No wheat

More on the price explosion in food, which I think is much more serious than the high price of oil. See Emptying the Breadbasket. Here are some sample facts:

Last year, wheat cost $6 per bushel; this year, it’s $20. Farmers still don’t want to grow it, though, because it is riskier, subject to disease. Research to develop disease-resistance wheat has all but halted, since the public is irrationally scared of genetic alterations. And farmers can make even more money from soybeans (from the Chinese) and corn (from government-subsidized ethanol plants). Besides, the way the farm bill works, farmers can still get wheat subsidies even when they switch their acreages to corn! In the 1980s, half of the nation’s fields grew wheat. Now, only 10% do. Because of the low dollar and desperate foreign governments, our reserves are getting bought out. We now have the lowest amount of grain in storage since World War II, enough to last the world for 4 days.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.