There are a growing number of conversations and discussions taking place around the country, in person and online, about a highly important emerging question – how are we going to feed ourselves with a growing population, diminishing resources and a challenging climate?
We see news reports of crop devastation from droughts, floods and other weather related impacts around the world. There was a world-wide food shortage in 2008, causing a sharp spike in wheat prices that started a series of governmental overthrows in the Middle East. Clearly, food is important in a way that many have not thought about here in the United States. We didn’t experience much in the way of price spikes in 2008, but if we look, there is clear evidence that we are experiencing our own price increases; they are just in a different manner.
The prices for food, when compared to a couple of years ago, have risen significantly, even here in America. Our food system is complex, with major food companies and distributors absorbing the brunt of price increases and passing them along in increments, instead of all at once, so that we are not as aware of the increases in food prices. With a severe drought across most of the country in 2012, and winter moisture levels significantly below normal for this year (2013), more crop failures are predicted along with higher prices.