How to understand the twenty-first century food crisis
Since 2007, farm-product prices have rocketed and plunged, causing hunger, malnutrition, and social and political upheaval around the world. Endless Appetites explores how "food security," the availability of food and the reasonable ability to buy it, has become one of the most challenging topics of our time. With every jump in grocery-store prices, the issue becomes more and more pressing, proven by this year's record increase in food prices, which has already topped the spike of 2008.
Award-winning commodities reporter Alan Bjerga explains the food crisis and why it is happening in an accessible, articulate mannerWhy is this happening when more food is being grown than ever?Why are crop markets?first established in the 1800's to help stabilize agricultural commodity prices?acting like an investors' casino, with prices absorbed by rich nations taking food from the mouths of the poor?From college campuses to emergency UN meetings, "food security" is one of the hottest topics of the day, with no shortage of interest in how to stabilize food prices worldwide to close the hunger gap
To understand the growing international food crisis, readers need an expert they can rely on. One of the most widely acclaimed journalists on food security, Alan Bjerga is up to the task, taking readers from the trading floor of Chicago to the highlands of East Africa to the rice paddies of Thailand on a global trek to find the causes of the food-price crisis?and the solutions.
Alan Bjerga has covered food and agricultural issues for more than a decade for Knight-Ridder Newspapers and Bloomberg News. He won the Glenn Cunningham Agricultural Journalist of the Year Award from the North American Agricultural Journalists in 2005. In 2009, he was recognized for covering U.S. food aid and famine in Ethiopia by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the North American Agricultural Journalists, the New York Press Club, and the Overseas Press Club. In 2010, Bjerga was President of the National Press Club and the North American Agricultural Journalists.
Author s Note viii Prologue xi CHAPTER 1: Floors, Fields, and Famines 1 CHAPTER 2: Chicago Makes a Market 13 CHAPTER 3: Elephants in the Kiddie Pool 25 CHAPTER 4: A Recipe for Famine 39 CHAPTER 5: The View from Rome 51 CHAPTER 6: Hot Air 65 CHAPTER 7: Promise 79 CHAPTER 8: The Price of a Cup of Coffee 97 CHAPTER 9: A Better Banana 113 CHAPTER 10: Thai Quality 131 CHAPTER 11: Steps Up 147 CHAPTER 12: Harvest of Hope 159 Notes 169 Acknowledgments 189 About the Author 191 Index 193