This is a guest post by Dr. Gary Peters. He is a retired geography professor and author of Population Geography.
Rising food prices, crowned by a recent record high spike and chronicled in the graph below, have played a role in triggering the spread of unrest that we’ve witnessed recently from Tunisia to Egypt and beyond. Though most residents of rich countries can absorb higher food costs without much struggle, residents of poor countries, especially those living in major urban areas such as Cairo, cannot. Higher food prices are immediate threats to their health and, in some cases, even their lives, especially those of the very young and the elderly.
The current spike in food prices, which has now exceeded the price spike in 2008, has been blamed on various factors, including unusual weather events, higher demand, smaller crop yields, and the diversion of food crops to biofuels. Continue reading