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Spike in Food Prices Projected by 2013

Source:  Copyright 2012, New York Times
Date:  March 7, 2012
Byline:  Joanna M. Foster
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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In 2008 and in 2011, the world was rocked by riots and by revolutions coinciding with spikes in food prices. Now researchers are projecting that by 2013, food prices will soar to unparalleled heights, causing widespread hunger in the most vulnerable populations and social unrest, with an enormous potential for loss of human life.

The computer modeling that generated the prediction of a food crisis was first published by the New England Complex Systems Institute in September. The modeling has gained considerable credibility by accurately predicting food prices over the last 10 months. The research indicates that the crucial factors behind food price increases are the conversion of corn crops to ethanol and investor speculation on the agricultural futures market.

"There are two policy decisions we`ve identified as key drivers," said Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of the institute. "The first is the promotion of ethanol conversion, which provides the U.S. with ...

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