The Economics of Food: How Feeding and Fueling the Planet Affects Food Prices

The Economics of Food: How Feeding and Fueling the Planet Affects Food Prices
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What are the hidden relationships between the food on your plate and the gas in your car? Will economic recovery lead directly to massive price inflation in both food and energy? In this book, one of the world s leading experts untangles the complex global relationships between food, energy, and economics and helps readers come to their own conclusions about the future of food. Pat Westhoff reveals what really causes large swings in food prices and what is likely to cause them to rise and fall in the future. Westhoff discusses all the factors that drive changes in the cost of food: not just biofuel production, but also weather, income growth, exchange rates, energy prices, government policies, market speculation, and more.

Next, he walks through several of the most likely scenarios for the future, offering insights that will be indispensable to consumers, commodity speculators, and policymakers alike. SlideShare Explore Search You. Submit Search. Successfully reported this slideshow. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime. Upcoming SlideShare.

Feeding Nine Billion Video 4: The Need for More Equitable Food Distribution by Evan Fraser

Like this presentation? Why not share! He also emphasizes that food prices can be affected by a myriad of factors simultaneously, and it is often difficult—sometimes impossible— to disentangle these various factors to determine the degree they cause low or high food prices. Westhoff gives eight rules of thumb on food prices.

The first rule of thumb is increasing biofuel production raises food prices. When food crops such as corn are planted for biofuel, this reduces the available food, which in turn causes food prices to increase.

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Unless corn production can be raised to replace those diverted for biofuel, demand in biofuel would certainly raise food prices because less food is produced. In the US and Europe, government policies demand that a certain proportion of petrol to consist of biofuel. And to boost biofuel production, government subsidies are given to farmers to encourage more planting for biofuel. In the height of the food crisis in , US government subsidies are one of the reasons blamed for the increase in food prices. The second rule of thumb is food prices tend to follow crude oil prices.

High energy prices have a direct impact on farm production costs. About one-third of the farm production costs involves the purchase of fertilizers and pesticides, both of which require oil to produce. Other farm production costs involving oil would be the cost of running farm machinery and equipment. Food are often grown far from cities, so high costs of transportation which require fuel are incurred to bring food to the urban folks. Half of the world population today of nearly 7 billion live within cities.

Patrick Westhoff, author of "The economics of food" from ag.

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The US cellulosic biofuels industry: expert views on commercialization drivers and barriers. Precision agriculture techniques will enable reduced use of inputs of agri-chemicals and water that match supply with demand and limit losses. Will people starve as a result? All About Food Preservation! With so little rice traded in the global market at that time, rice price skyrocketed. The hauling of commercial products costs a lot due to transport, fuel and commercial value.

The third rule of thumb is government policies can either lower or raise food prices. For instance, a country that imposes import tariffs or restricts import and offers export subsidies causes domestic food prices to be higher than those in other countries.

The Economics of Food: How Feeding and Fueling the Planet Affects Food Prices

Likewise, a national policy that encourages biofuel production by offering subsidies to biofuel farmers will help to raise food prices because less food would be available. Interestingly, Westhoff explains that national policies are often contradictory to one another. To farmers, high food price is desirable because it increases their income and increase their standard of living. But for the consumers, high food prices are detrimental because they affect the type and amount of food they can buy.

Consequently, a national policy that helps farmers by increasing food prices may instead increase the hardship of consumers. In contrast, a policy that encourages cheap food would help consumers but bring more hardship to the farmers. There are now 62 rural bulletins on the Statistics Canada website.

Download "Recipes for Reality" - high quality MP3. Read the transcript for "Standards: Recipes for Reality".

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Interviewee: Dr. Busch argues that standards play a central role in constructing reality. We discuss this argument in general and examine the important role that standards play in contemporary agriculture. In this context we discuss the system of standards, certifications, and accreditation that, in part, shape our economy. Busch also provides guidelines for developing fair, equitable, and effective standards.

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Our discussion examines the major factors that explain the rise and fall of food prices from We assess what this means for producers and consumers and discuss how these economic forces will continue to influence food prices and our assessment of agricultural policy. Homepage Newer Podcasts. Skip to main content. Search form Search this site Search.

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Podcasts - Page 3 -. Agricultural Subsidies? What happened after tobacco quota ended in Kentucky? This browser doesn't support audio. Description Host: Dr.