Today and every day this week we are looking at some aspect of food security and the major shifts that are putting enormous strain on our global food supply. We are already experiencing acute shortages all over the world. If you like Chicken, then don’t try to order it in a restaurant in Singapore. If you like Dijon mustard, don’t try to order it in France.
On Monday’s show we talked about how dietary preferences have increased the demand for grain on a global basis as more and more people shift from plant based diets to consuming more animal protein.
On Tuesday’s show we talk about how more and more farm land is being diverted from food production to growing for bio-fuels like Ethanol and biodiesel.
On Wednesday’s show we talked about how energy markets are effecting the supply of fertilizer and how fertilizer use is down 5% so far this year which is expected to have an immediate 2% decrease in food yields.
On today’s show we are looking at what happens when there are food shortages. We start to see the rise of food nationalism.
The last time we saw food nationalism on a large scale was in the 1970’s. It’s a phenomenon that has historical precedence.
Today we already have about 20% of the world’s food supply under some kind of export restriction. There are numerous examples.
Some countries produce far more than they need domestically to serve their population. Other countries have very little in the way of domestic production of certain foods and rely almost entirely on imports for their daily food. A case in point is Malaysia which has halted its chicken exports in an effort to safeguard its domestic supply, which leaves people in Singapore struggling to find chicken as authorities suggest the public opt for frozen poultry alternatives.
Host: Victor Menasce