Is the World Producing Enough Food?
Global food prices are soaring again, as droughts, freezes and floods have affected various crops in many parts of the world. At the same time, demand is rising with living standards in fast-growing countries.
The price spikes are not as sharp as they were in 2008, but the new volatility reflects more than the sum of recent freakish weather “events,” from severe droughts in China and Russia to floods in Australia to a deep freeze in Mexico.
Economists and scientists have identified longer-term changes — from global warming to China’s economic growth to a lack of productive farmland — as the culprits. Is the world producing enough food — specifically grain? Is this a continuation of the 2008 crisis, or something quite different?
Can the world continue to produce enough food when oil reserves start dwindling?