Food Prices Soar
Is it your imagination that the price of your favorite cereal has jumped to well above the $2.99 you had come to rely upon, or that your wallet feels limp after a trip to the grocery store? It’s not just you--world food prices have risen to near record heights according to a study by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization.
In recent years the agricultural terrain has fallen prey to random bouts of natural destruction, a phenomenon many would link to climate change. Weird weather patterns rumble across the earth’s landscape, precarious in aim and disastrous in scope. Argentinian droughts and Australian floods are just two examples of such disasters, forcing market prices for products to rise as resources are depleted. Particularly severe are the price peaks for sugar, meat and cereal. These fluctuations have already broken 2008 records, when riots broke out in Haiti and Cameroon.
This study represents the convergence of environmental and economic blows the planet has suffered in recent years, as resources become scarcer and the competition for resources grows fiercer. These price jumps will impact countries at every stage of economic development as well as contributing to overall inflation.
On a positive note, hopefully more people will see this as a lesson in conservation and realize that food, like money, does not arrive to us independent of our own efforts. When the supply is limited, it is up to us to meet that demand, by minimizing wastefulness, by buying locally, and by producing our own food through permaculture.
Image by Keith Bacongco on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.