Pentagon trains for food riots in the U.S.
The global food supply chain is stretched to the limit, sending prices soaring and sparking concerns about a repeat of the deadly food riots last seen in 2008. This was reported in an article at MSNBC.com.
“We are entering a danger territory,” Abdolreza Abbassian, chief economist at the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said last week.
Here are some sobering facts from the FAO:
- Worldwide food prices jumped 32 percent in the second half of 2010.
- Prices rose again in the U.S. this week after the USDA cut its already-tight estimate of grain inventories.
- Estimated reserves of corn were cut to about half the level in storage at the start of the 2010 harvest
- Soybean reserves are at the lowest levels in three decades
- Record low stocks of food in the U.S. mean higher prices.
- Higher oil prices are pushing up the cost of food.
- Higher oil prices also divert more crops like corn and soybeans to biofuel production.
- Price for grains and other farm products have been rising since last fall after poor harvests in Canada, Russia, and the Ukraine.
- Hot, dry weather in South America has cut production in Argentina, a major soybean exporter.
- This month’s flooding in Australia wiped out much of that country’s wheat crop.
- Last month, Iran deployed squads of riot police to maintain order after slashing subsidies for food and gasoline.
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