It’s been a month or so since I did an environmental scan on food prices, shortages, and commodities. Let’s see if anything has changed.
Food Prices will remain high
Agencies See Decade of High Food Prices- June 17, 2011
LONDON—Food prices will be up to 30% higher on average over the next decade as slowing grains production fails to keep pace with rising demand, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Friday.
High Food Prices Here To Stay - June 17, 2011
The report predicts that prices will be 20 percent higher for cereals and up to 30 percent higher for meat in the coming decade compared to the past ten years.
It will specifically hit poor people who now already spend up to 80 percent of their income on food. “People are going be forced, either to literally eat less, or find other sources of income,” Gurria said.
Record prices linked to bio-fuels…yet again - June 17, 2011
The biofuels industry is being blamed for record food prices and high price volatility. Earlier this month a report from the World Trade Organization and other international agencies recommended that governments cut support for biofuels to ease that volatility. On the heels of that report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its corn forecast; it suggested that corn supplies will be very tight this year because bad weather has limited planting and because the share of corn going to ethanol is increasing. After the report, corn prices shot to record highs, reaching $8 a bushel. Then on Friday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a report predicting that food prices will remain high for the next decade.
Many experts say the unprecedented prices are at least partially driven by government subsidies and mandates that have led to fourfold increases in production of ethanol biofuel and tenfold increases in production of biodiesel between 2000 and 2009 worldwide.
Governments scramble for solutions
Volatile Food Prices Grab G-20’s Full Attention - June 22, 2011
David Nabarro, a food security expert with the United Nations, says that for decades governments thought they didn’t have to worry about agriculture, because prices stayed even or dropped. But 2008 changed all that.
"Food became an issue that was of central political importance to presidents [and] heads of governments," Nabarro says. "In addition, we found that food production systems were getting intertwined with environmental issues and climate change. So food and agriculture has now become a big political issue."
Food Reserves Could Come Back Into Vogue- June 16, 2011
Facing increasing hunger, market unpredictability, and food price volatility, world leaders have shown interest to resuming the practice of food stores.
At the G-20 meeting last month in Rome, leaders discussed developing an emergency reserve system, aimed at servicing the most vulnerable countries.
IMPLEMENTATION of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Agriculture Sector Investment Plan will not solve food shortage, low income and inflation. To deal with inflation, you need to stabilise agricultural supply and control food prices.
Studies on Uganda’s food supply predict a food deficit by 2030. Countries that experience food insecurity experience high levels of poverty.
Is this a food crisis? Are we in a crisis?
SHAH (Administrator of USAID): It’s absolutely a precarious situation. We know that food security is critical to our national security, and I will build on David’s point and suggest that the food riots and famines and failed states that are the consequences of a lack of access to food are far more costly and problematic to deal with over time than making smart targeted investments and helping countries develop their agricultural systems, become real trading partners and move big huge proportions of their population out of a condition of poverty and hunger.
Climate Change continues to wreak havoc with crop production
China food prices spike as floods ruin farmland - June 20, 2011
(Reuters) - Torrential rain across southern and eastern China which has killed more than 100 people and triggered the evacuation of half a million has left large areas of farmland devastated as food prices surge, state media said on Sunday.
KENYA: Severe drought, high food prices hit pastoralists - June 16, 2011
NAIROBI, (IRIN) - Successive poor rains coupled with rising food and fuel prices are leading to a worsening food security situation with alarming levels of acute malnutrition being recorded in drought affected parts of Kenya, mainly in the north of the country, say experts.
the 21st World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM), to be held in Toronto Sunday, June 19, through Wednesday.
Nearly 1,500 government officials, scientists and businesspeople from 40 different countries will participate.
Top of mind will be the expected world food crisis that all this extreme weather is already causing, driving harvests down and prices up to record levels.
“When the major networks become weather networks, and when other news becomes sort of secondary, we are facing disaster,” says Lester Brown, founder and president of the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute, who will be the WCDM’s opening speaker. “When you have a lot of local disasters, droughts and floods and heat waves as we’re now having, reducing the food supply, then you have a global disaster.”
Extreme Circumstances require Extreme Measures?
Long held rumors of North Korean cannibalism sparked by food shortages appear to have been confirmed:
Notably, five cases related to cannibalism were also included in the manual. Stories about starving North Koreans eating human flesh have been considered rumors, but recent discoveries in the manual may prove otherwise, triggering more speculations about the food shortage crisis in North Korea.
One case involved a guard named Lee Man-sung, who killed his roommate with an axe when he was sleeping, ate part of the corpse and then sold the rest on the market describing it as lamb meat.
But WAIT, there’s good news. Corporate funded Japanese scientists may have found a solution.
Let’s feed them “shit burgers”. There’s never any shortage of feces right?
Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces - June 15, 2011
Japanese scientists have actually discovered a way to create edible steaks from human feces.
Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, has developed steaks based on proteins from human excrement. Tokyo Sewage approached the scientist because of an overabundance of sewage mud. They asked him to explore the possible uses of the sewage and Ikeda found that the mud contained a great deal of protein because of all the bacteria.
The researchers then extracted those proteins, combined them with a reaction enhancer and put it in an exploder which created the artificial steak. The “meat” is 63% proteins, 25% carbohydrates, 3% lipids and 9% minerals. The researchers color the poop meat red with food coloring and enhance the flavor with soy protein. Initial tests have people saying it even tastes like beef.
That’s it folks. North Koreans are resorting to eating each other and “Big Sewage” seriously wants to feed us our own shit. Mission accomplished.