Long-term food issues in the People’s Republic of China.

Interesting point here from Walter Russel Mead on China’s small agricultural problem:

Though China is geographically larger than the United States, it has far less arable land per capita available: 0.08 hectares per person versus 0.53 per person here. And the arable land available in China is shrinking, mostly because of extreme desertification.

So China imports food to help feed its huge and growing population. But its imports vastly outweigh its exports in agricultural products (see the chart below, courtesy Zero Hedge & FAO). And that deficit is going to grow: There will be lots more mouths to feed in the future, and as more and more Chinese enter the middle class, appetites evolve.

Continue reading Long-term food issues in the People’s Republic of China.

Explaining the Great British Food Paradox.

To wit: British food supposedly sucks, only when I visited England a couple of years ago the food was just fine – including the “pub grub.”  Potential answer in comments here, which is riffing off of this webcomic: the stereotype is archaic, as it originated when England was: dealing with WWI & WWII food shortages; in the middle of a century of deliberate cheap food subsidies; and/or hadn’t joined the Common Market yet.  In other words, there’s a general consensus that they’re all much better now, but there’s a certain ideological flavor (or ‘flavour’) to the discussion over why.

All I know is, bacon looks weird over there.  Still tastes fine, though, which is really the important thing.

#rsrh Grocery bills ARE up. Noticeably.

I do the food shopping for the family, and I can attest to this personally: prices have been increasing for about a year now.  More accurately, the per-unit prices have increased; the actual vendor’s product typically either has a higher sales price for the same amount of product as a year ago, or else offers less product in order to avoid ‘raising prices.’  I’m seeing more ‘price freeze’ promotions from supermarkets – which means that the supermarkets are just eating the increased costs themselves in order to keep their customer base.

This should not surprise anybody.  We’re deliberately restricting energy production in this country, which inevitably leads to higher fuel prices, which inevitably leads to higher retail prices for everything that relies on fuel for transport*.  We’re also subsidizing the conversion of perfectly good foodstock into a relatively inefficient fuel in order to placate Leftist religious fanatics, and never mind the implications for food prices at home and geopolitical stability abroad.  Right now the major thing keeping this from being a major political headache is because our old – which is to say, pre-2007** – economic model was very, very good at keeping even our poor adequately fed by historical*** standards; we’re still coasting on that.

We might even be able to coast on it until the grown-ups get control back.

Moe Lane

Via Zero Hedge, via Instapundit.

Moe Lane Continue reading #rsrh Grocery bills ARE up. Noticeably.