Increasing food prices, and the World According to Monsanto

Recently there have been an increasing number of food riots worldwide. Egypt, Haiti, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Bolivia and Indonesia have all faced protests and riots, and South Africa too has seen threats of unrest as more and more people struggle to afford food.

Food prices globally have risen 40% since last year, and staple foods seen an 80% price increase in three years. Wheat prices have risen 130% percent since March 2007. There are now an average of 400 ‘global disasters’ annually, up from 200, exacerbating food shortages.

We’re often told this is ‘out of our control’, as the main causes of rocketing food prices are increasing oil prices, climate change, biofuels, and increased food consumption, especially meat, as populations grow and become wealthier. It’s true that many of these factors do seem out of our control, as oil prices will continue to increase, and climate change continue to occur. Hopefully at least the insane policies encouraging converting food crops to biofuels will be reversed. Nevertheless, if we continue the way we’re going, things look quite gloomy.

All of which tells us we can’t continue in the same direction. Food production will become more localised, and more organic, so that we don’t have to ship our food across the globe, or use vast amounts of energy manufacturing and transporting chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

The solutions aren’t difficult, and we can all help in working towards them.

What better way to do this than to convert that stretch of lawn into a food garden – take a look at the organic and biodynamic seeds in our garden section to get you started.

Don’t forget too that it’s Vondis pet food week. We have them available every every second week, so stock up if you need.

You can also view the acclaimed French documentary, ‘The World According to Monsanto‘, on our blog this week. The documentary paints a grim picture of the company, its health scandals and record of environmental crimes. Note that the documentary is 1h49 minutes long, and requires a fast broadband connection to view properly.

To order, visit www.ethical.org.za.

Have a great week,
The Co-op team