Sunday, April 13, 2008

The energy and food crunch

This article on the NPR website entitled "Rising Food Prices Spark Growing Concern" talks about recent unrest in Haiti and Egypt this week due to inflation driven food price increases. In response to this crisis and the economic problems facing the world, the Group of Seven (G-7) is holding a meeting in Washington over the weekend to "address instability in the global economy." Inflation in food costs are the result of many factors including rising energy prices, the rapid economic growth of developing countries leading to a strain on world resources, and climate change related natural disasters that have affected food production. The recent reallocation of crops and cropland to energy crops have also contributed to rising food prices.

As Dr. Webber noted in class, food is an essential need that affects the stability of society, and I think our country and the world has committed a grave error in thinking that energy takes precedence over food.

1 comment:

JR Ewing said...

I'm curious to see what the affect of rising food costs as a result of using food for energy is on the US consumer. If a larger portion of corn is made into ethanol, I think the effect will be very wide reaching, but not too severe for Americans.
Corn is used directly in quite a few food products, as a base, and also as a sweetener. It is also used to feed out livestock before slaughter.
I'm curious to see how this plays out. I doubt it will have much of an effect on the US consumers, since food purchases represent such a small portion of their income.