Thursday, December 2, 2010

Worldwide Food Supplies Remain Tight

The UN reports no panic buying ... yet.

It does appear that things are stabilizing somewhat, but I tend to think we are in a downward spiral. Under current conditions even the developed world is one big bad event away from food riots.

Large-scale farming has kept the world from mass starvation, but there is, I suspect, a "food bubble". Modern high-yield grain and soybean production relies on genetically modified seeds, petroleum-based herbicides and insecticides, and lots and lots of energy. If energy prices spike, or, worse, there is a disruption in the supply, e.g., open conflict with Iran, it could create serious pressure on the food supply.

At least the production of ethanol from corn is losing favor. That's a good sign.

I'm not one of those who oppose Monsanto or whomever getting patents on GM seeds, and I don't oppose GM itself. I just don't think farmers at any level should be getting taxpayer-funded benefits and subsidies. We should probably do away with most of the Department of Agriculture. Inspecting packing plants and other food processing is about the only thing DOA does that is worthwhile.

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