The Washington Post has the best article I’ve read yet about the global food crisis, and it’s pretty scary, to put it mildly.

The food price shock now roiling world markets is destabilizing
governments, igniting street riots and threatening to send a new wave
of hunger rippling through the world’s poorest nations.
It is outpacing
even the Soviet grain emergency of 1972-75, when world food prices rose
78 percent. By comparison, from the beginning of 2005 to early 2008,
prices leapt 80 percent, according to the United NationsFood and Agriculture Organization.
Much of the increase is being absorbed by middle men — distributors,
processors, even governments — but consumers worldwide are still
feeling the pinch.

The convergence of events has thrown world food supply and demand
out of whack and snowballed into civil turmoil. After hungry mobs and
violent riots beset Port-au-Prince, Haitian Prime Minister
Jacques-Édouard Alexis was forced to step down this month. At least 14
countries have been racked by food-related violence.
In Malaysia, Prime
Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
is struggling for political survival after a March rebuke from voters
furious over food prices. In Bangladesh, more than 20,000 factory
workers protesting food prices rampaged through the streets two weeks
ago, injuring at least 50 people.

To quell unrest, countries including Indonesia are digging deep to boost food subsidies. The U.N. World Food Program has warned of an alarming surge in hunger in areas as far-flung as North Korea
and West Africa. The crisis, it fears, will plunge more than 100
million of the world’s poorest people deeper into poverty
, forced to
spend more and more of their income on skyrocketing food bills.

As I do not have an econ background (beyond undergrad macro classes that were not analysis-heavy enough for this), my analysis is going to be pretty non-existent on the food crisis. I wish I knew what to write here, but I just don’t.

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