The Food Crisis

May 24th, 2011 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »

Each year American farmers must feed an additional 80 million people internationally.

Food is The New Oil (c) - Nick Jacobs, FACHE - Healing Hospitals

Image credit:

During the first two decades of my adult life, it was commonplace to see story after story about the starving people in places like Biafra. Some three decades later, I now understand more deeply the geopolitical ramifications of these tragedies. A friend of mine sent me an article from the May/June Foreign Policy magazine. It detailed the food supply challenges facing this planet’s  growing population. The intensity of concern that this essay raises is palpable.

The article, The New Geopolitics of Food, by Lester R. Brown, opens with an example of what a 75% increase in wheat prices might mean to the average American who spends less than 1/10th of their income at the supermarket.  The answer is…probably a ten cent increase in a loaf of bread. As a result, a $2.00 loaf of bread will become a $2.10 loaf of bread. He then contrasts that difference with the impact it would have in a place like New Delhi where that same wheat is carried home to be ground into flour. The cost of the wheat there is actually double what it was. Consequently, Brown states, the world’s poorest two billion people — who spend 50 to 70% of their income on food — will go from two to one meal a day. His evaluation of this situation is that it can, will, and has already resulted in revolutions and political upheaval.

When the reasons for these shortages are explored, it quickly becomes apparent that changes in our climate represent a major contributing factor.  Be it too much hot dry weather, too many storms contributing to excessive rainfall, or soil that is simply exhausted from a lack of nutrients caused by depleted aquifers, the result leads to food becoming the hidden driver of world politics. As land and water become more limited, as temperatures go up and world food security deteriorates, scarcity is emerging as the norm, rather than than the exception.

Infographic: The Food Price RollercoasterUntil recently, the food supply was primarily in the hands of the world markets which were primarily monitored and sometimes driven by the United Nations’ World Food Program, but because of recent shortages and population growth, several countries have taken it upon themselves to secure their food supply in nontraditional ways. We are seeing unprecedented land grabs in developing countries, and water grabs from geographies where the end result creates shortages and where grain is being directly purchased from U.S. farmers.  All of this is contributing to a global power struggle for food security.

According to Brown, “With grain stocks low and climate volatility increasing, the risks are also increasing.  We are now so close to the edge that a breakdown in the food system could come at any time.”  For example, a 40% drop in grain production in the U.S. would be equivalent to a loss of 160 million tons of grain as opposed to a 40 million ton drop in Russia from the same percentage loss.  This would be devastating to the world food supply. As long as oil is expensive, ethanol production will remain high and corn will be pulled from the food chain to the fuel chain. “Oil exporting countries that import grain would…barter oil for grain, and low income grain importers would [lose] out.”

Brown concludes:

“If we cannot produce higher crop yields with less water and conserve fertile soils, many agricultural areas will cease to be viable. Each year, 1,400 square miles of land in Northern China turn to desert. If we cannot move at wartime speed to stabilize the climate, we may not be able to avoid runaway food prices. If we cannot accelerate the shift to smaller families and stabilize the world population sooner rather than later, the ranks of the hungry will almost certainly continue to expand.”



  1. This can be exactly why it is so vital that you pinpoint your indicators and indicators just before deciding on a , if in the least possible, together with the aid of a doctor or maybe a naturopath. In this way discover only pick the most effective supplement, having said that, you also discover a lot more about what’s going on in just the body. Digestion is among your body’s several capabilities, and bloating are commonly a sign of one more factor deterioration in the system. So ahead of going downing by far the most new digestive organic health supplements which you simply just learn about within the world-wide-web, just take a while to dimensions up your particular signals and signs, and consider time and energy to look through around for that suitable dietary supplement, don’t just ordinarily quite possibly the most common one — your system in addition as your wallet will many thanks for this as time passes.The reality With regards to Stimulants For Consideration deficit hyperactivity dysfunction Treatment

  2. You could definitely see your skills within the article you write.
    The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid
    to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

    Check out my web page Wrinkless Cream

  3. Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my blog thus i came to return the favor?.I am attempting to find things to enhance my web
    site!I suppose its good enough to make use of a
    few of your ideas!!

