While Americans gripe about food costing a bit more, a true crisis is unfolding overseas.
While wheat, soy and corn are, more than any other crops, the basis of our diets, rice is the staple that feeds 3 billion people most of them poor.
And rice costs one-third more than it did just a few weeks ago, according to the Toronto Star. That means a lot if you're already spending half your income or more to keep your belly full.
The food crisis really, that's what it is, according to the United Nations results from many factors, from U.S. alternative fuel policy, which drove up demand and prices for corn to record levels; to extreme weather in places like Bangladesh, where Cyclone Sidr devastated the rice crop; to high oil prices, which increase the cost of not only fuel for farm vehicles and food shipments, but also for agricultural chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides; to investors, who are betting on farm staples and farm land values to increase, which is fueling inflation.
Meanwhile, the population of the Earth continues to grow. There are more hungry mouths to feed, and it costs more to do it.
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