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Thread: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

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    Default Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Anyone else worried about the impending food crisis?

    Our local Costco's don't have any more rice nor dried beans. Some local retailers here are selling rice at 3 or 4 times what it was 6 months ago. News articles on food supply tensions around the world.....DANG! What's next, wheat, corn, meat, produce?

    Anyone think that making food into fuel is to blame?

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlite View Post
    Anyone think that making food into fuel is to blame?
    That's part of the problem. It's also costing companies much more to ship the food from the production center to the store, so prices go up that way too.

    It's a great time for people like me to start a diet..

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    Flashaholic* BIGIRON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Takes petroleum to produce, process and transport food.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    I've noticed the steep rise in food prices over the last year. It's gotten bad enough that I'm sure it's already affecting a lot of people's health, including mine. I saw a person with a shopping cart full of store brand cheese doodles on line. I asked out of curiosity if they were having a big party. They said no, they were on sale this week and it was the only thing they could afford which would fill them up. Yesterday I noticed that Malt-O-Meal was on sale for $1.33 a bag and the large 42 oz oatmeal was $1.99. Both items were cleaned out save the last bag of Malt-O-Meal over which two women were fighting. Fortunately I found pop-tarts on sale for a buck, so at least I'll have breakfast this week, unlike last week. I've never seen anything like this. I'm going to make sure we grow vegetables. This year we'll have to buy the seedlings from Garden World in early May. Next year I'll start my own from seed packets in February, then transplant them outside in late April.

    Lots of reasons for the rise in food prices. I suspect fuel is only a small part of it. A lot of farms have been less productive due to climate shifts. The only certainly is once people are hungry and/or cold, you can expect things to start getting pretty ugly.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Wheat is really bad now too, along with all grains. Wheat is particularly bad in the US because a lot of farmers were persuaded to grow corn for ethanol instead of wheat for grain, so on top of rising production and transportation prices, there is a moderate shortage.

    Also, don't forget that most fertilizer is petroleum based.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    What marduke said, also the rice producing countries in south east asia are lowering export hoping to artificially inflate rice price like what the arabs did with oil.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    My wife was describing the upward price trend she has been observing on certain food items. Eggs, milk, orange juice, etc...

    Where's Subumbra? He should have something enlightening to say about this...

    - Chris

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    I am employed by a fairly large grocery chain and here's what I have been told and have seen for myself --

    The average 18 wheeler gets about 6 mpg. Fuel around here is close to $4.70 per gallon. Your local groceries come from all over the world. It takes fuel to get them from there to here.

    The weather may be warm and sunny where you are right now, but the climate has been pretty terrible in much of the growing regions all over the world for quite awhile.

    The profit margin in this business isn't what you think it is. If one can in a tray of twelve gets dented, there is a loss for the whole tray, not a profit. That's from the time the can is filled and out the door of the processing plant until it gets into your shopping bag.

    Stores require lights, heating, cooling, employees, maintenance, insurance, etc. It all adds up.

    Lately, everything that can go wrong, has been going wrong. Trust me, there aren't a whole lot of people I know getting rich in this business (I looked at my retirement plan recently -- ugh!) and we're a pretty darned good company.

    Here's a shock for most of my customers -- we are not running a charity! We do donate a lot and help out the community a lot, but the bottom line should be black, not red.

    So, what do we all do (I do not get a discount, by the way)?

    Look for quality. Store brands are not necessarily generics. Ours are as good or better than national brands. Buy the best you can afford as with everything. I raised a family by not using national brands because no one could tell the difference from our brand or actually liked ours better.

    Be sure you know the return policy. If something is not right, can you bring it back? If you do not like something, let someone in the store know and see what they can do to make it right.

    Shop smarter. Check the unit price on the stuff you buy. That's the part of the shelf tag that tells you the cost per pound/quart/whatever. The big package is not always the best deal. If you can't find that information easily, shop someplace else! It is not uncommon for some companies to market a box of cereal with the same outside dimensions as others but with less product in the same size box. You've now been warned -- buyer beware!

