Monday, February 14, 2011

Global Food Prices...

An interesting article in Time:
Less clear is what's actually behind the spike in food prices. Bad weather plays a major role — a devastating heat wave in Russia last summer ruined grain harvests and prompted that country to suspend exports, jolting global markets. Excessive heat in the Midwest stunted the corn crop, leading to a 5% drop in production last year. Rising demand for food — especially meat, whose production requires lots of grain and water — in the richer parts of the developing world is straining supplies. And then there's ethanol, the production of which sucks up grain and cropland that could be used for food. In America, 40% of the corn crop is currently diverted to make fuel for cars. "Ethanol uses 4.9 billion bushels of corn in the U.S.," says Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank. "That's enough grain to feed 350 million people." (Read "Food Prices: Up, Up and Away.")Read more:,8599,2048885,00.html#ixzz1Dx7doAuE

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