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PMC Articles Tagged 'Food Crisis'

Kenya: President Calls for Urgent Action to Curb Rising Food Prices

October 15th, 2008 by William Ryerson | Add a Comment

Thanks to Henry Hamburger for alerting me to this article.

Speaking when he officially opened the 25th Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Africa at the United Nations Office Nairobi, President Kibaki urged the participants to come up with practical recommendations that would help in permanently resolving the food crisis that has adversely affected the survival and well-being of the vulnerable members of the society.

“Let me emphasize, however, that for the poor people who are shouldering the heaviest burden of the current high food prices, a solution must be found now. Therefore as you deliberate on these issues, I hope that you are also considering the fact that we need urgent and decisive action that will lead to prompt improvement of the situation,” said President Kibaki.

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Rapid Population Growth in California: A Threat to Land and Food Production

September 30th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | 1 Comment

Thanks to David Pimentel for this article.

Rapid Population Growth in California: A Threat to Land and Food Production (Word Doc., 37 KB)

The Food Crisis – Some Solutions for a World with Fewer Options for Satisfying Increasing Demands

September 19th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

I am a fan of the writings of Bruce Sundquist. His latest paper, “The Food Crisis – Some Solutions for a World with Fewer Options for Satisfying Increasing Demands,” can be seen at http://home.alltel.net/bsundquist1/food.html.

Thomas Malthus Revived

September 19th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Steve Kurtz for this article.

Rises in food prices and global population, especially among the middle classes in India and China, have brought renewed respect to the philosopher of demographic catastrophe, Thomas Robert Malthus.

In the 1990s, a number of writers, including me, were denounced as grim, deterministic Malthusians because of our emphasis on the role the natural world played in global affairs. It was an era without limits, it seemed, when any country could achieve prosperity and human rights. Contrarily, we argued that rising populations, depleted soils and water resources, and other natural phenomena might limit what could be achieved in specific places, and that there was therefore a need for tragic realism.

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Briefing: Lessons from past food crises

September 17th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to John Tanton for this article.

A burgeoning population. Soaring energy costs. Rising demand for meat. A catastrophic harvest. A sudden run on the grain market – and an 80 percent surge in food prices in three years.

A brief run-down of the current world food crisis? Yes, but it also applies to the early 1970s – the last time the collective cupboard was bare. Despite similarities, today’s food price shock also has some striking features which sets it apart from past crises.

As world leaders gather in Rome Tuesday for a three-day United Nations conference on what steps to take to address the international food crisis, they might study what lessons can be learned from the recent pages of history.

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Population and Food Editorial

September 16th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Scott Connolly for this editorial from the Burlington Free Press. Incidentally, the author’s statement, “Our own administration prohibits financial aid to any organization that promotes family planning through contraception” is not accurate. The administration may not be enthusiastic about family planning, but it has not prohibited aid to organizations promoting family planning. The focus of the gag rule is to deny aid to organizations involved in promotion or information related to abortion. The administration has also required some portion of family planning aid be used to promote abstinence.

My Turn: Population key to global food crisis (PDF, 26KB)

Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis

September 15th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Joyce Tarnow for this article.

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.

The figure emphatically contradicts the US government’s claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil.

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A 10,000 year misunderstanding

August 7th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Bill Willers for this article by Peter Salonius.

News of food price escalation is bringing global carrying capacity for human beings ‘front and center’- with food riots all over the world.

This is being precipitated now by food-to-ethanol programs, although with constantly rising populations fed by the increased food produced by various agricultural revolutions (the Green Revolution being the latest), these riots would have eventually happened. However the speed of these developments is awe inspiring.

On April 14 2008 we heard Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank, calling for a crash program of food production increases to stave off the approach of famine. How many times does he think we can pull new ‘productivity rabbits’ out of the hat when soil resources of the planet continue to be degraded to produce more food for the irresponsibly breeding horde?

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Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

July 13th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Steve Kurtz for this article.

Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing.

Rice is stored at a National Food Authority warehouse at Manila, the Philippines, on April 17.Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

At a Costco Warehouse in Mountain View, Calif., yesterday, shoppers grew frustrated and occasionally uttered expletives as they searched in vain for the large sacks of rice they usually buy.

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Humans Gobble One Quarter of Food Chain’s Foundation

February 19th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Maurizio Morabito for this article.

The original farmer probably did not have an outsized impact on the world. Scattering some seeds, guarding them and perhaps clearing a few other species of plants, this proto-agrarian would have been the first to harness the power of photosynthesis for humanitys benefit. Now, thousands of years later, modern agrarians—along with engineers, foresters and consumers—directly control 23.8 percent of all the world’s photosynthesis, according to a new analysis.

Using Food and Agriculture Organization statistics through the year 2000 on areas farmed, crops harvested and animals grazed—as well as models of the photosynthetic production of vegetation worldwide and global data on forested areas—ecologist Helmut Haberl of Klagenfurt University in Austria and his colleagues calculated the difference between the energy produced by plants in the absence of humans and the actual amount of photosynthetic energy available to ecosystems after humans have taken their share.

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