Tuesday, April 15, 2008

U.S. experiencing worst food inflation in 17 years!

In a recent blog post we wrote that the "world food crisis has passed our doorstep and is now squarely on all of our dining tables," which today's news sadly outlines in hard, cold statistical facts.

People are now paying up to 25% more for things they paid from just one year ago. Families are having to water down milk, and soup to try to extend their food dollars, and what about those on food stamps? What increasing food prices mean for poorer families is that they will have to skip meals, or go hungry toward the end of each month!

Want an easy explanation for this?

The price of energy mostly to harvest and transport staples such as wheat, corn and soybeans.
As we've mentioned before, because a majority of world agriculture goes to feeding animals rather than feeding people directly.
Can't forget that in our globalized world we're also competing with China and India for our corn, because the weak dollar has made it so much cheaper for them to buy it up.

Compounding all of this is the widely popular (yet ironically not so efficient) bio-fuel industry, which has done its part to divert so much life saving protein into fuel additives that don't really get us much further energy-wise as we were before.

And, global warming is playing it's role in Australia (and all over) with the worst draught in history, causing wheat prices to skyrocket throughout Asia.

Solutions anybody?

We hate to be redundant, but Industrial Hemp can solve almost all of the above issues straight away http://naihc.org/. If cultivated aggressively in developing nations and the U.S., we could see a real relief in food prices beginning in a matter of months, with healing reverberations around the globe for decades to come.

Also, increasing vegetarian and vegan diets globally will help a lot and quickly, as will ending our dependence on fossil fuels!

A few tips for saving money right now at the grocery store:

1) It's spring! Visit your local CSA (community supported agriculture) http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ farm and sign your family and friends up to receive boxes of seasonal produce right now!

2) When you go to the grocery store, make sure to shop where they have organic, sustainable and locally produced bulk sections - buying in bulk and storing grains, beans, cereals, rice, pasta and nuts in glass jars will extend your food dollar quite a ways.

3) After preparing a lovely recipe together with friends and family, make sure to scrape every last bit of delicious food from your pots and pans onto your plates. So often we think that those extra few rice grains, or beans, or bits of tomato sauce are better off going into the garbage or disposal, when in truth if you add up all the few extra spoon fulls of goodies here and there, you'll begin to realize how much food we really waste each and every day (not to mention that most of the flavor in our food comes from those last few morsels at the bottom and side of our pots and pans).

4) Save your scraps for soup stocks, stews and reductions. Why should the compost pile get more protein than your kids?

More energy and money saving food tips to come, so please stay tuned!

Peace, Love and Organics!

Your friends at Hippy Gourmet


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1 comment:

Veggie said...

great post! This food inflation stuff does make me a bit nervous (as well as the recent jump in gas prices).