Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wheat Prices are on the Rise...Why?

I have noticed a slight increase in the price of wheat and other grains; and the commodity prices have been rising faster than the wholesale prices which means the businesses are absorbing the increased costs by cutting costs elsewhere. And the prices in countries that import most of their grains is growing even more rapidly...like in Mexico where the price of the tortilla has exploded leading to actual protests and demonstrations in the streets.

So what's going on? Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute and author of an amazing book called Plan B 2.0, is following the situation closely and links the price of food to the massive explosion of ethanol plants to fill our gas tanks. Basically it boiled down to this: since just about any food can be turned into gasoline, the price of food will increase with the price of oil; and we are quickly approacing our ability to grown enough food for the rising planet population. So we reach the collective moral decision that the feeding our addiction to gasoline will mean more poor people are hungry. Read it for yourself here or visit www.earth-policy.org to learn more about this and many other environmental issues. I higly recommend his book, Plan B 2.0, which is free online, if you can stomach it; it's gloomy at first, but he offers all the solutions in a highly optimistic vision of the future.

1 comment:

Melinda said...

Excellent post, Michael--I'm citing it in the May Selene newsletter. I knew corn prices were on the rise, but I hadn't made the connection with other foods. Thanks for the links to Lester Brown too!