Food prices will double by 2030(6 Posts)
Being on benefits right now (son not in full time school due to SEN) I've been particulary sensitive to food inflation. He's on a special diet so I've really noticed it. It was the cost of food that tipped the balance in Tunisia and Eygpt recently.
For us in the UK it seems the era of cheap imported food is coming to an end. Yet allotments - the traditional way for the working classes to improve their diet are under threat. Just recently I've been shocked to see children with rickets in my part of inner London and it's led me to wonder if child poverty is again affecting the health of our young, just as it commonly did in the pre-war years. Certainly looking around at local children I've found it hard to understand the fuss the media has been making about childhood obesity - a glance down my high street seems to show lots of kids on the skinny side of normal iykwim.
I've been teaching my lad to grow his own veggies via a community gardening project we've iniated on my estate. I can't help thinking small scale projects like this will become increasingly necessary for our kids to get by as adults. I also think that if prices rise high enough it will affect the grey pensioner ,(fixed incomes) vote significantly, possibly changing the political landscape of the UK in future.
What do others think?
I think you have to read the story carefully. It's the price of basics like maize that are forecast to double in price in the next 20 years, and it's the people of the third world, who can spend 80% of their income on food, that will suffer most. Here in the affluent West, where something like maize only makes up a fraction of our diet, a doubling in the price of maie would be a far less significant impact. What's affecting our food prices more here at the moment is the oil-price.... knocking on to transportation, packaging, production costs... and not the cost of the raw material so much.
I think there will be more of a move to become self-sufficient in food production here. 'Local' will trump 'imported'. Home-grown is already popular and I can see it extending to garden/allotment/city farm projects using waste ground. And I think cookery skills are going to become increasingly important because ready-made/processed/packaged food will be far more expensive than in the past.
Wheat futures are soaring and wheat is a staple for us. Supermaket prices of "basics" such as sugar and oil have already doubled in the last 2-3 years so I do think it's already beginning to affect those on low fixed incomes.
http://www.ft.com/foodprices - is an interesting range of references. A quick look at our food labels shows how dependent on imports we've become. It's a long time since the UK was self-sufficient for food and most new housing for families has no growing space.
I agree re cookery skills as I've been asked by several local Mums to teach them to bake recently.
lack of phosphorus - vital for fertiliser- is going to be a very big issue in the future - amazing that people are burying head sin the sand about this, and the oil shock.
The UK is a net importer of food and this will have consequences in the future. If your name is not already down for an allotment, time to sign up! If you're lucky enough to have a balcony or a small garden then there are things you can grow yourself - although at this juncture in time my experience tells me it's still cheaper to buy.
Food has been artificially cheap for a long, long time. In many sectors there has been long-term price deflation &, as a result, we've got farmers going out of business. Maybe rises in the price of food is just a long overdue correction?
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