With food riots going on all over the world in emerging nations and food scarcities in still more countries, there is a sudden focus on the future of America’s food security. This attention is also being drawn to the food issue because of the rising prices of food noticed by everyone who goes grocery shopping.
Because of rising wheat prices, bakeries across the United States have been forced to post signs apologizing for their prices to consumers, and restaurant owners are fearful prices will cause consumers to eat out less. An article in the Guardian reported that “the last time America’s grain silos were so empty was in the early seventies, when the Soviet Union bought much of the harvest.” And American officials warn it will only grow worse. “There’s going to be real food inflation in this country,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive of U.S. beef processor Smithfield Foods (USAToday). Although analysts have labeled the food crisis a “perfect storm of conditions,” they recognize that it will take more than just good weather and lowering the food prices to stop the continuing shortages—it would involve a reassessment of world policy toward foodstuffs.