*Ranger Man goes to the cupboard – nothing there. He goes to the pantry – nothing there. He walks to town for food only to find a looooong line of people waiting for overpriced rice. They’re rationing what they hand out, and Ranger Man can barely afford the rationed amount. “But I have kids,” Ranger Man says when it’s his turn for food. “So do I,” the man responds. “Me too,” says the woman behind him.*
Good to live in the old U.S. of A. – eh? The above scenario is presently playing out in many parts of the world. Of course, we’re not without our food issues either, but it’s not quite riot level – yet! Here’s an article – U.S. food costs rising at the fastest rate in 17 years!
Yesterday I cited an article that stated part of the reason for higher food costs is the development of biofuels. “E.F.” sent me a link to this news article. It appears that the E.U. is now defending their development of biofuels in the face of food shortages as a way to combat global warming.
Meanhwile Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, head of Nestle, the world’s biggest food and beverage company, last month argued that “to grant enormous subsidies for biofuel production is morally unacceptable and irresponsible”. “There will be nothing left to eat,” he added.
Here comes the U.S. to the rescue! (sorta) Bush is giving an additional $200 million in food aid, drawing the money down from food reserves. Kinda reminds me of the lines in Deadly Harvest where the politicians regret selling food stocks to China, because now they don’t have what they need. Of course, this isn’t the movies . . . right? And other countries are on the verge of instability thanks to food costs and shortages.
“This is the world’s big story,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. “The finance ministers were in shock, almost in panic this weekend,” he told CNN, in a reference to top economic officials who gathered in Washington. “There are riots all over the world in the poor countries … and of course our own poor are feeling it in the United States.”
Also interesting in the article:
“The contrived food vs. fuel debate has reared its ugly head once again,” the Renewable Fuels Association says on its Web site, adding that “numerous statistical analyses have demonstrated that the price of oil — not corn prices or ethanol production — has the greatest impact on consumer food prices because it is integral to virtually every phase of food production, from processing to packaging to transportation.”
But there is an answer being floated by some – the Potato!
Plant it, harvest it, EAT it.
Some are pushing for more potato production read the following from this article:
Potatoes, which are native to Peru, can be grown at almost any elevation or climate: from the barren, frigid slopes of the Andes Mountains to the tropical flatlands of Asia. They require very little water, mature in as little as 50 days, and can yield between two and four times more food per hectare than wheat or rice.
The potato has potential as an antidote to hunger caused by higher food prices, a population that is growing by one billion people each decade, climbing costs for fertilizer and diesel, and more cropland being sown for biofuel production. Though most Americans associate potatoes with the bland Idaho variety, they actually come in some 5,000 types.
Maine is well suited for the mighty potato. We produce a lot of spuds, and they test better than Idaho’s (sorry Rawles).
– Ranger Man