High Price of Hunger
Consumers (and that would be everyone who eats) worldwide are facing rising food prices. There are couple of reasons given: A storm in Indonesia was a factor in the rice crop. But more important is higher oil prices, lower food reserves and growing consumer demand in China and India. The UN even given the food price crisis a hip name, "Silent Tsunami."
And it's not so much a shortage of food... it's much more about the price of food. Food prices have risen in price 83% says the The World Bank. The price of rice has more than doubled in the last five weeks.
What's the real reason? Midwest farmers selling corn to make ethanol instead of feed for cattle or for people.
Who's going to suffer? Poor people. There have already been riots in Egypt killed at least two people last week, and similar food riots broke out in Burkina Faso and Cameroon this month. Never mind that these foodstuffs are heavily controlled by despotic nations. There have even been food protests in Italy. And while the price of spaghetti has doubled in Haiti, the cost of miso is packing a hit in Japan. 33 countries are in danger of being in turmoil as a result of expensive food.
How did prices jump so high, and so quickly?
An ex-Presidential candidate makes a PowerPoint Presentation (full of all kinds of Special Effects, and makes things look even better than reality - and it is since said footage was 'borrowed' CGI from Hollywood. Link to that story)
Polar Bears are dying!
People start to panic.
"We've got to get off the oil!," the people say. Companies like Arthur Daniels Midland (ADM) - and others - have been making ethanol from corn sugars for years, and says, "Hey, we can help!" "We'll get you off that oil, lickity split."
Let's forget for a second that ethanol doesn't make a whole hell-of-a-lot of sense. What I mean is that on the simple argument that ethanol is more environmentally safe for the planet. Ethanol is one of many alternative fuels used in order to solve the ex-Presidential candidate's Carbon issue, raised in the PowerPoint.
If there's too much carbon from petroleum use, why then would you farm the land in the Midwest of the USA with tractors, and chemicals, and cut and transport that corn to silos - then transport it again by diesel train to processing plants. Those plants burn more fuel to grind the corn, strip the corn to compound sugars with more fuel, then take the extracted sugars to be distilled using more fuel it to create alcohol, and then mixing it with other compounds to make it capable of firing in an internal combustion engine...
...when oil is cheaper and cleaner THAN ALL THAT?
Perhaps having our Presidential Primary season start in Iowa has a little something to do with this? Nah. That's too easy.
As a result 1/4 of US corn is now used in Ethanol production.
Now the demand for corn has going up quicker than after the invention of Corn Flakes. There's money to be made in them-thar-fields... more than ever. And corn is the big money crop. Wheat, alfalfa sprouts, and other staples of America's bread basket are being plowed over in favor of more corn. There was more corn produced in the USA since WWII last year. Here's a link to some notes of last year's crop. (also check the Dept of Ag)
Great, where's it all going? A quarter going to the gas tank but I can't say I've had an ear of corn since -
Hold on bucko. America's junk food empire "Big Food" (kind of like Big Tobacco, but with food) is fueled by: ...wait for it... corn! High fructose corn syrup makes the sodas sweet, corn-fed beef makes the burgers fat, and corn oil crisps the fries. I contend this is the ingredient that has caused adult onset Type II Diabetes to show up in US children. It's blowing out their pancreas' ability to produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar.
I've written about High Fructose Corn Syrup before. But now it seems as the West is getting plump and fat - the poor in Africa and Asia are going to die.
Big demand for corn.
Less other food being grown.
Planet still burning fuel.
Fuel prices continue to rise.
There's less to eat - well, less CHEEP food to eat.
Less cheep food, less rice, less eating = more hunger.
People are getting uncomfortable.
Prices continue to rise.
Polar Bears are dying
People are going to start dying soon.
Polar Bears and now People.
Happy Earth Day.
It's only mildly ironic - perhaps moronic that the ex-Presidential candidate's discussion concluded that climate change would cause refugees into other countries and cause starvation and topple stability of political systems.
It looks more to me like a PowerPoint Presentation has had some Unintended Consequences.
Hey, look on the bright side, maybe at this year's Farm Aid the rich farmers will write checks to urban children who can't afford their insulin? Oprah can get involved too. It'll be America's Heartland's Big Give!