This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.
Over the past few years, we have seen food prices in the United States and other wealthy countries do things that they have never done before. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Global food supplies are getting tighter, and meanwhile, global demand for food just continues to increase.
For decades, many among the elite were optimistic that someday we would be able to eliminate global hunger completely because tremendous progress was being made. But then right around 2015, things started to reverse, and now the trend is very much going in the wrong direction. According to the United Nations, 2.4 billion people did not have enough food to eat last year, and 900 million of them were facing severe food insecurity. Those numbers will almost certainly go even higher this year because it is getting more difficult for poor countries to get the food that they need to feed their populations.
For example, just consider what is happening to rice prices.
Rice is a core staple for billions of people around the globe, and India is the most important exporter of rice by a very wide margin…
More than half of the rice imports in around 42 countries originate from India, and in many African nations, India’s market share in rice imports surpasses 80%, according to Ifpri.
In top consuming countries in Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, for example – the share of rice consumption in total calorie intake a day ranges from 40% to 67%.
Now that India has severely restricted rice exports, what are those nations going to do?
According to the BBC, India’s export ban “has sparked worries about runaway global rice prices”…
Indica white rice dominates around 70% of the global trade, and India has now ceased its export. This comes on top of the country’s ban last year of exports of broken rice and a 20% duty on non-basmati rice exports.
Not surprisingly, July’s export ban has sparked worries about runaway global rice prices.
Sadly, this is already starting to happen.
In fact, the price of Thai white rice is already “up over 50% since the start of 2022”…
On Wednesday, the Thai Rice Exporters Association revealed that the price of Thai white rice 5% broken, a key Asian benchmark, reached the highest level since Great Financial Crisis. This surge is mainly attributed to increasing fears of a global shortage due to the damaging effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon on Asian farmlands and India’s recent decision to restrict certain rice exports.
Thai white rice 5% broken hit $648 per ton this week, the highest level since October 2008. Prices are up over 50% since the start of 2022.
Of course, it isn’t just the price of rice that is rising.
Here in the United States, just about everything in our grocery stores is becoming a lot more expensive…
Americans are noticing a lot of sold-out notes on Costco shelves in the past few weeks. Shortages of household supplies and basic grocery items seem to be rapidly spreading across Costco warehouses. However, most of the complaints have been published by shoppers that just can’t believe the price hikes they’re seeing at their local stores. One major example of this was the 250% increase in the price of 40-packs of Kirkland-branded water bottles. One Redditor reported that the bulk buy, which cost $1.44 as recently as a year ago, now costs $4.99.
“Yeah that used to be the case at the beginning of the year, just checked yesterday, and $4.99, ridiculous,” user u/ghx16 wrote.
User jasonsparks19 said that crab legs have more than doubled in price over the past year: “King crab legs went from $23/lb to $48/lb.”
That’s a 110% increase. It has been difficult for shoppers to find chicken nuggets in stock at Costco, as they are often sold out in the frozen section due to the high demand. They used to cost $13 for a four-pound bag, but are now going for $19.99, causing some customers to express their displeasure with the price hike on Reddit.
“I saw them today for the first time in a while too. My jaw dropped when I saw the price and I kept walking,” a commenter said.
Have you noticed similar things where you live?
I wish that I could tell you that there will soon be a relief, but I can’t do that.
As I regularly discuss on my websites, global food production is being hammered by crisis after crisis right now.
And the food that isn’t being produced in 2023 is food that will not be available on store shelves in 2024.
Here in the Western world, that will mean even higher prices, but on the other side of the planet that will mean that even fewer poor people will have enough food to eat.
A global famine has now begun, and in a recent article, James Lasher explained that many Americans are feverishly preparing for even harder times ahead…
The price of groceries continues to rise putting millions on edge about the availability of food across the U.S.
Many are bracing for even harder times to hit the country and are preparing, much like Joseph did as a ruler in Egypt before the famine struck.
But if you only listen to the mainstream media, they are making it seem as though nothing is amiss at all.
For example, the following comes from an article that USA Today just posted entitled “Need an afternoon sweet treat? McDonald’s new Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry is out now”…
If you’ve been able to recover from McDonald’s purple Grimace shakes, the fast-food chain has a new sweet treat available for a limited time.
Just try not to pass out this time for a viral TikTok trend, OK?
The Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry debuted Wednesday at participating locations nationwide. The dessert is made with vanilla soft serve and blended with crispy cereal mix and chunks of chocolatey peanut butter cookie.
See, everything must be just great if this is front-page news!
Amazingly, this is the sort of pablum that passes for “journalism” these days.
They aren’t telling you the truth.
The truth is that we really are facing a historic global food crisis, and in the months and years ahead it is going to get a whole lot worse.
But for now, many in the Western world are completely ignoring the millions upon millions of deeply suffering people on the other side of the planet.
Of course, ignoring them will not make the problem go away, nor will it do anything about the long-term trends that are making the global food crisis even worse with each passing day.
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