Food, our life literally depends on it. If you are lucky enough you consume enough food everyday and never have to suffer from that empty feeling in your stomach, as it searches desperately for something to digest. Recently though, not everyone has been able to eat as much as their body requires because the cost of food is rising. The cost of wheat, rice, and corn has doubled making it almost impossible for people to keep living. The rises in cost are caused by developing food shortages.
In some countries people are beginning to steal, and lose conscience of what is right and wrong in a dark storm of hunger. In Sudan, the U.N World Food Programme (WFP), which is accountable for delivering grain to two million people (most of which are children) in Darfur refugee camps, have faced some problems. 56 trucks that were providing the grain were hijacked in the first three months of this year. Only 20 of the trucks have been recovered so far and about 24 drivers are still missing. Food riots are also becoming quite common, especially at bakeries in Egypt, where fights are often occurring. 34 food rioters in Morocco were jailed. In Yemen food riots became so violent that at least a dozen people were killed. In Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Senegal food riots are also occurring. In Thailand Thai villages that own distant fields of rice have begun to guard them at night with loaded shotguns since rice has been getting stolen during the night. Something needs to be done to help these poor suffering people come to their senses, and most importantly, receive food.
Food prices are based on supply and demand. On the demand side, Earth's population increases by 70 million people each year. Also, recently, there has been an abrupt rise in the amount of grain the U.S. uses to produce ethanol for cars. This alone has caused the annual growth in world grain consumption to increase from about 20 million tons to 50 million tons. When supply is considered, there's a low amount of land to be used to grow crops unless we clear environmentally important areas such as tropical rainforests in the Amazon and Congo basins. There's little land to use and some of the land that is currently being used is being taken away to pave for roads, highways, and parking lots. New sources of irrigation water are also quite scarce. However, food prices are not just determined by supply and demand, the cost of food production and transport is also taken in; this has increased due to rising gas prices.
To fix this food prices issue we need to take action in several areas. Those of which include, countries stabilizing their population so there are less mouths to feed and limiting the use of grain to create automobile fuel. We also need to protect cropland and be careful not to overuse the soil. By taking these steps we will soon take control back over our food prices instead of the food prices controlling us.