Food Glorious Food

Food riots, a goverment toppled, Japan runs out of butter. A year ago would you have dreamed of such headlines? It is going to be quite the year between food scarcity and a financial crisis (coincidental they’ve happened at the same time btw (though both arguably have been caused by human greed)).

For over a century there has been scare mongering about how the population explosion will result in us not being to be able to feed ourselves. Now it is finally hitting home. In a sense it is not real. The scarcity is at least partially self engineered.

  • Global free trade has driven many farmers in the developed world out of business. There are large tracts of arable land not being farmed.
  • A trend towards biofuels (gasoline substitutes made from grown products) has taken a significant minority portion of food production out of service.
  • The rise in the standards of living in India and China have resulted in consumption trends towards higher energy value foods (read meat takes more land to produce than wheat).

Its curious that each of these things in and of itself, but combined create a crisis. The joy of chaos theory in action. Seemingly unrelated events coalescing into something new. The question will be, what do we do? Times are going to be interesting folks.

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