(Read Again!)…EXPERTS: FOOD PRICES WILL SOAR LEADING TO POLITICAL, CIVIL UNREST
By Keith Johnson
OCTOBER 02, 2012
Midwest droughts, growing unrest in the Middle East have prognosticators worried
The worst U.S. drought since 1936 has devastated crops and livestock across the country and opened the floodgates to opportunists hawking genetically modified (GM) seed products. Worse yet, socioeconomic experts now predict that the world may be less than one year away from a catastrophic food crisis that could lead to even more political instability and civil unrest.
Meanwhile, consumers are bracing for a harsh winter as food prices begin their rise to unprecedented levels. Meat and dairy products, which account for 52% of the world’s food basket, are expected to become far more expensive over the next several months as farmers around the globe continue to slaughter millions of hogs, dairy cows and steers because they cannot afford the corn and soybean products used to make feed. It has gotten so bad that, in several cases, farmers have even been adding candy to cattle feed because of rising grain prices.
According to analysts at Rabobank, a leading agricultural investment house: “There will be an initial glut in meat availability as people slaughter their animals to reduce their feed bills. But by next year herds will be so reduced that there won’t be enough animals to meet expected demand, and prices will soar.”
Rabobank predicts that this herd liquidation will ultimately lead to a 14% jump in overall food prices, by June 2013. If correct, the price for a basket of food commodities will climb to a record 243 points on the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) index. This would be a historic high, and 175% higher than any previous level reached this century.
This is not to be taken lightly. According to a recent report from the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), “high global food prices are a precipitating condition for social unrest. More specifically, food riots occur above a threshold of the FAO price index of 210.” NECSI is made up of academics from Harvard and MIT, who specialize in predicting how changes in environment can lead to chaos and upheaval, among other things.