Food Is Not Just Another Commodity

Wrote a blog post for RTH:

Global food prices continue to rise. United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has warned that “We risk the spectre of wider-spread hunger, malnutrition and social unrest on an unprecedented scale”.

Food riots in Haiti, rice rationing in India and even the United States, panic buying in Britain: so far, Canadians have been insulated from these phenomena, but not for long. Our rendezvous with rising prices for life’s essentials is on the way.

To markets, food is just another commodity, subject to the same profiteering and speculation as tech stocks, minerals and oil futures.

The difference is that food, like air and water, is the most basic of necessities. Not being able to afford food is a death sentence.

Markets for food used to represent a means to fairly compensate farmers and a motivation for them to keep growing food. Now, global markets have set up a powerful and dangerous competition for a vital resource.

Go read the rest if you’re interested.

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Adrian Duyzer
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