For anyone who thought the run-up in food prices in recent years was a fluke or a short-term blip, it might be time to reconsider.
We have certainly seen intermittent price dips in between the spikes of the last few years, but prices are still at pretty high levels over all. There has been no return to the era of slowly falling food prices that prevailed in the 1980s and 1990s. Sober forecasters like those at the United States Agriculture Department now expect the era of higher prices to extend into the foreseeable future.
Underlying the price jump is a tight balance between supply and demand, and it has come to a head at a time when people are becoming more aware of the challenges that climate change will pose to food production. As I have reported before, planetary warming seems to be a factor already in limiting supply and therefore raising prices, and many groups expect the challenge to grow.
Now comes some detailed new advice on what we ought to do about it.
A report released Wednesday morning by the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change calls for an ambitious new program to tackle the problems of food supply, food waste and sustainability – all at once.