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More on the Food Crisis

The May 2 Issue of The Week magazine had an interesting article titled “The Global Food Crisis”. While I held the belief that the move to bio fuels was the major cause of the recent rise in food prices, this article gave me a better view of the big picture. While bio fuel demand is one of the causes, six years of drought in Australia, flooding in Argentina and other weather related events added to the crisis. What I missed completely was the shift in diet within China. The average Chinese person now consumes 110 pounds of meat per year, up from 44 pounds two decades ago. It takes 10 pounds of grain to produce one pound of pork and 20 pounds of grain to produce a pound of beef, so it would seem that the rise of the Asian middle class was a major factor in the current crisis. This raises new and troubling questions. Can the world shift from being largely vegetarian to omnivore and not create its own ongoing crisis? Perhaps when we realize that bio fuels are a misguided solution to this problem will we get on with the research that will lead toward a lasting solution – the alternate energy provided by solar and wind. Enjoy the holiday weekend.


  • JAL May 23, 2008, 10:33 am


    Have you ever watched the movie “Soylent Green”?


    Best regards,


  • JOE May 23, 2008, 5:40 pm

    I am just old enough to have seen it in the theater and recall it well. A classic, but I hope not a prescient, movie. (enjoy the weekend!)

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