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What is a Food Tremor?

Touch the Soil News #635 A food tremor is something more than background noise. It casts a hint of what a food problem can grow into. For example, in nature tremors often foreshadow a volcanic eruption or earthquake.   Food Tremors Now Happening The global demand for vegetable cooking oil is so great it is driving rainforest demolition and people exploitation. Peoples of all nations are competing voraciously for the same pool of cooking oils (palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil and olive oil). This tremor can drive food inflation. Congested crop farming leaves little room for nature to mitigate disease. Wheat rust is a fungal disease that compromises wheat,…

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More Powerful Than Politicians

Touch the Soil News #544 The global financial system and the world’s resource limitations – having evolved together over the last few centuries – represent a momentum that eclipses any world leader. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a division of the United Nations that keeps tab on the price of food. The variables that drive the price of food are weather, demand and the ability of the global financial world to deliver purchasing power to the masses. The FAO food price index was established using a base of 100 which represents the price of many different agricultural commodities as of the year 2004. In the aftermath of the…

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Food Shocks versus Oil Shocks

Touch the Soil News #494 We are all familiar with oil-price shocks that send the cost of gasoline skyrocketing. When oil prices surge, economists create models of how everything we buy is impacted by the underlying cost of oil. Recently the Brookings Institute published an economic study on the effects of food price increases on the American economy. Authored by Jamien De Winne and Gert Peersman from Ghent University, the study found that a 5 percent jump in food commodity prices leads to higher inflation and slower economic growth equivalent to a 10 percent oil-price increase. Price increases in food have twice the negative impact on the economy as price…

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