The headline that grabbed my attention was posted on March 29th, 2008, High Rice Cost Creating Fears of Asia Unrest (New York Times).
The author, Keith Bradsher, writes from Hanoi, “The price of rice, a staple in the diets of nearly half the world’s population, has almost doubled on international markets in the last three months. That has pinched the budgets of millions of poor Asians and raised fears of civil unrest.”
Reading this article I was reminded of another story also written by Bradsher several months earlier: A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories. Bradsher highlights on how the price on cooking oil – oil in which to cook food – has also risen to levels beyond the reach of many who really do need the calories in their already short-changed diet. The switch to palm oil from trans-fat for cooking in the United States hasn’t helped. The price of palm oil alone has gone up 70%.
Anyone reading this blog, even us Americans, knows that the price of food is going up because we see it on the shelves for ourselves. Those who are involved with food banks also know that the prices of stocking the shelves is going up along with the need to fill in the growing gap between what food stamps can cover and the price totals at the head of the checkout line. But none of us are starving… (so far).