Global food price warning


Still think we can manage without creating food self-sufficiency and paying more attention to sustainable farming and agriculture?

The FAO reports:

The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 234 points in June 2011, 1 percent higher than in May and 39 percent higher than in June 2010. The FFPI hit its all time high of 238 points in February. A strong rise in international sugar prices was behind much of the increase in the June value of the index. International dairy prices rose slightly in June, while meat prices were stable. Of all the major cereals, prices of wheat fell most and rice increased. Among the oils and fats, prices of soybean oil were steady but palm oil weakened.

From Democracy Now!

The World Bank has unveiled a report warning food costs are approaching levels that sparked massive unrest across the globe three years ago. José Cuesta, a senior economist at World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Equity Group, unveiled the new findings.

José Cuesta: “Global prices of food remain very high, very close to 2008 peak levels, and basically one-third above of the prices that they were one year ago. They will find more difficult to access and to buy food. They will find more difficult to diversify their diets. And the cost of living for everyone, for all consumers, of course, especially the poor, will worsen. The cost of living will increase, and that will worsen their ability to buy the diversified foods.”

Now, don’t take this as carte blanche to push corporate agribusiness and dubious GM food or unproven hybrids. We need to do more to support independent farmers and sustainable organic agriculture.

Remember, we can’t eat microchips…

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An alternative solution to rising food price is Freeganism – a lifestyle philosophy focused on adopting alternative means to satisfy needs in order to minimize dependence on what is termed the “conventional economy.” To satisfy their needs, Freegans typically scavenge for discarded items, barter or create their own goods. Common activities include dumpster diving for food and goods, hitchhiking for transportation and squatting or camping for housing. Frequently cited motives for adopting a Freegan lifestyle include the opposition of corporate interests, distaste for overconsumption and wastefulness, and a desire for independence from employment, as well as to counter Barang Naik… Read more »


That will take a drastic change of lifestyle. No.1 to go is to cut the credit card into 2 or thousand pieces. Cancel all credit cards. Use PayPal if you have to buy and sell internationally or just use money order from Post Office for local purchase. This is one sure step to eventual financial freedom. No.2 be content with 3 simple meals, cheap shirt on your back and an adequate roof over your head. Why need fancy things to keep up with the Joneses. He won’t give you a cheque for buying a 60″ wide-cinema LCD. No.3 don’t borrow… Read more »

Ho Hia Tee

No.10 – enjoy penang street food scenes before the developers walloped them all (and when there is no street food museum to showcase the dying trade for future generations)


I had a 3am dream last night. Many Ho Hia Tees came to complain about a lack of a proper street food museum. Among them were long-time gone Ori-Maestros who had no chance of eternal state recognition cast in bronze though their contributions had made priceless global fame for Penang Street Hawker Cuisine. Their unearthly fear now is the demise of ‘Ho Chiak’ one fine Hungry Ghost festival in the future. At the very least, a stately permanent street food museum with old world charm ambience can be their reason/excuse for reminiscent visit to earthly, irresistible Asian Haven of Street… Read more »


looks like Msia should revert to focus more on agriculture industry to produce more food for local consumption to combat food shortages/high import cost. Rancangan Buku Hijau in favour again ? Looks like more promising as Msia’s industrialization efforts still not able to conquer the world (just compare KIA/Hyundai vs Proton) and (Pensonic vs Samsung) ?


Back to the soil where we came from. Farming may not be a glamorous vocation, but when it comes to survival one day we will fully appreciate it from our stomach.
The future conflict will most likely be over water, food or fuel.
Not the US dollars or Renminbi.
When we got all the free natural resources at our disposal to use, we still wanna think like a chip-implanted geek in super air-con comfort of hitech everything including where to work, what to eat, how to wear or survive comes doomsday.
Learn from Afghanistan, hitech doesn’t always win.


FELDA too focus on palm oil to reap profits and forsake basic crops/vegetables ?
Soon there will be a day when cabbage becomes very dear in price when China prefers to keep them for their own consumption; and Cameron Highlands can’t cope with our domestic demand (or may be local farmers prefer to sell them to Spore now that 1S$ = RM2.50 !)
I start growing some plants to supplement my grocery bills; also think back how some islanders of Penang opt to move mainland to have land for growing vegetables – good idea now it appears ?


What you said makes me mull back to my state emigration plan to move to pristine Belum rainforest, Perak or Kelantan for homesteading where land is wide and cheap and air is always fresh for the mind and spirit.
Maybe it is time to prepare now for once I reach 55, time to move out.
“Get them up. Move them out!” That’s Rawhide.
Time to move out my branded butt!


welcome to the bandwagon going to the western front (on the mainland) where the greedy of 1% (per Anil’s hypothesis) kind of ignore hence to the benefits of the 98% (the other 1% are the former 1% wanna-be sweating out in the exploited commercial world).
I am experimenting with growing pumpkins now having succeeded in ‘domestic” supply of chili padi at the backyard garden.
Why spend the so-called RM380 per square feet on the island when your way < than RM38 per square feet Belum nature space can grow satisfying grocery returns ?