    Read the label. Do you really want the extra sugar, preservatives, etc.? If it isn't sweet enough or salty enough, you can adjust it to your tastes and it will cost you a lot less for your sugar, salt, etc. than for the manufacturers. Do you want chemicals added to meats to retain water -- and add weight (that you are paying for per pound) for nothing? Do you eat the shells that you are paying for (per pound) on that frozen seafood? Is that "juice" 10% with water and high fructose corn syrup or is it 100% juice? What other juices make up that "100% juice?"

    Know what labels mean. Look for "Prime" and "Choice" meats. "Select" grade is the third string and most people don't like it. If nobody eats it, it is not a good deal, is it? "Natural" does not mean it is organic. "Multi-grain" is not whole grain.

    Here's the biggest tip -- Do not buy what you do not need. It is OK to tell the kids, or yourself, "No."

    Remember, not only does the government not like to use the word "recession," but that they will never, ever use the word "depression." Times are tough, maybe not for every single person here, but for an awful lot of us. It is worse than most people know and won't be getting better for quite awhile. You have to do what you can.

    Fuel, food, health care, and housing. We've got problems with all of the new four horsemen.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

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    Flashaholic* Fallingwater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Holy crap, I wasn't aware of this. We've had the usual slight price increases around here, but nothing this drastic. Everything that was on sale two months ago is still on sale, and still at about the same prices.
    I wonder if (when?) this is going to hit us...
    Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallingwater View Post
    Holy crap, I wasn't aware of this. We've had the usual slight price increases around here, but nothing this drastic. Everything that was on sale two months ago is still on sale, and still at about the same prices.
    I wonder if (when?) this is going to hit us...
    A couple of weeks ago I saw on the news that pasta price in italy has doubled or tripled, I assume that's not the case where you live?

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Food prices are up about 4-5% in the last year (link) , which is slightly more than the 3% or so inflation rate (link).

    So, there is only a slight increase in the cost of food relative to the overall inflation rate.
    Last edited by powernoodle; 04-23-2008 at 02:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    chmsam said it well. Sensible diet and shopping will get you through much of this. Have to be flexible and versatile in food choices. It's going to be rough on families with big shopping bills. I see their carts loaded with colorful cardboard boxes and packages... many are going to have to learn "a crash course" with tough lessons on frugality and pressure to get their priorities straight. So much of what is consumed is frivolous junk food with minimal nutritional value and high cost. Unfortunately, few will be able to adapt to new consumption patterns and will continue to cling to old ways, piling up even more debt as they try to maintain living standards. The screws are tightening silently - especially in the 3rd world - food riots and price controls are starting

    Anticipating higher prices in the future, it makes sense, if you can, to stock up on essentials. If you live in Earthquake country and take prep seriously... then you're basically tuned in to what needs to be done already. By buying surplus and cost averaging out you will offset much of these inflationary pressures caused by the current weak dollar policy.

    Here in Canada I have seen much less price increase. The 5lb kidney beans are about $4.50... about 75cents more than I was paying in 1998.
    The premium California brown rice in 5lb paper bags is around $4.50 too - again up about 75 cents in 10 years. Organic oatmeal in 2lb bags in $2.19 up from $1.90 4 years ago. Cans of name brand tuna and salmon have hardly moved $1 more per 6 pack in 10 years. Supermarket brand tuna is exactly the same price for a 6 pack as I was paying in 1996'. No name 12 packs of beans are at $7.49 up from $5.99 about 5 years ago. Fruits and vegetables are almost unchanged in the last decade. I don't know about dairy prices because I never buy any (allergies). These are prices I see every week at the superstore up the street. Browse the online flyers and compare prices

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Cutting meat and dairy from your diet save a lot. Problem is even doing that and going with store brands is still more than a lot of people can afford. The problem isn't the rise in food prices itself, but rather the sudden rise in gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, and electricity, combined with a stagnation in already low wages, which are causing the problem. Housing may not be going up any more, but it is still way higher than it should be relative to general inflation. Many people I know were barely getting by a year or two ago when this all began. Now they're not getting by at all. Paying higher prices for other things is squeezing the food budget. I know quite a few people cashing in IRAs just to pay for food. These are not people who buy expensive crap like Lunchables, but people who know about coupons and store brands. Sadly, I just don't see much relief in the near term. We're paying the price for years of leadership concerned only with the next quarter or next election rather than the next generation.

