Factors Contributing to Recent Increases in Food Prices.  Ron Trostle of USDA's Economic Research Service has a report on what is causing the recent food price spike.   Here's a slide from  his presentation yesterday to the USDA Economists Group.

 posted June 11 at 10:30 a.m.


Comparative Resource Use.  A report from China comes up with a measure of land and water use by country and concludes:  "China, which has 22 percent of the world's population, uses 15 percent of the world's total biological capacity of 14 billion hectares. The United States with 300 million people consumes 20 percent.."  However, "China is now consuming more than twice as much as what its ecosystems can supply, having doubled its needs since the 60s."

posted June 11, 2008 at 10:20 a.m.


Fussy Eaters.   An American living in China explains why his children will eat anything (scorpions for breakfast).  I like this observation:  "[I]n poor countries like China, people learn to eat what’s available or they starve. Fussiness never enters the picture. (As I write this, a crew of construction workers who migrated from distant villages is squatting outside my window eating a lunch of rice and boiled cabbage. No meat. These men toil all day on what I would consider a starvation diet.)"

posted June 11, 2008 at 7:40 a.m.