Let Them Eat Cake– Or Potatoes!

American farmers are making money by converting corn and wheat fields as part of the effort to reduce the impact of oil on the economy. In so doing, their actions are part of a world-wide inflation in food costs which make it difficult for poor people to afford food. In Bangladesh, which is ruled by a millitary government, its head urged people to reduce their demand for rice and turn to other foods such as potatoes. According to General Moeen Ahmed, “eating potato with rice will reduce its demand alongside fulfilling nutrition requirements.” He admitted local weather conditons such as cyclones and floods had impacted the rice crop. He governs a nation in which forty percent of the people live on a dolalr a day. Banglaldesh and other Asian nations have been hit by record costs for imported oil and food.

Wealthier nations can afford to encourage ethanol production even while it impacts the total crop of food being produced. The poor nations of the world have no such options and they must switch diet in order to survive. The world can readily insist that poor people switch their foods but there is less interest in switching from gas guzzling large cars to small ones.