UN: Here's Why We're Terrified Of Another Global Food Crisis

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Food prices are expected to increase around the world, and it’s hitting poor people the hardest, including Americans.

The U.N. 2011 report on global food insecurity paints a gloomy picture of both high and volatile food prices in the future.

According to the U.N., children who cannot afford proper nourishment in their first 1,000 days suffer a permanent reduction in their future earning capacity and increased chances of poverty.  This then leads to deleterious effects on entire economies.

High food prices affect nations in Sub-Saharan Africa the most, but they also have significant implications for the U.S. as well.  While the U.S. is not as seriously undernourished as the least-developed nations, a 2011 report by Feeding America revealed that approximately 1 out of every 5 children is “food insecure.”

The U.N. report, along with the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2011-2020, forecast an average of 20% increases in cereal, and 30% increases in meat.  Food prices are going up as natural resources become depleted, population increases, and demand for biofuels grows.

The Food Price Index for the world, adjusted for inflation, has been increasing since 2002.

Many countries, especially in Africa, suffer from high food prices and extreme undernourishment.

Some of the poorest nations are spending 72% of their income just to prevent hunger.

Domestic prices for staple foods increased by 40% during the last food crisis in 2008 and are looking to go up again.

Commodities without trade restrictions, such as soybeans jumped nearly 90% in price in China.

But government regulations on exports, like rice, can stabilise domestic prices in 2008 and prevent the impacts of global price volatility.

However, inappropriate government intervention can also create large price distortions as it did in Zambia.

Soaring fertiliser costs are also causing food prices to increase.

This is how much food prices would have to increase if fuel and fertiliser fees doubled.

Investing in the agricultural sector is clearly the key for helping the poorest populations.

Even kids are learning about food insecurity.

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