If you’re eating something right now, you’re going to want to stop. Not because this post is gross. Because you might want to save that to eat when the world runs out of food in a few months.
From The Guardian:
Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN. …
With food consumption exceeding the amount grown for six of the past 11 years, countries have run down reserves from an average of 107 days of consumption 10 years ago to under 74 days recently.
Prices of main food crops such as wheat and maize are now close to those that sparked riots in 25 countries in 2008. [The UN Food and Agriculture Organization] figures released this week suggest that 870 million people are malnourished and the food crisis is growing in the Middle East and Africa. Wheat production this year is expected to be 5.2% below 2011, with yields of most other crops, except rice, also falling, says the UN.
The FAO, in its monthly food price index, outlines how prices in 2012 compare to years past. While the rise in prices in 2010 was more dramatic, prices in 2012 are near a high for this time of year. Broken down by category:
As Oxfam noted earlier this year, food price fluctuations like those we’re currently seeing are set to be the norm, not the exception. The Guardian article quotes Lester Brown, the president of the Earth Policy Institute’s research center.
The situation we are in is not temporary. These things will happen all the time. Climate is in a state of flux and there is no normal any more.
We are beginning a new chapter. We will see food unrest in many more places.
So maybe that food you were eating? Put it in a safe deposit box.
- UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013, The Guardian
Get Grist in your inbox