Tag Archives | Food Shortage

Earth Could be ‘Unrecognizable’ by 2050

Earth As Seen From Apollo 17Via Discovery News:
A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday. The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council. To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.
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World Food Prices At Record High

Photo: Fir0002 (CC)

Photo: Fir0002 (CC)

This could be one of the big stories of 2011. Look for export restrictions, trade sanctions, riots and food resource wars to follow. CBC reports:

Global food prices rose to a record in December, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization reported Wednesday, surpassing highs in 2008 when rising prices sparked riots in 61 countries.

The FAO food price index — which measures monthly price changes in a basket of foods including cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar — averaged 215 in December, up for the sixth straight month, and its highest in nominal terms since 1990.

That was up from 206.0 points in November and passed the high of 213.5 in June 2008 during the food crisis at that time.

Its sugar price index soared to a record high of 398.4 points from 373.4 points in November.

The FAO’s cereals price index, which includes prices of main food staples such as wheat, rice and corn, rose to an average of 237.6 points in December, the highest level since August 2008 and up from 223.3 points in November…

[continues at CBC]

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Russian Bears Dig Through Graveyards For Food

Russian bears have been seen rummaging through graveyards after their usual food supply has disappeared. This grave robber’s had a survival method which was unexpected to it’s meals’ loved ones. The Guardian reports:

From a distance it resembled a rather large man in a fur coat, leaning tenderly over the grave of a loved one. But when the two women in the Russian village of Vezhnya Tchova came closer they realised there was a bear in the cemetery eating a body.

Russian bears have grown so desperate after a scorching summer they have started digging up and eating corpses in municipal cemeteries, alarmed officials said today. Bears’ traditional food – mushrooms, berries and the odd frog – has disappeared, they added.

The Vezhnya Tchova incident took place on Saturday in the northern republic of Komi, near the Arctic Circle. The shocked women cried in panic, frightening the bear back into the woods, before they discovered a ghoulish scene with the clothes of the bear’s already-dead victim chucked over adjacent tombstones, the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomelets reported.

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Hedge Funds Accused of Gambling with Lives of the Poorest as Food Prices Soar

Hunger Casino

Image: World Development Movement (WDM)

Katie Allen writes in the Guardian:

Financial speculators have come under renewed fire from anti-poverty campaigners for their bets on food prices, blamed for raising the costs of goods such as coffee and chocolate and threatening the livelihoods of farmers in developing countries.

The World Development Movement (WDM) will issue a damning report on the growing role of hedge funds and banks in the commodities markets in recent years, during which time cocoa prices have more than doubled, energy prices have soared and coffee has fluctuated dramatically.

The charity’s demands for the British financial watchdog to follow the US in cracking down on such speculation comes against a backdrop of cocoa prices jumping to a 33-year high as it emerged that a London hedge fund had snapped up a large part of the world’s stock of beans. On Friday, traders say, Armajaro took delivery of 240,100 tonnes of cocoa — the biggest from London’s Liffe exchange in 14 years and equal to about 7% of annual global production, according to the Financial Times.

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