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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The food crisis

When Fidel Castro returned to the scene last July with his first appearance as a regular columnist, the corporate media scoffed at this claim that "More than three billion people in the world [might soon be] condemned to premature death from hunger and thirst," as a result primarily of the rush to convert to biofuels. Since then, there has been widespread realization that Fidel was being far from alarmist.

The U.N. Food program is considering cutting food aid because of the rising price of food - 40% overall in just one year. Wheat prices are skyrocketing, as this graph shows, due to a number of causes, but high on the list the conversion to corn for biofuel:

[Actually, there's a bit of confusion; a picture caption in the article claims wheat prices up 83% in a year, but the graph clearly shows a rise of 250%]

Although you won't find it in the article linked above, last night's BBC World did mention the figure of "billions" of people who may be in serious trouble because of this crisis. Like so many other problems, this is one that capitalism - production for profit rather than need - can never solve.

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