Originally on Yahoo’s The Daily Ticker, via Cryptogon:
“The term ‘food unrest’ will become part of our daily vocabulary,” Brown tells The Daily Ticker.
It reflects the imbalance between the supply of food and demand for food globally.
On the demand side, says Brown, is a growing global population — 80 million more people born each year — and more people moving up the food chain, which means as many as 3 billion people are consuming more “grain intensive products” like meat, milk and eggs. “Rising affluence may have eclipsed population growth” as a major demand factor for food prices, says Brown. Continue reading
From Edward Miller, on Civil Eats, where it’s titled “The Empire Strikes Back”:
“On December 2, 2011, two of Wall Street’s top lobby groups launched an assault on a newly reinstated “position limits” regulation, which aims to curb speculation in commodity futures markets–and a key factor behind rising food prices–in the first ever case brought against the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC).
The two lobby groups, the Security Industry and Financial Markets Association and theInternational Swaps and Derivatives Association have challenged the extremely controversialposition limits rule, which the CFTC passed in a narrow 3-2 vote this October. Wall Street has recruited the lawfirm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, whose lawyers Miguel Estrada (among Bush’s counsel in Bush v. Gore) and Eugene Scalia (who overturned a Securities and Exchange Commission rule earlier this year) are determined to hold the scepter of market regulation at bay. Continue reading
From Horand Knaup, Michaela Schiessl and Anne Seith in Spiegel Online:
Alan Knuckman is a commodities expert at the Chicago Board of Trade. "I don't believe in politics," he says. "I believe in the market, and the market is always right." Photo: Steve Liss / Der Spiegel
“The room in which the world’s food is distributed looks everything but appetizing. Bits of paper and disposable cups litter the trading floor at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Sweaty men in bright yellow, blue or red jackets walk around, seemingly oblivious of the debris beneath their feet, waving their hands, shouting and scrapping over futures contracts for soybeans, pork bellies or wheat. Continue reading
From the MIT Technology Review:
Graph from MIT Technology Review Physics arXiv blog. Click graph to go there.
“What causes riots? That’s not a question you would expect to have a simple answer.
But today, Marco Lagi and buddies at the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge, say they’ve found a single factor that seems to trigger riots around the world. Continue reading
From Aditya Chakrabortty, writing for The Guardian:
“The best kind of argument is one where you already know you’re right, which must be what draws in so many people to the row over record food prices. What other issue allows the techno-nuts to bang on about the need for GM crops, the population drones to point out for the nine-billionth time the growing number of mouths to feed in the world, or my comrades on the left to have another go at big bad agribusiness – all at the same time? Some of these points are worth airing; the surging cost of bread or beef around the world is unlikely to have just one cause. But the overriding feature of this debate is how few of the participants feel the need to do any more than dust off their hobby horses.
Meanwhile, at the risk of sounding crass, around a billion people – one in seven of the world’s population – go to bed hungry every night. Continue reading
From Jim Scott at Salt Spring News:
“Regular visitors know I’m concerned about food. The Japanese earthquake triggered a tsunami with 10-meter-high waves hitting the northern port of Sendai and its surrounds. I watched in horror as waves rolled across farmland, sweeping away crops, homes, livestock and outbuildings. Continue reading
“Underneath the Egyptian Revolution” by Billy Wharton, on the Examiner.com:
“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being. – Franz Kafka
Hands grabbing bread in Egypt. Click image to see source.
Hidden beneath the spectacular street battles that aim to force Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak out of office is a trigger that exists in dozens of countries throughout the world – food. Or, more specifically, the lack of it. Continue reading