Food Crisis: Grains Gone Wild & Maps

Paul Krugmans OpEd: Grains gone Wild published in the NYT today talks about the sudden sharp increase in Grain prices , so sharp as to qualify as a Worldwide food crisis. He says and I quote,"Over the past few years the prices of wheat, corn, rice and other basic foodstuffs have doubled or tripled, with much of the increase taking place just in the last few months".

He goes on to identify the some of the causes of this crisis, The war in Iraq, the Australian drought, increasing Chinese demand for meat, global warming etc. Modern Agriculture is dependent on Oil prices. Any increase in oil prices reflects in Food prices.

It would seem that a part solution to this problem is fairly obvious, an increased emphasis on Organic Food and Local Food. Organic Food uses non Fertilizer / pesticide based techniques of farming. The amount of miles your food travels adds to the total fuel cost and impact on the earth.

To give an example from my pantry, I have two packets of Frozen Okra or Bhindi- One bought in my local supermarket- comes to me all the way from China and the other- bought in the Indian Grocery store- comes from India. This brings me to the new map feature at Sometime Foodie.

I wanted to introduce a map feature to Sometime Foodie for a while now and finally did so yesterday in a panel in the left hand side. I am going to use it to keep a log of all my favorite foodie places in India and now after this article, to keep a log of the sources from which my food comes from. I want to see the mileage on my food.

I will end on a more positive and less alarmist note with this map from my favorite mapsite, American Memory on the Library of Congress website.

Pittsburgh 1902Map from Library of Congress