28 April 2008

It's not Coca-Cola; it's Rice.

As Americans fret about whether to shop at Whole Foods or Wal Mart, much of the world is preparing for a coming disaster.

American consumers will have realized that grocery store prices are skyrocketing. Thirty-percent price increases in staple goods; rations on bulk rice; prices driven through the roof due in part to antiquated systems of distribution and the ubiquitous reliance on gasoline: these are ominous and distressing signals.

Now, if you live in the US and are feeling the pinch, just imagine if you are one of the billion citizens of the Earth living on less than a dollar a day.

The rice market is the big one. A doomed rice market and we'll be looking at mass starvation on an unprecedented scale. Not to mention wheat. The wheat harvest for the year is gauged to be well off the mark. And what is causing this scenario?

Drought in Australia. American farmers forgoing wheat for corn-as-biofuel. Population explosion throughout Asia and Africa. In other words, as the Post calls it: the interconnectedness of our global food distribution system. In our effort to expand markets, we are dooming local economies. And now, we're bringing it all back home.

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