Climate Change

Published on October 16th, 2011 | by Karen Lee


Blog Action Day 2011: Rising Food Prices

farmers market in CA

Farmers Market in CA

Today is Blog Action Day 2011 when bloggers all over the world blogs about one cause, in hopes to raise awareness about the designated issue every year and this year, we are talking about FOOD! And it’s no coincidence that today is also the World Food Day, a day that UN Food and Agriculture Organization formed to educate and inform about world hunger.

There are many important issues regarding food: food shortage, poverty and hunger, mal-nutrition, obesity, food safety, GMO, organic, rising food prices, and the list goes on.

But the issue that affects all of us is rising food prices because it affects all the factors mentioned above.

What about food prices?

According to Bloomberg, world food prices rose by 25 percent beginning of this year.

And according to Oxfam, an international confederation of 15 organizations that work together in 98 countries with partners and allies to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice, reports that volatile food prices have caused poverty and hunger in many poor communities around the world.

As part of the GROW campaign, Oxfam created an informative infographic on world’s food situation. Click on the image below and see how food prices have affected different countries.

GROW Campaign

What causes food price volatility?

  • Changing Climate – when extreme weathers causes crop devastation, it hits food prices hard.
  • Oil Prices – petroleum is used to grow, fertilize and transport food so when the oil prices go up, so does the food prices.
  • Commodity Markets – take food off of people’s plates, theoretically, when dysfunctional commodities markets cause food prices go up faster and higher than they should.

Rising Food Prices at Home

Rising food prices is not just a concern for the developing countries but is also a problem right here at home. I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed that my dollar doesn’t stretch as far at the farmers market or the grocery stores lately so I’ve witnessed this trend too.

When extreme weathers like Hurricanes and Tornadoes devastate crops, we can feel the effect they have on food prices across the nation. In addition, the food and agricultural commodity markets have been heavily invested, making the matters worse. The prediction that the world population will increase to 9 billion people by the year 2050 doesn’t help the matters either.

So what can we do?

  • Grow our own food as much as we can.
  • Live a simpler and carbon free life so as not to increase the demand for oil and raise the oil price
  • Eat less meat, which requires more resources like fuel to raise, fertilize, and transport
  • Buy in bulk since its cheaper and has less packaging
  • Support your local farmers. They are not heavily subsidized as big agricultural corporations. They need our support to continue to produce food for the local communities. Without small to medium sized farmers, there will be less food in the market for consumption, making the food prices go up even more.
  • Educate your family and your community about food. Make them appreciate the quality and quantity of available food so they can make conscious decision when buying food.

What are you doing to reduce the cost of food?

Other Blog Action Day articles:

Perennial ChefChid Obesity and School Lunch
Eco Karen Food Waste
Eco EtsyGreening your Food
Insteading Meat Labels and Favorite Food of Restaurant Critic

[Image used with permission from Lolailo]

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About the Author

Karen lives a simple, frugal, green life and shares her eco tips and news on ecokaren and is a co-founder of Green Sisterhood, a network of community of green women bloggers, making change. When she's not managing Green Sisterhood or blogging on ecokaren, she is a chauffeur to two greenagers, wife to an accidental recycler, master chef to hungry locavores, seamstress, knitter, and dumpster diver, not necessarily in that order.

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