026 Can The World Still Feed Itself


Another “Big Food” industry guy wants cheap input prices.  Peter Brabeck-Letmathe Farm And Ranch Countrychairman and former CEO of Nestle Corporation is against biofuels.  Surprise, surprise, maybe he just wants cheap commodities for inputs that will be made into Nestle products.

I will argue that the “cheap food policy” that agriculture was under for years led to this current round of high prices.  Best cure for low prices is low prices and best cure for high prices are high prices.

Some people in the world are spending 80% of their disposable income on food.  Well, this has been this way for 4 thousand years and probably 4 thousand years from now some people in the world will still be paying 80% of their disposable income on food.  Tribalism in Africa and central Asia has more to do with poverty there, then any biofuel production does.

He also says the demand for meat multiplies the food “problem” by a factor of 10 is in my opinion is just an outright lie.  When you compare ranchland production to midwest corn production you will need 10 times the acres of land, but modern meat production is very efficient.

He does get a couple of things right he supports GMOs and is not in favor of organic production.  Remember what my wife says about organic, over priced, over hyped, and over manured.

He also is right in that the vast majority of people in the developed world would have no idea how to feed themselves if there was no food in grocery stores tomorrow.

He is also wrong about raising the cost of water.  Raise the cost of water and you make more people in the world poorer when it comes to food availability and cost.

I give examples how prices have gone up dramatically for many items in the last 40 years and commodity prices have not gone up as much.

I also discuss how China is improving infrastructure around the world and the US and Europe are still spending too many dollars on things other than infrastructure.  While at times even calling what we spend as “investments” that are not really worth anything.

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