A few we ago, The Bachelor’s Kitchen warned you that food prices were going to go up significantly because of the midwest drought. Now one commentator is saying those earlier estimates may be far lower than what it really will be.
Lester R. Brown is President of Earth Policy Institute and author of ‘Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity,’ due to be published in October 2012. He will be discussing food security issues when he addresses EcoSummit 2012. In an article on the Huffington Post, he says rising corn and soybean prices will be putting enormous pressure on food prices to rise.
“On June 12th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected the U.S. corn harvest would hit a record 376 million tons. Just one month later, drought conditions forced the USDA to revise its projections downward by 47 million tons. By harvest time the actual decline may be closer to 30 percent, or roughly 100 million tons — double the USDA estimated drop.”
Not only does the heat affect the health of plants, Brown says, it also affects pollination which makes the crop yields even lower.
“We are looking at a future of rising food prices driven by rising temperatures. Heat waves and droughts like that of 2012 in the United States are projected to become more frequent as the planet heats up. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), a heat-trapping gas, have increased 20 percent since 1970 and are continuing to rise.”
We in the U.S. have enjoyed lower-than-average food costs than other developed countries. That may be about the change. We may need to spend more of our income on food. At a time when more people are expressing a willingness to spend more for better quality and organic food, this may make future food prices even more unpredictable.
So be prepared for spending more on food very soon. Just another good reason to cook your own food and eat at home, the The Bachelor’s Kitchen.