for food crisis

Speculation and World Food Prices

Yesterday was World Food Day, and NPR has a good piece about the role of speculation in food prices: The economists argue that increased trading is a significant part of the reason grocery prices are higher this year. And grocery prices are indeed up this year. For example, in August, the average price of bread…

Oil, Food, Riots, Instability

Last year at the 2010 ASPO conference (and over the years at other places) I’ve highlighted the connection between oil prices and food prices – and the ways that our increasingly tightly tied oil and food systems unravel together. If you missed these graphs last week, they’ll give you the beginnings of the picture, but…

From the UN FAO, we can see that world food prices remain extremely high. We also, I think, when we conjoin this with oil prices can see that there is at least a significant correlation. So much of what has been done in agriculture over the last 75 years has served to tie oil and…

The USDA indicates that in 2010 there were above 17 million households in the US (out of about 115 million households total) that were food insecure, and had trouble getting enough food on a regular basis. Only 59% of those households, however, received Food Stamps, WIC or School lunches, the three largest US food subsidy…

The Relationship Between Food and War

Mark Notaras has a great review of the UN’s World Food Program on the links between food insecurity and conflict: Brinkman and Hendrix point out that the relationship between food insecurity and violent conflict is not one way. High food prices are both exacerbated by and exacerbate the chance of civil unrest. In other words,…

First, check out my guest post at Scientific American Blogs as part of their “Passions of Food Day” Blog Fest. Also, just keeping you all updated (as much as I can within the confidentiality guidelines), we got our first call about a foster placement, in this case a group of five children. It isn’t clear…

In January of 2007, Aaron Newton, my friend and co-author of A Nation of Farmers came to Albany for four days of intense work on our book. We barely ate, slept or left the house, since we knew it would be the only chance the two of us had to hash everything out. Perhaps the…

If you want to see it in color, all you have to do is google image up a history of the price of oil and superimpose it on the price of various staple crops. Take a look at oil and then rice, soybeans, wheat and corn. Look closely at 2008, and at the present. I…

How Expensive is Food, Really?

This is a lightly revised and updated version of a piece that ran at ye olde blogge and at Grist, but it seems just as pertinent now as it did in 2007 when I wrote it. At the time, some people doubted that the boom we were seeing in biofuel production, which was pushing up…

Stuart Staniford has a terrific piece that offers a little visual clarity about food, energy, unemployment and the Riots in the Middle East and North Africa: Tunisia is a minnow in the global oil market, Egypt slightly more important. Algeria, however, matters a lot as its oil production is probably close to total demonstrated OPEC…