The Global Food Crisis
These three words are starting to cause alarm in many parts of the world. No longer is the term food crisis reserved for the under developed nations of the world where millions live in poverty and face starvation every day. Food crisis is now a phrase heard in the developed countries of Europe and even more surprisingly; the United States. One problem is that impoverished people struggle to feed themselves using outdated agricultural systems that have outlived their usefulness. These outdated methods just can’t keep up with the demands of a world that grows by more than 250,000 people per day. Another is a changing climate that is threatening once stable agricultural areas of the world with changes not seen since the period before the last ice age 300,000 years ago.
These are just some of the reasons that the world is quickly approaching the precipice edge, that once crossed, will see poverty and starvation that may last a century or more. As recently as 2008, 25 countries experienced riots in the streets over a steep increase in food prices. Governments were overthrown and millions forced into poverty became refugees. War has replaced peace in many parts of the world; all because of a food shortage and higher food prices.
An expert global food crisis panel at The United Nations issued a warning in July, 2012 that the world’s agricultural supply system was close to collapse which threatened to drive millions of people into poverty, starve millions more and spark rioting that may bring down even more governments. If that wasn’t bad enough, The Earth Policy Research Center has officially commented that the world's climate is changing so fast and in such an unpredictable way that a collapse of the global food supply system is inevitable, it’s just a matter of time before two-thirds the world's population lives in poverty; many facing starvation.
Food Crisis – Some Worry – Others Speculate
While governments around the world worry about the looming food crisis, a crisis many experts believe is a planet changing problem that may undermine civilization itself, market speculators exasperate the problem further driving food prices even higher. While America fights for oil in the Middle East, China is spearheading a global “land grab for millions of acres of cheap farmland in far away places like Africa and Argentina in an effort to feed its people.
For the seventh year in twelve, the planet has consumed more food than it produces, draining food reserves to their lowest level since countries began stockpiling decades ago. China's food situation is dire; some believe that China’s food reserves would only last a month in the event of some catastrophic global event or a collapse of the global food supply system. Just 10 years ago, it took 20% of the income earned by the poorer peoples of the world to pay for food; today it has soared to 80% in many countries forcing millions of people into poverty and starvation. New food production technology is key to solving the world's hunger and starvation problems. In the 1960’s the introduction of new technology was part of the green revolution that saw a three fold increase in food production after just a few short years. The next generation food technology could do the same thing today.