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May 2, 2008

Food Crisis: Why It Is Happening and What Can Be Done To Stop It

Anyone that has gone grocery shopping has surely noticed that the price of food has greatly increased. The days of stocking my cabinets with twenty bucks are long gone, even with my savvy budgeting. Just today I bought a tomato, an onion and one box of pasta and it cost me over nine dollars. The word is that food prices are skyrocketing around the world and soon their could be a food shortage.

What is causing all of the trouble? Well, the prices of food continue to rise because the price to move food to different places is rising. Food is shipped around the world using fuel, another commodity that is getting more and more expensive. Poorer countries have already seen riots and uprisings because of food prices that a large part of the population can not afford. However, there doesn’t seem to be an end to rising food cost as of yet. Unrest is sure to continue and grow in more places if food prices do not drop or stop rising.

Some countries have talked about closing their borders to protect their notational food supplies. This is very troubling because that could mean starvation for many people around the world. The mention of the food crisis already taking a hold of India and other South Asian countries could become more than just speculation. The staple foods of most Indian’s diet have increased greatly in price. Rice and lentils, two foods that are generally on my list of very cheap, healthy foods that can get me through a very lean financial time have gone up and wages have remained the same or gone down. If the prices of rice and lentils continue to rise many poor Indians will not be able to afford them.

President Bush has proposed a $770 million dollar aid package to help developing nations with the food crisis. Some of the money would go towards an emergency food shipment and the rest of it would supply countries with seeds to plant and ease the burden of expense food. Congress must approve the measure, which hopefully they will, and Bush calls on other countries to help if they can.

Some of the things that may help ease your personal food crisis are:

1.Buy Where You Live:

Buy food that is grown close to home. Food grown by farmers in your area is fresher and cheaper because it is not shipped for days and the price it cost to drive the food to Farmer’s Market is much less than what it cost of for a big rig to drive the food to you.

2. Take Advantage of Discount Grocery Chains:

After you buy your fruit and vegetables from Farmer’s Market, take a trip to the local discount food store. Buy generic brands for less from groceries chains like Aldi’s or Sav-A-Lot. A can of beans that may cost you 79 cent at the brand name grocery store will be about 39 cent at the generic store. Why pay more for a name?

3. Eat What You Need, Not What You Want:

A good friend of mine told me last year that he eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday. When he told me that I laughed but now, a year later, when we are sharing stories about our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, the jelly, if you buy the kind that is all nautral fruit is like a treat and the multi-grian bread generally gives you a variety of nutrients. Gormet? No, but the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, as simple as it is, is a very low cost lunch and when I add in a salad and simple low sodium broth veggie soup, I am stuffed and well nourished. Eat what you need and cut down on the extras.

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