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Food inflation that has been stuck in the double digits for a year has had a deep impact on school lunches, family meals and holy offerings. Anger with high prices erupted into protests this week that disrupted flights, trains and traffic. While policymakers debate how to feed people without driving the country deeper in debt, Indians grapple with the sad arithmetic of how to do more with less.
Fruit is becoming a luxury. People have cut back on protein. Vegetable sellers complain profits are down because people are buying less.
...Officially, food inflation neared 22 percent in December, a 17-year high. By March it had eased to 16.7 percent, with the cost of wheat 14 percent higher than a year ago and pulses like the lentils known as dal — a crucial source of protein in a nation full of vegetarians — up 31 percent.
It's too early to say whether sustained high food prices will aggravate malnutrition, but advocates worry escalating costs are eroding the diets of millions in a country where one in two children was malnourished before the price spike.
"There are large numbers of people who even in good times don't have sufficient food intake," said Harsh Mander, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to monitor hunger in India.
He estimates that 80 million to 200 million Indians go to sleep hungry each night.
...India's deeper problem is a widening gap between supply and demand. Even as the population grows and increasing wealth fattens many appetites, farm productivity has stagnated. India's food supply chain suffers from massive waste and profiteering middlemen whose commissions can account for up to half the final cost of food...
China's rapidly growing demand for milk has boosted prices for dairy products; the price of a liter of milk [in Germany] is predicted to rise by 50 percent by the time schools reopen in September.
. . .
Inflation in China has risen to over 4 percent, but food prices, which increased by 7.6 percent, have led the way. The most dramatic price rise has been in
pork, the price of which has
jumped 60 percent over a year ago
Originally posted by slank
Anyone else in favor of limiting human population growth until we have much better, more sustainable technologies or places for us to live in outer space [off planet]?