The food industry faces myriad and complex challenges ahead.
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Thankfully, we’re still a long way from the dystopian world depicted in the best-selling “The Hunger Games” trilogy, where food is used as a coercive political tool. Nevertheless, we have reason to be concerned about the geopolitical consequences of world food supplies running low, as analysts predict they will, following yet another summer of extreme weather, including record-breaking drought in the U.S.
As we’ve seen over the past several years, food shortages and rising food prices can cause destabilizing stress here and worldwide. America is the world’s largest grain exporter, and escalating damage to its corn and soybean harvest due to the 2012 drought will be felt around the world in higher prices- particularly for meat from corn-fed pigs and cattle. Food shortages are a strong possibility in the world’s poorest nations, according to Oxfam (www.oxfam.org) and other non-governmental organizations, but working families here will also feel the pinch in their grocery budgets.