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    Flashaholic* Daekar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Part of the reason pasta and bread prices have gone up (at least in the US) is the ethanol production issue, bad growing seasons for US wheat producers, and (according to my fiancee, who is graduating from the Ag school at Virginia Tech this spring) a totally dismal failure of the Canadian wheat crop, which supplies a large percentage of the total. I'm not sure about where you guys are, but I know that we haven't seen decent citrus fruits for months, either. I think the gas prices are making everything worse though.

    Like the comment about the "four horsemen," very nice.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    I'm late for the party. I've been watching food prices closely for some time and the last few weeks have been very interesting with food riots (and several resulting deaths reaching the western hemisphere) over the price of rice. I think we're seeing just the tip of the iceberg now. The nastyness has just begun. China, Vietnam, India and Egypt (all rice exporters) have either reduced or cut off their rice exports this year. Thailand just announced that they may reduce rice exports.

    With Thailand traditionally exporting one third of the world's rice exports -- just the announcement triggered a panic since the price of rice has already more than doubled in just the last year.

    The misery has just begun. Sam's announced this week that they are restricting rice purchases to level's equal to their customers previous buying history. I'm glad I got there last week.

    I agree with others who stated that ethenol is just a contributing factor in all of this though it's enemies will single it out and make its role look even worse than it actually is -- if that's possible.

    IMO lots of people are going to die quietly over this while we get really sick of election coverage.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 04-24-2008 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Added link

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Quote Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post
    A couple of weeks ago I saw on the news that pasta price in italy has doubled or tripled, I assume that's not the case where you live?
    It has slightly increased, but it certainly hasn't doubled, let alone tripled.
    The pasta I usually buy used to cost €0.50 per half kilo, and now it's at €0.65. I found another brand that even now costs €0.55 per half kg, so I got a few packs of that.

    Regardless, let's hope this situation is temporary.

    This thread has convinced me to go to the store tomorrow and stock up on basic foodstuffs. It's all long-lasting stuff, so I'll keep it as backup while I buy normally. Hopefully the situation can stabilize before the prices really shoot through the roof, but if it doesn't and they do I'll be saving some money.

    Still, now that oil is becoming even more serious a problem than it already was, maybe more money will go into nuclear, alternative energy and battery technology. Well, one can hope...
    Last edited by Fallingwater; 04-23-2008 at 07:45 PM.
    Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Primary causes:

    - Expensive oil -> Producing bio-fuel not food (esp. US, due to gov. subsidization)
    - Lack of political action in handling food inflation.
    - Excessive meat consumption (a lot less inefficient than eating grain, rice, veggies)
    - Poor weather/climate perhaps, but probably not main cause.

    This in combination with a recession (thats what the IMF calls it anyway) is not very good for American stomachs. I really feel for you guys suffering from this, lack of money even for food must be horrible.

    Expensive energy and meat consumption are probably why you pay so much for food.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Quote Originally Posted by powernoodle View Post
    Food prices are up about 4-5% in the last year (link) , which is slightly more than the 3% or so inflation rate (link).

    So, there is only a slight increase in the cost of food relative to the overall inflation rate.
    True, however the coupling of the two poses an "interesting" (optimistic word choice) problem, now my money is worth even less and prices are constantly increasing.
    The question is, how will those (me included) unable to "stock up" deal with the increase. I think it is obvious that times will be rather lean for many in this position. On the same note I shudder to think what it will be like for those in developing countries. I think Sub_Umbra illistrates it pretty eloquently!

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Sub and I were talking about this--what?--months ago, was it? And I was talking about this back before these increases, in the thread(s) on the economy.

    It's really not that food is getting expensive. It's that it's getting UN-cheap. If that sounds like the same thing, it's not. Food has been kept very low for a long time now, for economic reasons. A bushel of winter wheat used to cost like $3, IIRC. Or even less. That's 60 pounds of wheat for $3. This pricing meant that grain farmers were only just clearing a profit over their equipment and fertilizer and other costs. Given what's involved in producing it, wheat really should cost about $15 a bushel. And in the not too distant future, that's what it will cost.

