I get it: Not everyone is into saving the planet. Well, good for you that you have a second one in the trunk of your big FUV.
The most important global food staples are rice, wheat, soy and corn.
As always in agriculture, the weather conditions determine production. In 2010, we have had several failures: Russia and Ukraine region had a third of their wheat crop fail last summer, the Phillipines and other Pacific countries reported major crop failure as well due to storms (hint: global weirding), we are facing rising food and gas prices in 2011.
The USDA has even predicted that high food commodity prices are here to stay throughout the coming decade. How come?
High food prices are caused by government policies (agricultural output, choice of crops, and prices), supply and demand, rising energy prices, speculation, unsustainable population growth, the US dollar's value, and inflation rates which vary by nation. Current annual food inflation rates are globally at and above 10%; they are caused by overall growth rates and currency fluctuation of these individual countries as well as national policies concerning agriculture.
Diesel, fertilizer, pesticides, equipment, processing, manufacturing, refrigeration, storage, transport and infrastructure costs are a big part of modern agriculture and they are highly dependent upon fossil fuels.
Corn burning to produce ethanol while using coal and natural gas to distill the product is a political policy under the disguise of "green" to support corn prices. This US policy drives global high food prices since productive corn acres are not being used to produce food. High corn prices cause higher meat, dairy, wheat, and soy prices for consumers. It should not go unmentioned that corn is being fed to cows, making them sick and in the form of high corn fructose syrup it drives obesity. Shocking 35 million acres of corn fields are devoted to ethanol in the US.
Ergo: When corn crops fail, it becomes a domino effect: Higher prices for corn = higher prices for feed = higher prices for gas = higher prices for meat = higher prices for other crops.
What can be done, you ask? Well, government policies, encouraging smart foresight in planning to meet the challenges of future agricultural production (or the US will have their agricultural Detroit coming) and family planning (the question is not whether you can feed your seven children; it is whether the planet can sustain them and their children and grand-children and the answer is NO!)
But hey, most probably the Frankensteins will develop more SciFi food in an effort to remove the symptoms as opposed to dealing with the cause. . . In any event, I am SOO glad, we have started our little project. This way, I feel better about what goes into our mouths.
Remain ignornant (yeah, it's bliSS) or read on and do something:
"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis
55 AD - 138 AD