Food Prices Are Soaring Further Into The Danger Zone
Sep. 28, 2012
Last summer, two researchers from the New England Complex Systems Institute published a short paper examining the correlation between rising food prices and civil unrest. It was a timely analysis, to say the least. A number of food riots were occurring throughout the world, not to mention waves of revolution sparked by the high cost of food.
This is nothing new; throughout history whenever people have struggled to put food on the table for their families, social unrest has been a common consequence.
The French Revolution is a classic example; after decades of unsustainable fiscal and monetary practices that wrecked the French economy, the harvest season and subsequent winter of 1788 were particularly harsh. People went hungry, and it ultimately started the revolution.
The researchers’ analysis went a step further, though; they modeled the relationship between food prices and social unrest to reach a simple conclusion– whenever the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)’s global food price index climbs above 210, conditions ripen for social unrest.