    It's all connected. It's going to be a ripple effect, and you will see food prices go from 2x to 5x what they are now.

    It's all just so clear to see if only you look at the big picture and know what's actually going on in food production, or, as it is called "agribusiness".

    As for my wife and I, we're not yet affected by all this because we've always paid premium prices for locally grown food (most of it "organic"), and those items haven't responded as quickly, because the margins aren't so tight. But they'll rise too, of course.

    We're only beginning to see the consequences of economic and agricultural policies enacted decades ago, as well as the economic consequences of the war in Iraq. It's going to be bad. Very bad. Come back to this thread in 6 months or a year and see if I wasn't right. Mark my word. We've been living off the indulgence and largesse of much of the rest of the world for a long time now, but soon the dollar will be totally dethroned as the worlds reserve currency, and the chickens will come home to roost like never before.
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with JS.

    We've (USA) lived a comfortably inflated life for decades. Our energy costs and therefore the cost of our food and almost all other necessities have been kept low, primarily by government subsidies of one type or another. Our poorest people in the USA would be considered wealthy by the rest of the world's standards.

    We'll all have to adjust, some more than others. I'll have to drive less and smarter. We'll have to scale back or cancel some of our retirement travel plans.

    I think the 3rd world folks, particularly those in agricultural cultures, will see less change than most.

    Like my Mom said -- "We were already poor and living off the farm so we really weren't hurt by the depression". An oversimplification, but you get the picture.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    It all boils down to the American way of life since the 1950s being based on the premise of unlimited, cheap energy. First we had cheap oil. And then nuclear power gave us the promise of "electricity too cheap to meter" (we all saw how well that worked out). After that we had the promise of fusion. This ended being a standing joke ("fusion is the power of the future, and always will be"). So yes, we're going to have to lead a less energy intensive lifestyle. That means consolidating trips, forgoing travel, most importantly ending the concept of planned obsolescence (probably the most wasteful aspect of our society). Rather than making things with lifecycles in mind, we'll start building them as well as we can. People used to keep furniture for their entire life, and then pass it down to their children. Nowadays most furniture is designed to fall apart after a few years on the notion that people will get tired of it. Electronics routinely become obsolete long before they cease to function. At some point people will have to learn to say "this works, it's good enough, I don't care if I can buy something better." By cutting the waste in the rest of our lives, hopefully in turn we'll cut the demand for energy, which will reduce the price of necessities like food. I'm sure this will happen, but it's going to take a major readjustment of our priorities. Building an economy not based on consumerism is going to take a long time.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    There was something else I wanted to comment on. Some in this thread have mentioned how raising meat is less efficient in terms of feeding people. I think that this is true but there is much more to it than just blaming the West for their dietary habits -- which have been somewhat stable for decades. (I don't mean to imply that anyone here did blame the West)

    What's greatly contributing to the upsetting of the apple cart today are the changing economic demographics of peoples in mainland China and to a very limited extent of others in select Third World countries as well.

    A new class has emerged in mainland China that can afford and demand more meat in their diet to a degree that has never existed before in the history of modern man. Their numbers are so large (and growing every day) that huge tracts of land that only a few years ago produced staples for millions are now engaged....doing something else...for someone else. It should also be noted that, unlike in the West, political activists in China will get no 'facetime' on TV to harp on how the Environment is suffering (blah blah) and how current practices are starving people all over the world. Likewise, the Great FIREwall of China will likely stop all but the most crafty and adventerous geeks from ever reading a post like this one. The world's most highly populated country isn't interested in hearing about any of that -- they just want more meat -- pure and simple. It would appear that we are also just seeing the very beginning of this trend...and IMO any events that could reverse this trend are so hidious in their very nature that they may not be discussed on a public forum.

    My point in this post is that we are rapidly approaching the world's food supply's answer to that dreadful TV special, "The Perfect Storm" in that we are facing a serious situation exacerbated by a fistful of circumstances that serve to amplify the magnitude of the impact of an already challenging data set.

