The food bubble is going to pop

December 29, 2011 • Farming Practices, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Mark O’Conner for this article.  See

The food bubble is going to pop

Gwynne Dyer

August 8, 2011

There are all kinds of bubbles. We had the financial bubble that burst in 2008, causing economic devastation that we are still paying for. There is the Chinese real estate bubble, the biggest in history, which may take the whole world economy down with it when it bursts. But nothing compares with the food bubble.

Back in 2008, the OECD published a report on world food supply predicting that the price surge of that year would quickly revert to normal: “Barring any underlying climate change or water constraints that could lead to permanent reductions in yield, normal higher output can be expected in the very short term.” And barring age, disease and accidents, we will all live forever.

Between April 2010 and April 2011, the average world price of grain soared by 71 per cent: not a very big deal for people in rich countries who spend less than 10 per cent of their incomes on food, but a catastrophe for poor people who already spend more than half their money just to keep their families fed. And that is before “climate change and water constraints” get really serious. But they will.

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