The chart on the left shows us that toward the end of 2010 food prices were nearly as high as the record time of mid 2008. Now in January 2011 we have reached a new record.
The chart on the right shows us price changes in different commodities over the last 2 years.
What are we to make of this? Well, the Federated Farmers of New Zealand are cheering, claiming that it will boost the profits for NZ farmers. And that is perfect case in point for my previous blog. The fact that rising food prices is seen as an opportunity to inflate profits shows us how programmed we are to seek economic benefit before addressing ecological crisis.
These rising food prices will likely bring an increase to the 1 billion odd people currently malnourished due to in-affordability of food. 1 billion people! That is close to 15% of our entire population and it is set to rise? Can you imagine if 15% of your body was malnourished because a handful of cells were discriminating the distribution of nutrients based on economic agendas? While the whole ecology of humanity is being compromised, we have food businessmen celebrating.
But once again, we can so easily fall into the trap of pointing fingers can't we? The truth is it comes back to you and me. Whilst ever we are supporting the system that is causing these problems, then the best thing we can do is work our way towards the exit door of our industrial food model.
It's not an easy thing to do. We can't just leap out the doors without first uniting with others and preparing an alternate food strategy. That would be like diving straight off the Titanic into the freezing ocean below. We need to think, talk, plan and steadily substitute industrial food with local and small scale food 'life boats' bit by bit.
Whether we like it or not, we are going to see a total transition of our food systems in our lifetimes and likely quite soon. The industrial, command and control oligopoly of food empires are doing the Titanic dive as we speak and most of us are on board. So while the present comfort of being in the great dining hall may seem preferable to being in a cold crowded life boat, I know where I would rather be.