    Please forgive me for bringing up that dreadful bit of propaganda that was called, "The Perfect Storm."
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 04-24-2008 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    In regards to the whole "meat is wasteful" and "meat is less efficient" I wanted to make a few comments:

    First, it rests on any of a number of assumptions:

    1. The cow or chicken or etc. is fed grain.
    2. The cow or chicken or etc. is feeding from land that could grow grain.
    3. That food is energy and energy goes from source to waste and that's the end of it. i.e. that it is linear.

    So, the thing is that while it is true that todays meat industry does just feed caged animals grains, it doesn't have to be this way! Many animals (goats come to mind) can be supported just fine on land that wouldn't be good for much else. Further, raising goats or chickens this way--by grazing or browsing or foraging--naturally returns the nutrients taken from the land back to the land. And animals such as chickens remove bugs in the process, and etc. It's all part of a natural cycle, or rather many interelated natural cycles.

    So, eating this sort of meat is not only not "wasteful", it is actually a better use of your resources and respects natural cycles.

    Because--and this is the key point--the most important thing isn't how high or low you eat on the food chain; the most important thing is whether or not your eating is part of a larger cycle or not. And in the USA, mostly this just isn't true. Nutrition is mined from the soil, fed to humans, and flows out into the sea never to return. Wendel Berry makes the outrageously funny observation in the forward to Van der Ryn's "The Toilet Papers" that:

    If I urinated and defecated into a pitcher of drinking water and then proceeded to quench my thirst from the pitcher, I would undoubtedly be considered crazy. If I invented an expensive technology to put my urine and feces into my drinking water, and then invented another expensive (and undependable) technology to make the same water fit to drink, I might be thought even crazier. It is not inconceivable that some psychiatrist would ask me knowlingly why I wanted to mess up my drinking water in the first place.

    The "sane" solution, very likely, would be to have me urinate and defecate into a flush toilet, from which the waste would be carried through an expensive sewerage works, which would supposedly treat it and pour it into a river--from which the town downstream would pump it, further purify it, and use it for drinking water.

    Private madness, by the ratification of a lot of expense and engineering, thus becomes public sanity. . . .
    and actually, I only quoted that because it's funny and I love Wendel Berry.

    Oh yeah, ok, here's the quote I want:

    Quote Originally Posted by p34
    That got me to thinking. The nutrients in all that effluent [235 million gallons per day from the city of Los Angeles], much of it from flush toilets, if converted to fertilizer would be the equivalent of 200 tons of 7-14-12 fertilizer. Each ton of fertilizer when applied to soil would provide the nutrients to grow 25 tons of vegetables. Thus each day L.A.'s waste provides the nutrient to grow 5,000 tons of vegetables, enough to provide everyone in Los Angeles with a pound or two of fresh produce daily.

    As a footnote to this story, a friend sent me some clippings from the Los Angeles Times, 1971. It seems that nature lovers expressed horror over an L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation project in which volunteer divers were sent into coastal waters to kill sea urchins. The sea urchins, thriving on the wastes dumped by the plant, had wildly proliferated, eating all the giant kelp which provides the habitat and food source for fish and most other coastal marine life. And so it goes once the circle is broken.
    The way we treat our excreta, the way we regard our food, it all points to how abstracted we are, as a culture, from reality, from the body. Less than 2 percent of the population is involved in food production. Less than 2 percent. All most of us see is a small bit of the arc of the processes involved here. We get the food from the grocery store, packaged, prepared, ready to use even, then we eat it, and then we flush away the end result never to be seen again. Few of us know where our drinking water comes from, or how it is treated. We have very little attention or interest to spare for such matters. As a result the most inhumane and horrible conditions prevail in most agribusiness meat "factories", or egg factories, and the workers there are paid very low wages with no benefits.

    It can't go on. It simply can't. It's not supportable.
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Another little wrinkle. I forget where I saw it and all the gory details but apparently there is a steep rise in the population of some insects in Asia.

    Why is that important? Well, rats in that part of the world like those specific insects a lot.

    Why is that important? Well, the last time there was a similar jump in the population of whatever those insects are, the rats ate a lot of them and that let to a huge surge in the rat population.

