by Michael Fox
The Smirking Chimp
February 29, 2008
Where will you be in the line? In a column last week, I discussed the forthcoming risk of global famine. Now the evidence is piling on, and there is every reason to expect – at the very least – astronomical inflation in food prices within the next year. Most significantly, this problem is not confined to any one region of the world, and the ripple effect is mind-boggling. Keep in mind that the dollar is falling on the world exchanges, and the food you buy is subject to the fluctuations of the currency exchanges. Why? Well, simply because it may be more lucrative for global agricultural corporations to sell to the highest bidder – no matter where they may be.
Think about the grocery products you buy that involve grains – and then think again. Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is bread (which, by the way, keeps nicely in the freezer, but never the fridge!). In the United States and Europe, we eat bread from wheat, but in Mexico, the more common equivalent is corn tortillas, and corn is already running short due in a large part to its (mis-) use for E-85 Ethanol production. Consequently, the Mexican tortilla market is running short and prices are rising for that most basic staple – because American conglomerates are buying up too much of the corn for Ethanol. The corn shortage is also causing the rapidly increasing prices for eggs and chickens, as they are, traditionally, corn-fed.
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