The AgroGreen culture of food and resource self sufficiency may be on the slow galloping here. I have talk to quite a few urbanites in their 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s but surprisingly many do not know what is green homesteading. The AgroGreen culture is already ongoing in Europe, America and Australia as they are more socio-politically in tune with their environment and living in constant threats to survival. With the global economic turmoils expected not to abate, humanity has to start thinking beyond the urbanite mindset of urban culture hitech conveniences, individualism egos and materialistic mass consumption of giddy… Read more »


Actually Pak Lah has an unfinished business with his ahead-of-the-time vision of “Pertanian itu perniagaan’. He could have engaged former Kedah MB Sanusi Junid to realise the full potential of ‘rooftop planting’ of padi and other crops.


Here’s a rooftop gardening for green urban thought:

New York is not just steel and concrete towers. There are New Yorkers who are well ahead with food security safely grown on roof tops and well prepared for Armageddon!

Andrew I

Good examples. When I hear Pensonic, I think it’s Panasonic with three syllables. Reminds me when Mitsubishi was going through its “horse” phase. First the Colt, then the Lancer, then the Starrion.

Proton. When are we graduating to Atom?


Andrew I
Steve Job thrilled the world with Apple.
Microsoft gonna launch Mango
PM Najib with transformasi plan will launch “Durian” platform for the world with the ‘glokal” talents from our very own bolehland – sure meLETUP !

semuanya OK kot

You mean we can’t eat computer chips?

On a more serious note, UN Rappoteur on Food said late last year that the main cause of prices was not shortage or diversion to biofuel but commodity speculation. Don’t expect anything but double-talk from WB, IMF and FAO. The aother major dangers are (a) the food super-business syndicates crushing small farmers everywhere (b) reduction of crop variety, partly through market forces and partly through gov. regulation (c) GM, which may yet destroy us all, at least through plant infertility genes.

I am pessimistic about our collective stupidity.


Food price inflation is caused by many factors: 1) erratic weather disruption and natural disasters 2) fuel price increase, thus higher transportation costs 3) food diverted to alternative energy use e.g. corn & palm oil for biofuel 4) food wastage in affluent countries worsen as population increases 5) destruction of excess food to manipulate supply (just ask the US farmers) 6) creation of more designer food choices as competition heats up leading to unnecessary wastage 7) eat more than one’s fair share (I had personally seen food left practically on every table by the affluent Chinese (Hong Kees included) in… Read more »


Sebenarnya faktor 7 boleh dikontrol oleh manusia. Malangnya gejala Buffet Ramadan semakin berleluasa di hotel dan restaurant sekarang, banyak orang melayu yang gelojoh overeating demi menjastifikasikan harga tinggi yang dibayar, tanpa mengira kolesterol dan kalori tinggi sama sekali. Maka perlu diadakan fatwa untuk mengecam permakanan eksesif macam ini, agar tiada pembaziran makanan dan duit boleh disalurkan untuk zakat masyarakat miskin. Kerajaan juga boleh menjimat pembelajaan kos kesihatan kencing manis, darah tinggi dan sakit jantung yang disebabkan oleh gejala sedemikian dikalangan orang melayu. Kita patut juga kurangkan makanan daging kerana banyak tumbuhan bijiran telah digunakan untuk ternakan lembu. Ini tidak baik… Read more »


Ya, sis. Kalau kita jaga baik-baik makanan yang sihat dan balance, kesihatan kita akan terjamin seumur hidup. Dan juga tak paya menangung insuran 36 penyakit amat tinggi-langit (tak paya di kepala pusing ajen insuran yang hanya mahu kita bayar-bodoh insuran tinggi untuk mendapat “dia miak” komisen). Pernah dengar ‘Scare (Fear) Tactic’? Lagi pun tak paya jumpa doktor di private hospital gaya raya yang sedia untuk menhisap duit-duit kita yang susah payah dapat sekarang. Pergilah ke hospital umum yang hanya caj rendah dibanding dengan caj istimewa gaya raya private hospital yang tambahan-gembira atas insuran kita pula. Bila ditanya ada insurankah, habislah… Read more »


Take heart…the first step to take in Bolehland is to restrict the excessive foods taken by all the Fatso with healthy lungs in Putera UMNO together with the First Lady, we can then cut down on imported foods by at least 30%!…then, followed by the Umno males … who hobbies are making love and over eating. Need not to worry of the eating habits of the rakyat. They are poor as the church mouse and definitely, not engaged in over eating. So don’t worry be happy!

Roger Beng

Talking about food, it was reported on local press that 40% of food on Bazaar Ramadan is contaminated.

Either Malaysian have developed high tolerance for contamination, or the bacteria could be manifesting in the body to shorten lifespan.

Yet Yen Yen has planned to make such bazaar a tourist attraction. She should first engage Health Minister Liow to improve on the hygiene first.


Contaminated food at some Bazzar has tested positive for Salmonella as well as bacillus cererus emetic toxin that cause diarrhoea!

Be careful what you eat as the food could be prepared in an unhygienic way, left uncovered in the hot weather for a long time before it is finally consumed come buka puasa time when the bacteria have multiplied.