    Here is my web-site: detox diets for weight loss

  4. Very good blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out
    there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas?
    Appreciate it!

  5. I have read so many content on the topic of the blogger lovers but
    this article is actually a nice piece of writing, keep it up.

    my weblog mediterranean diet weight loss

  6. It is perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be
    happy. I’ve read this submit and if I could I wish to recommend you some interesting
    issues or advice. Maybe you could write next articles relating to this article.
    I want to learn even more issues approximately it!

    my webpage Matrixyderm for glowing skin (

  7. this issue. Bookmarked this particular confusion call out, arrive to the rear representing ultra posts. An individual, my own mate, SWAY! I discovered in simple terms the info I witout a doubt explored throughout the position then

  8. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    Here is my web page :: diets For weight loss

  9. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Bless you!

  10. Great site. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks in your sweat!

  11. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. ?

  12. I believe you have noted some very interesting points , thankyou for the post.

  13. I like this post, enjoyed this one thank you for posting. “‘I have done my best.’ That is about all the philosophy of living one needs.” by Lin Yutang.

  14. You have remarked very interesting points ! ps nice site. “Hares can gamble over the body of a dead lion.” by Publilius Syrus.

  15. Appreciate it for helping out, excellent info. “Hope is the denial of reality.” by Margaret Weis.

  16. Calvado says:

    Only a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great design .

  17. Very good blog post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  18. I cannot thank you enough for the blog post. Much obliged.

  19. I really enjoy reading through on this site, it has wonderful blog posts. “One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.” by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

  20. roxy says:

    Great website. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks to your sweat!

  21. gry online says:

    certainly like your website however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I’ll definitely come back again.

  22. Hi my family member! I wish to say that this article is awesome, nice written and come with approximately all significant infos. I would like to see extra posts like this.

  23. Some truly wonderful content on this site, regards for contribution.

  24. Some really great information, Gladiolus I found this. “We go where our vision is.” by Joseph Murphy.

  25. Perfectly composed content material, Really enjoyed looking through.

  26. You are my aspiration , I have few web logs and rarely run out from to post .

  27. I simply wanted to thank you so much once more. I’m not certain what I would’ve accomplished in the absence of these opinions shared by you relating to that problem. It has been the terrifying setting for me personally, however , being able to see this professional mode you managed that forced me to leap with gladness. I will be grateful for this information and as well , hope that you know what a great job you are always getting into educating many others through your webblog. Probably you have never met any of us.

  28. Thankyou for helping out, fantastic info .

  29. What i don’t realize is actually how you are no longer actually a lot more neatly-liked than you may be now. You’re very intelligent. You realize thus significantly on the subject of this topic, made me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like women and men are not involved except it’s one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. At all times deal with it up!

  30. Simply wanna remark on few general things, The website style is perfect, the content material is rattling wonderful : D.

  31. I view something genuinely special in this website.

  32. Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great design. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” by Albert Einstein.

  33. You are my aspiration , I have few web logs and infrequently run out from to brand.I think this site contains some very excellent information for everyone. “A sense of share is not a bad moral compass.” by Colin.

  34. I’ve recently started a site, the information you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. “The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” by Mark Twain.

  35. Very interesting info!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  36. I enjoy you because of each of your work on this website. Debby loves doing internet research and it is easy to understand why. I hear all of the powerful way you give simple tips and hints on your blog and therefore strongly encourage response from people on that theme so our own daughter is without a doubt discovering a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. Your doing a really good job.

  37. What i do not understood is actually how you’re not actually a lot more smartly-preferred than you may be now. You’re so intelligent. You understand therefore significantly in the case of this matter, produced me individually believe it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated except it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. All the time deal with it up!

  38. it disposal says:

    I truly enjoy examining on this website, it has great posts. “Never fight an inanimate object.” by P. J. O’Rourke.

  39. “Very energetic post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part 2?”

  40. I had to take a break from cleaning carpet to write your blog. Can you tell us more about this?

  41. I found this on Reddit This guy I used to know likes your write up. That is the thinking of a creative mind. Your page is awesome!

  42. Barnick says:

    Thanks for truly currently being genuinely polite and in addition pertaining to selecting specific splendid instructions many people are truly needing to be familiar with.

Leave a Reply