Hmmm.... this could be a real can of worms if you ask me.
The second news story is also disturbing, but for a different reason. Rice rationing. I first heard about this on the news last night. This is not a good sign. Rice is one of the few relatively healthy foods that poor people can afford. It is also a staple in many cultures and cultural dishes. It's one thing for food prices to rise - that hurts. But to not be able to get the food we can afford is an ominous sign. I hope this is just a knee jerk reaction, a proactive move and the retailers will rethink this.
It is interesting that most rice is eaten within 60 miles of where it is produced - however due to demand,("as populations cross borders, the taste for specialty rice such as the Indian basmati, or Thai jasmine rice, which grow only in their areas of origin, spread")these supplies are in jeopardy. Granted, the poor here are probably not eating basmati or jasmine rice, but that rice is coming from somewhere, and if we are demanding a large supply the country of origin has to be facing shortages there among their poor.
A recent BBC artcle also states:
The institute said several factors were behind the rise in rice prices.
Land for producing rice and irrigation water is being lost to industrialisation and urbanisation.
The growing appetite among Asia's burgeoning urban middle class, especially in India and China, for meat and dairy products is also leading to less land for rice production.
Factors such as the flooding in Indonesia and Bangladesh and recent cold weather in Vietnam and China have also hurt production, it said.
Rice. Food of the rich?