CASFS Blog & Forum

This site is for Apprentices, Administrators, Alumni and Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship Program and the Center For Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) to post/discuss news and events.*
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Blowback from the Biofuel Debacle

From India to Indiana, shortages and soaring prices for palm oil, soybean oil and many other types of vegetable oils are the latest, most striking example of a developing global problem: costly food. The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, based on export prices for 60 internationally traded foodstuffs, climbed 37 percent last year. That was on top of a 14 percent increase in 2006, and the trend has accelerated this winter. In some poor countries, desperation is taking hold. Just in the last week, protests have erupted in Pakistan over wheat shortages, and in Indonesia over soybean shortages. Egypt has banned rice exports to keep food at home, and China has put price controls on cooking oil, grain, meat, milk and eggs. According to the F.A.O., food riots have erupted in recent months in Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Cooking oil may seem a trifling expense in the West. But in the developing world, cooking oil is an important source of calories and represents one of the biggest cash outlays for poor families, which grow much of their own food but have to buy oil in which to cook it. Read more here, or view a slideshow.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 10:57 PM

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