monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'commodity prices'

Guess What: Food Prices Still Near All-Time Highs

July 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) remains at near record-highs, and this at a time when record droughts and calamitous famine threaten the Horn of Africa. Using the latest data from the FAO FPI page, I plot here the FPI time series from 1990-2011. World food prices are high and have remained so since the […]

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Food Prices Continue to Rise

February 3rd, 2011 · No Comments · Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

Newly released data by FAO show that food prices continued to rise, up 3.4% from the last month of 2010. This is yet another record high. Here is a plot based on the FAO data (click to enlarge): An article in today’s New York Times attributes much of the rise in price to uncertainty over […]

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Worrying Trends

January 6th, 2011 · No Comments · Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization‘s food price index is at an all-time high, meaning that the food security of millions of people is in jeopardy. In the plot below (click to enlarge), we can see that the FPI currently just exceeds its previous high in June of 2008, when riots over food shortages were […]

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The Continuing Food Crisis

September 16th, 2008 · No Comments · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

The 2008 Report of the Millennium Development Goals is out today. Seeing this, along with this editorial piece by The Age‘s economics editor, Tim Colebatch, drives home the key point that the world food crisis is far from over.  High food prices may drive 100 million more people into extreme poverty this year, eroding the substantial progress that […]

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34% of US Corn Harvest To Be Used for Ethanol

September 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

Despite the flooding in Iowa earlier this summer, the US is set to harvest its second largest corn crop ever.  Good news for the price of food for hungry people?  Not really, the USDA expects that 34% of the total corn crop will be used to make ethanol for biofuel. They project a price of […]

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Volatile Rice Prices

September 15th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

There is a new Rice Outlook report from the Economic Research Service of the USDA.  I was surprised to see a forecast record harvest for the coming year, given the crazy price movements in rice this year and the dire predictions that were the rule earlier this summer.  At Costco in California, they actually rationed […]

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Biofuels Place Price Pressure on Food

July 4th, 2008 · No Comments · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

A recent story in The Guardian reports on an unpublished World Bank study that suggests the conversion of food crops to biofuels, and the resulting economic pressures entailed in this process, is responsible for most of the steep price increases in food this year.  The World Bank report has not been published, though it was […]

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