    Why is that important? Well, it seems that when the insects were devoured by the rats, the rat population turned to another source of food -- rice. The resulting rice famine killed a lot of people who had rice as a staple of their diet. This was years ago but the futures market on rice reacted to that little tidbit of history.

    Futures markets are volatile. Things like this are happening in a lot of futures markets lately. Some people do make a lot of money off of things like this (and I am not really making a value or moral judgment here), but there are a lot of factors as to why things cost so much and I'm not certain there's much to be done about it at our level of the economy.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Lets not forget the failure of wheat crops that is approaching Wheat Crop Failures Could be Total, Experts WarnSince grains are the basis of most diets, the non-food use of corn, low rice stockpiles and a wheat fungus that is currently unstoppable seems certain to raise the western nations food prices despite any political-economic factors. Unfortunately our prices will stabilize at the expense of poorer countries being priced-out of the food market. We certainly live in interesting times.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Wheat reserves in the US are apparently down to about 27 days worth, usual is about 3 months to be able to cover supply interruptions. Rust fungus has clobbered the wheat crop on several occasions in the past, most recently in the 1950's. It mutates just like bacteria and viruses do, so there used to be ongoing tracking and study of it in the agriculture dept. to figure out crop treatments, just like the CDC keeps its eye on the latest flu virus variants for vaccine developement. But apparently the rust fungus research has been de-funded over the past few years due to Iraq and bank bailouts getting all our money. So we may be up a creek in not that long, if that stuff runs rampant and wipes out the crop.

    The immediate rice shortages in stores isn't as bad as it sounds, supplies haven't really dried up or tripled in price (except for some semi-exotic Asian varieties). It has gone up a lot but not tripled price chart. And it hasn't (yet) been affected that much at the retail level, since so much of the retail cost is mostly packaging and transportation. Rather, there are some customers (e.g. restaurants) that use a lot of rice so are trying to stock up before the price goes up, buying as much as they can, 100's or 1000's of pounds. Wal-Mart around here is limiting sales to something like 50 pounds per customer. For most regular folks that's an awful lot of rice, so the only customers affected are the volume users like restaurants. I bought a 50 lb bag of rice once long ago (cost less than 2x as much as a 20 lb bag) and had to abandon it after a year or so because I moved. It was about half used up by that time, and that was with several roommates helping eat it.

    I don't have the impression that rice exports from asia are slowed for price manipulation reasons. There really are shortages there, so they are keeping what they have for local consumption. Main cause of the poor crops seems to be climate changes drying up the fields (not enough water). NYT article about a rice mill shutting down in Australia because it's been too dry to grow rice there for the past several years. The US (calrose) rice crop is apparently pretty good this year, so let's hope it keeps up.
    Last edited by paulr; 04-26-2008 at 09:06 AM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlite View Post
    Anyone else worried about the impending food crisis?

    Our local Costco's don't have any more rice nor dried beans. Some local retailers here are selling rice at 3 or 4 times what it was 6 months ago. News articles on food supply tensions around the world.....DANG! What's next, wheat, corn, meat, produce?

    Anyone think that making food into fuel is to blame?
    I don`t think it`s converting food to fuel is whats happening as much as new found poverty. As people percieve themselves as poorer they start to change thier normal eating habits...rice and beans are cheap and with just a little meat folks feel full.

    Of course the price of gas doesn`t help either. But gas will effect everything...from the flashlights you buy...to that window airconditioner you`ll need...when you realise you can`t afford to cool the whole house anymore. Just a bedroom at night.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlite View Post
    ...Anyone think that making food into fuel is to blame?
    That's part of the problem. Turning corn into fuel is just bad science. They ought to tell us how much energy you have to put into the process to yield a gallon of ethanol. I bet the numbers will surprise many.

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    I heard the news yesterday....we stopped importing rice all of a sudden....I hope this doesn't affect anything else, like the potatoes

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nevermind Gas, What's Up with Food?

    I've run into a few interesting articles on potatoes in the last week. This one would indicate that people and governments in many places are scrambling to plant and consume greater amounts of potatoes.

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