No, it is caused by sanctimonious greenies driving their sanctimony-fueled vehicles hither and yon, looking down sanctimoniously on all those gas-gulpers polluting their streets.
Or, in more neutral, less acrimonious terms:
The Obama Administration has a respectable story to tell on food security in lots of ways: its Feed the Future initiative, particularly, put it in a genuine leadership position among G8 governments (although there are now lots of question marks over whether Congress will allow the program to go forward).What this suggests is that the spiking food price is mainly a spike in the price of maize, with 40% of total US production being used to produce ethanol fuel. Greenies and the governments who accommodate them are literally burning food to drive their eco-friendly cars around. And as a result many in developing countries aren't able to buy the food they need to feed their families. Tell that to your oh, so conscious and caring higher being of a neighbour or friend the next time you see him/her: People go hungry because greenies want to drive 'sustainably'.
But on one aspect of US food policy, there’s a deafening silence: the government’s support for corn-based ethanol. Here’s Robert Hormats, Under-Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, on USAID’s blog:
World food prices have been increasing over the past six months, due to weather-related production losses and strong global demand. The growing demand is fueled by rapid expansion of middle-class households in emerging markets.Er, hello? Let’s stop by at FAO’s Food Price Index (February data out today – you guessed it, another record high). What do they think is driving cereal prices upwards?
The increase in February mostly reflected further gains in international maize prices, driven by strong demand amid tightening supplies, while prices rose marginally in the case of wheat and fell slightly in the case of rice.In other words, this is mainly about corn. And who’s the biggest corn exporter in the world? The United States.
And where is 40% of US corn production going this year? Ethanol, for use in US car engines.
Enviromentalists: Eco-friendly, but people hostile.