Last week, the price of corn rose above $7 a bushel on the commodities market for the first time, and soybeans rose sharply, too, reacting to the harsh weather hampering crop production across the US Midwest. Soaring global demand in addition to the increased use of corn for ethanol, an alternative fuel, have shrunk the worldwide supply of staples that are the core of practically every continent’s diet. Meanwhile, the price of oil has jumped, raising the cost of producing crops and feeding livestock and causing an increase in grocery bills here and abroad, sparking riots and protests in at least two dozen countries. CWR co-host Francesca Rheannon speaks about this global food crisis with Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved. Patel is a visiting scholar at the Center for African Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and a researcher with the Land Research Action Network as well as the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
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Dean Cycon of Dean’s Beans Organic Fair Trade Coffee Company comments on the link between climate change and coffee as experienced by indigenous Arhuaco coffee farmer Javier Mestres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Colombia.