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  • Analyzing the Looming Food Crisis

    We know that there’s a potential food crisis on the horizon, but what factors are most important when it comes to our food future? Lester R. Brown weighs in. More

  • Harvesting Justice 23: Inherit the Earth – Land Reform in Brazil

    In recent years, the voice and visibility of movements opposing land grabs and displacement, and demanding land reform, are increasing. Though relatively little land has been redistributed, organized movements of small farmers, indigenous peoples, and landless people are developing in size, strength, and organization. They are uniting across borders to break the nexus between land, agriculture, power, and profit. More

  • Food Crisis: Can We Feed The World & Sustain The Planet?

    The headline of a Washington Post blog post screamed global food crisis: “This terrifying chart shows we’re not growing enough food to feed the world.” The Global Food Crisis Is Here! OMG! I clicked through right away. I was (somewhat) relieved to see a reasonable post about a recent study in the journal PLOS ONE finding that crop yields haven’t […] More

  • Want To Help Our Broken Food System? Join Food Tank And The 30 Project

    “There’s no doubt that the food system is broken. More than 1 billion people are obese, nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night, and at least 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.” So begins the press release for a newly launched think tank founded to improve agricultural sustainability, help us get healthy, […] More

  • Mixed Messages in the Latest Data in the FAO Food Price Index

    On Thursday (6/7/12), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released it’s indices for food prices in international trade. Most of the news coverage was upbeat because May showed the largest drop in some time. For instance, the allAfrica website had a headline, “FAO Food Price Index Drops Sharply.” It was a 4% drop; however that comes after several months where the index stayed flat and failed to show the sort of major correction that occurred after the last spike (2007-9). Even with the drop in May, the index is still nearly as high as it’s highest level in that previous spike. More

  • Are High Global Food Prices A New Norm?

      FAO (The food and agriculture organization of the United Nations) released their June estimate of global food price indices yesterday.  The new numbers were mixed, but not encouraging overall. Sugar was up 15% over the month. All the other indices were nearly flat: Dairy up 0.2%, Oils down 0.6%, Meat down 1.5%, Cereals down 1.3%. […] More

  • Food Price Spike Continues But Slows

    Today, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released it’s food price indices for May 2011.  It was a mixture of somewhat encouraging news and not so encouraging news.  There are indications that we may have reached the peak of the spike at levels comparable to the last spike in 2008, but there is no […] More

  • Biofuels For Transportation: Been There, Done That

    There is a great deal of controversy about the wisdom of diverting a significant percentage of the US corn crop into the production of ethanol to fuel cars.  Something like 25-30% of the crop will probably be used this way in 2011 which sounds alarming in the face of global food supply issues that have […] More

  • Third Update On Rising Food Prices for 2010/11

    The FAO released its monthly indices for food prices in international trade today.  For the first time in many months, most of the indices retreated slightly.  Experts warn that this may not actually mean that this spike is over.  The thinking is that between the crisis in Libya and the earthquake in Japan, the uncertainty […] More

  • Update On Rising Global Food Prices

    Last month I started a series of monthly updates on the rising prices of food in international trade.  As you can see from the graph above, the trend is continuing so that it looks like we are likely to see prices as high as the previous spike.  It is important to note that these indicies […] More

  • Rising Global Food Prices – Why You Should Care

    The chart above shows that global food prices, as measured by the FAO indicies, are spiking, much as they did in 2008.  At the end of January,  the overall food price index had just surpassed the 2008/9 peak, while the indicies for dairy, cereals and oils were closing in on the previous maximum.  The meat […] More

  • US Organic Farming: Digging into the Numbers

    In 2008, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA (USDA-NASS) conducted a first-time, in-depth survey of the US organic farming sector.  A summary was published in 2010 from which it is possible to see state-by-state and crop-by-crop how many organic acres were harvested, how much they produced, and how much the crop was worth. […] More

  • Global Food Supply Issues & Chance of Food Riots

    These days, living in a global village of sorts, we can easily take for granted the wide variety of foods we have access to and relatively low food prices. However, as the United States Agricultural & Food Law and Policy Blog (USAFLPB) notes, global food supply may be approaching its limit, we are currently seeing considerable price increases, and we could see much more in the future. More

  • Concern and Encouragement In The News About Climate Change and Food

    Last week, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released a report which described the current upswing of global food prices (see chart above).  They characterized it as a “polite warning” of things to come in an era of climate change. This rise is reminiscent of the 2007/8 food-price spike. That phenomenon raised American food […] More

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