Posts Tagged ‘ food insecurity ’

Global Food Prices Are Rising

BBC Food Prices Report

The price of food around the world is set to rise as the Global Warming is causing draughts in many agricultural areas. Here’s a story from BBC: Global food prices set to rise due to severe weather

US Food Policy

Famines are not necessarily caused by a lack of supply, but by a failure to get the food that exists to the people who need it. — Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Winning Economist

New York Times article “The Insanity of Our Food Policy” By Joseph Stiglitz about American Food and Farm policies provided an interesting collection of data:

  • 15% of US population and 2-% of its children live in poverty.
  • SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program — gives $4.00 per day per person toward food purchases for those living below poverty threshold [for family of 4 this is equals to $23,492 per year (in 2012)].
  • The U.S. House of Representatives is proposing to cut an additional $40,000,000,000 from the SNAP program over 10 years after already cutting $5,000,000,000.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives is passing the Farm Subsidies worth $14,900,000,000.
  • In approximately the last 10 years, 1% of the famers received $1,500,000 each.
  • In approximately the last 10 years, 10% of all farms got 3/4 of $14,900,000,000, or $30,000 per farm per year.

You do the math!

The Insanity of Food Policy Article

The Fall of Great Civilizations and Bad Soil

Homeland Security News Wire published as story on correlation between the fall of civilizations and poor spoil management: Planet’s arable land rapidly degrading.

Great civilizations have fallen because they failed to prevent the degradation of the soils on which they were founded. The modern world could suffer the same fate. A new study describes how the productivity of many lands has been dramatically reduced as a result of soil erosion, accumulation of salinity, and nutrient depletion.

Soil degradation map

Hunger in America

Some kids in America don’t get enough food to eat. The cost food has risen in the last year, while many people are still out of work. The result is that in our own country, some kids go hungry. Here’s a BBC article and video about a family that can’t afford food, home, pets…

The Children Going Hungry in America

Rising Prices of Chicken in UK

BPC warns consumers of chicken price rises — yet another article and warning about the rising costs of food and chicken in particular. This time, the people of UK are warned to expect to pay more for chickens due to high cost of chicken feed, which has risen due to a bad harvest this year.

I hope people in UK will use our crowdmap to track the rising chicken inflation.

Chicken Inflation

chicken Inflation illustration from the Iranian.comOn August 8th of 2012, Meir Javedanfar wrote an article about the rising price of chicken in Iran (I just saw the article today!): The Price of Chicken. The article links the rising price of chicken (and other foods) to politics:

The supreme leader could, for example, blame the price of chicken — which has tripled since last year — on sanctions that the U.S. and the European Union imposed to deter Iran from continuing its nuclear-fuel plan. Yet that would mean admitting to both the West and ordinary Iranians that sanctions are having a big impact, something the regime is desperately trying to avoid. Iranian officials have instructed the news media not to discuss the effect that sanctions are having on the economy.

Perhaps, people in Iran can track the price of chicken around the world using our crowdmap?

US drought may drive up world food prices

2012 July was the hottest month in American history! And there are consequences — we are starting to notice the prices of food going up and the quality of food going down. Corn, which should be cheap and plentiful and especially great this time of year, is none of those things!

Check out this video from BBC:

Wasted Food

There was an amazing article on CNN today: Moldy matters: How wasted food is destroying the environment.

A third of all food products worldwide go uneaten! — from a 2011 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization report

We’ve been collecting data on the food people buy, but it is equally important to keep track of the food people waste! Please read!

Also, we’ve entered the data in the article into our Crowdmap: https://costofchicken.crowdmap.com/

Social Supermarkets

With economy in bad shape, Greeks are taking food and food insecurity into their own hands — Social Supermarkets! The basic idea is to feed families who can’t afford to buy enough food and have to go without — hungry. People who can, donate food to the Social Supermarket in their community. Those who need the food go “shopping”. Sometimes, neighborhoods grow their own food and contribute part of the harvest to the Social Supermarket in their area. Here’s the story: Ingenuity and allotments provide relief in Greece.

Here is San Francisco, we have food centers which do something similar. People who can, donate food, and those who need it, get packages of food that help tie things over, reducing food insecurity.

We posted a TEDxManhattan video about people growing food and donating the extra that they can’t eat to those who need it: Changing the Way We Eat — TEDx Manhattan. It all makes sense!

Unstable Food Prices

Heifer International organizes school children in U.S. into buying animals for farmers around the world. When Tim and I were in Middle School, we both participated in Heifer International program and our classes bough many animals for farmer in Africa.

Stephen C. Smith from George Washington University wrote an article for Heifer International: The Triple Threat of Unstable Food Prices … and What Can Be Done About It. The article talks about the causes of recent food price instabilities: energy markets, financial markets, and speculation — meaning the price of food depends on the price of oil, the price of other everyday items and the cost of doing business, and the “nervousness” caused by possible rising prices.

One of the interesting graphs shows in the article is one depicting the proportion of total income families from around the world spend on food. Here’s the graph (you can click on it are go read the article on Heifer International):

Graph of Family Spending on Food

In U.S., a typical family spends 7% of its income on food. But in Kenya, almost half of all the money the family earns goes into feeding the family. It’s easy to see that if the food prices rise fast (and income doesn’t), families can easily go hungry or choose food over school or medical care.

I don’t know if our Cost of Chicken crowdmap can document the fluctuating costs of food around the world, but I see that it is important.