Food Shortage

Today is the beginning of the London Summit about rising food prices.
For the past weeks now we keep on hearing about the increasing threat of the price of food and therefore I would like to share with you this interesting article that I read on the International Herald Tribune last week:

Economic ministers urge action on food shortages
by Steven R. Weisman The New York Times

The world’s economic ministers declared that shortages and skyrocketing prices for food posed a potentially greater threat to economic and political stability than the turmoil in capital markets.

The ministers, conferring in the shadow of a slumping U.S. economy that threatens to pull down other countries, turned their attention to the food crisis and called on the wealthiest countries to fulfill pledges to help prevent starvation and disorder in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said the food crisis posed questions about the survivability of democracy and political regimes.

“As we know in the past, sometimes those questions lead to war,” he said. “We now need to devote 100 percent of our time to these questions.”

World Bank and IMF officials noted that political instability had already hit countries as disparate as Haiti, Egypt, the Philippines and Indonesia because of food shortages, forcing some countries to limit food exports.

(…)

Some ministers from poor countries are growing impatient with the way the West is addressing global warming by subsidizing and encouraging conversion of corn, sugar cane and other food products into substitutes for oil. The shift is helping to drive up prices, they say.

Strauss-Kahn said he had heard from many financial officials this weekend that the West’s focus on fuel, at the expense of food, was a “crime against humanity.” Though he noted that the IMF was primarily a monetary and financial agency, he said it would try to “review its tools” to help countries pay for food imports.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/14/business/food.php

Comments

  1. Lera Carrio says:

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  2. wanbliska says:

    Reality is that noone moves in governments. Years have passed to tell. Governments uses the information, twice more than once. And an information is always lauded to hide another.

    When I was a teenager, I remember two things that could not be understood by my brain. First, that was food storage in Third World. Also that name. As if politics needed to divide the World by the wealth he possessed. And give a number for name, through a ladder. That was already accepting poverty.
    Poverty that lasted since ten years under my eyes.

    But why dollar was governing the stock market? Why using that change and not another? Because exchanges have been first created in US? Later, I understood that was more complicated.
    Since I heard on radio, that dollar got light when oil is strong, I thought my brain would give up. That’s crazy! For weeks now, and months even, oil is increasing, two points a day the barrel, those last ones.

    According to a teacher in University, many points are prevailing over war:
    -Economy is in inflation
    -Art is turning around and don’t innovate so well
    -Spiritualy and ideologies get stronger and stronger
    -Bitterness is in heart’s place
    -Poverty increasing related to economy.
    -One event suffices to proclaim war.
    So maybe Mister Strauss-Kahn, is right when he says: “As we know in the past, sometimes those questions lead to war,”

    Now the question is: why This Mister think to “need to devote 100 percent of his time to these questions” of food, only now?
    If my memory is good, food storage was existing since my infancy, and nothing was really planned to change it, or it has not been respected, by politics.
    Worse: governments could kill people that strive that path.
    Even when socialist Party Mister S-K is in, was commanding here, their (non)acts never changed a penny to the Affair. With Africa, by an example…
    A lot of artits here in France, and abroad talked about for…ever.

    Mister S-K and his partners thought more about aperitive time than a mouth without water, when he walked in corridors of the government.
    But that’s true he did not stay a long time and resigned from being Economy Minister, while he was making some good things for…
    Then he reached his new chair for maybe nearly a year, supported by Nicolas Sarkozy, why food storage is actuality only now?

    Mainly, I’ll remember how he helped us not to have the first woman as a President here…
    Certainly, Mister S-K do forget a poet, dear to our heart: Sir La Fontaine wrote a fable more than three centuries ago. “The cicada and the ant” was the title. I can’t but hope Mister know how to dance now.

    As for my eyes, Information is dedicated to fear. Information conducts the pepole. And the most powerful persons, that are not necessarily our governments, know how to use it. We just have to keep faith, open-eyes, and answer to it by happiness.

    Have all a good night.
    <3

  3. Karl Keranen says:

    I am an American and I have seen many posts which say that Americans waist food. I grow some of my own food, dehydrate food for storage and I don’t see any of my friend wasting much food if any. Food and the preserving of is means something to me!

    Some Americans eat too much but I have had other people in my life from other countries who also have been known to eat a little much.

    I think to make blanket statements is wrong. We can find fault with any one if we want to. No one in reality can achieve zero waist, slthough there is no harm in personally trying.

    We need to work the problem and realize that if we don’t band together, and allow people to starve, then we have done much worse than waist some food, we have wasted a human life; ours and those that go hungry.

  4. aditya says:

    Human pouplation is reaching the top 15-10% portion of the famous s curve, when limitations on resorces limits further increase in population. humans are not viruses ( although they behave similarly when it comes to exploiting the host ), humans have mind, with mind comes an ability to push the limits, but also comes the pecularities of greed.

    they say, prices in free market economy is driven by demand and supply, should it not be also governed by a sense of fair profit. why are crude oil prices shooting like they are, have the input costs gone up ! mother earth is still providing that oil for free, ( cost will be known for years to come, in years to come ). the moment there was chances of alternate fuels like bio diesel, hydrogen, electricity, when it became clearer that not for long altenate fuels can be held in back, the profiteers have started pushing the prices . Oil prices have a cascading effect on prices of other things.

    All these Ivy legue business schools create individuals who are obsessed with more profits at all costs ! they create complex mechanisms ( like forward trading ) which all helps to ultimately drive up prices.

    the food crisis is real, no doubt it would be averted for some time, afterall all those high profit earning entities want stability so that the ‘exploitation’ can go on smoothly ( it’s ironic that they adapt to profit even from war situations ).

    Till western business think tanks, don’t learn to limit their profit margins, learn not to ‘exploit’ every situation, learn to think beyond their quarter on quarter performance, learn to genuinely remember that they are not on this earth forever in the same ‘avtaar’; god has its own poetic justice, you exploit a group a people and for all you know in you next birth you are also part of the exploited lot. Till professionals learn that they are first humans before profit making machines, future of this race is going to be tough.

    hapless common man may be running out of patience; when driven to wall, he will raise, no doubt suffering most, yet he will raise and god help then !

    love
    aditya

  5. Sandra says:

    It is really alarming that there could possibly be a food shortage. I watched the news report on rice crisis. This economic and food staple is being horded for fear of a coming shortage. There is such greed and waste. How can we as humans watch as some parts of our world go hungry?

  6. jsr says:

    I think that join Petrol (biofuels) and food its a crime. Should be forbiden to transform in biofuel anything that a human can eat, otherwise the economical forces will always get it into a expensive resource.

  7. Tammy says:

    Unfortunately the US is horrid about wasting food. And I’m not a hater–I live in the States–but you should see the amount of stuff that’s wasted and thrown away. And prices here are going nuts as well. Our economy stinks at the moment with unemployment rates skyrocketing and food prices going crazy. Greedy politicians are eating up the profits just like they do with oil. It’s really disheartening. Americans are pretty ticked at the moment.

  8. Agnieszka says:

    I so agree with you Paul. There are so many countries where food means nothing, is thrown away, wherever you go. We as individuals can do very little, but every step is a one step forward to make a change. Little by little, with friends, coworkers, our neighborhood we can at least do something, what’s in our power and hope for the rest of the world would do the same.

    love
    Agnieszka