Economic 'Mismatches' Mean Food Crisis Is Here to Stay

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2009 12:12 PM CDT
A Pakistani displaced boy peels potatoes for refugees at the kitchen of Jalozai camp in Peshawar, Pakistan.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The various sectors of the global economy have become so entwined with food production that prices are acting in a very “puzzling” manner, the Economist reports. Last year, the market responded rationally to the global food crisis of 2007-08, increasing production and thus lowering prices. But with another bumper crop expected, prices are up, “increasing at a time of plenty.”

The response to the food crisis isn’t just troubling academically. Farmers responded by putting more land into cultivation, a practice that cannot hope to meet skyrocketing demand. More, production increased overwhelmingly in industrialized nations, depriving poor countries that consume most of the produce of potential fruits of their labor: “The spike of 2008 did not signal a mere bubble—but rather, a genuine mismatch of supply and demand.”