Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Global food prices - the sobering reality

My efforts to save the odd pound here and there are put firmly into perspective by a sobering series of reports in the Guardian today and on their website

For millions of people it's not a question of cutting back but of surviving.

While food only accounts for an average 10% of the expenditure of UK households it can account for as much as 80% of that of poor families in the developing world. This Food Diary of a family in northern Cairo shows how prices have nearly doubled in the past year.

Two other things I read really struck home. First that land that could be used for growing food for Egypt's growing population is used to grow out of season crops such as beans and strawberries for the UK market. Second just how much fertile land it takes to feed livestock. According to the Guardian report, one acre of land can produce 138lbs of protein from grain but only 20lbs of protein from beef.

We should all be eating a lot less meat.


Career Misfit said...

Blimey, you don't just nibble at the small topics, Fiona, do you? ;o)
This is a very interesting debate, and one that's going to become ever more prominent as the next decade progresses.
An article in today's Guardian takes a similar line and gives quite a good overview of how this problem is already starting:


The Chinese family at the centre of the story also hint at their own philosophy on food waste and frugality.

Fiona Beckett said...

I read that with interest - especially the comments on waste! I love the fact you can now get a video with almost every story. The Guardian's is a particularly good website. I occasionally blog for them too.