Hoarding by several nations is a major cause of the current food shortage (and no doubt increased prices), a recent NYT article shows. The article points out that “The current export restrictions, which mainly help urban consumers in poor countries, are the latest blow to farmers in the developing world.” Also, it notes that subsidies from the developed world to their farmers, while the IMF and World Bank simultaneously pressured less developed nations to reduce farm support and barriers to trade, hurt the developing world. The article suggests that freeing trade even more – via World Trade Organization rulings, perhaps, may be an answer. Some UN officials are skeptical.
Also in the news, Counterpunch has a nice piece on eating as a human right, arguing for more local food production and support for smaller-scale producers. There is, in fact, a strong basis for food as a human right, and thinking about it through this lens gives some weight to the arguments that the food problem is one of mal-distribution and that governments have a responsibility to defend their citizen’s right to access food. Definitely this link is worth checking out if you are interested in checking this issue out in a more academic way. From a more activist take on this, check out groups like Food Not Bombs.
Finally, this one takes more time, but is fascinating: Can weeds help solve the climate crisis? this study suggests yes. Very cool stuff.