Food prices fell by almost 20% in 2015 according to the FAO Index (UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization) Index. This though may not be such great news as this reflects a global economy weakening particularly in emerging markets, (as confirmed by most recent downgrade by the World Bank Report), and poor farmers themselves facing greater poverty, if not hunger. (See: “Food Prices Drop – Good News on Hunger or Danger of Deflation?“) Further, the extremes in the spiking prices over the previous 5 years and now the sharp drop may more reflect speculation rather than truly free markets in action. (See: “Contributing to Hunger or Food Security – Capitalism & Wholesaling?“)
In related story, Americans have been advised to consume less meat and sugar. (Meat prices dropped for December while sugar slightly rose). These trends could have longer term implications for health but also resource use, sustainability as well as prices. The Mediterranean Diet may be an opportunity or model but unfortunately it has also seen an erosion. (See: “Mediterranean Diet Under Threat?“) Perhaps still flying under the radar is the accelerating utility of meat and dairy substitutes (and funded by such as Bill Gates) and increasingly becoming commercially feasible in developed countries.
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