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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Food Riots Next?

FAO Says Food Prices Surpass Record Highs Seen During 2007-2008 Bubble.

Some say I have too many negative stories.  Why do I carry so many stories which have negative implications?  Primarily because I see the main-stream media as skewing far too much on the side of "everything is ok and everything is getting better."

We as humans have an innate sense of optimism.  We want to believe that things are getting better.  We want to believe in the good of people.

So we have a natural tendency to want to read stories about things getting better.  We often view negative stories with suspicion or distrust.  I am simply saying we should apply the same standard to all stories we read and ask ourselves, based on our own experiences and what we see, "does this article make sense?"  "Are things really getting better?"

So with the main-stream media already telling you how great things are, I also like to play devil's advocate.  What else is going on in our World that we should know.

And that leads us to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The last time food prices hit ridiculous levels, the immediate outcome was global food riots in places such as Haiti and Bangladesh. Which is why distributors of riot equipment in the world's poorest countries may be in for a bumper crop as the Food and Agriculture Organization has just announced that world food prices have just surpassed the previous record last seen in 2007-2008.

The report also notes that the increase in food costs will also hit developed economies, with companies from McDonald's to Kraft raising retail prices.

So while we may not have riots in the US, those people on the margin here at home, who barely are getting by, may find the going even tougher.
Support your local food banks and other charitable organizations serving the poor and hungry.  They may need it now more than ever.


  1. The divide between the rich and poor gets greater each day. You are right we all need to do so much more to help our fellow man.

  2. I see this as a positive story, namely we need to remember those hardest hit by high food prices. Glad you pointed it out.

  3. Damn you were right.

    From the Associated Press: "Riots over rising food prices and chronic unemployment spiraled out from Algeria's capital on Thursday, with youths torching government buildings and shouting "Bring us Sugar!" Police helicopters circled over Algiers, and stores closed early. Security officers blocked off streets in the tense working-class neighborhood of Bab el-Oued, near the capital's ancient Casbah, and areas outside the city were swept up in the rampages. The U.S. Embassy issued a warning to Americans in Algeria to "remain vigilant" and avoid crowds. Riots on Wednesday night in the neighborhood saw a police station, a Renault car dealership and other buildings set ablaze. Police with tear gas fired back at stone-throwing youths through the night." Algeria's violence is unfortunately just the start. The big to keep an eye out on is rice. If the liquidity makes its way there, the Chinese soft landing may just become much, much harder.