Do We Need To Stock Up On Rice?

23 April 2008 8 comments

Have you heard? There is rice shortage everywhere. Sam's Club, a warehouse club here in the US is limiting the number of rice bags that customers can purchase to four. Apparently, there are a lot of people sending rice back to their relatives in other countries. All food prices have gone up, what's next, a flour shortage?

In the Philippines, there are demonstrations to protest the rice shortage.The government said that the main cause of this is hoarding. A lot of unscrupulous merchants are keeping the rice and waiting until the price is high enough for them to sell. I cannot comprehend why the government will not do something about it. Ok, they say that they trying their best to curtail this problem but I don't think they are doing enough.
Photo Credit:Romeo Ranoco

What do you think is causing this global shortage of rice? One cause could be the popularity of using BioFuel which they said is better for the environment. Governments are giving subsidies to farmers to plant grains that can be used to produce biofuel. So fewer food crops means higher food prices. They are doing this all over the world, including Asia and North America.

I heard on the morning news that here in the US, most farmers are now planting corn instead of rice. Why? The government gives the farmers subsidies to plant corn which can be converted to Ethanol. Ethanol on the other hand is used as an additive to fuel here in the US which makes the US less dependent on oil. It also makes the oil burn more efficiently and cleanly. But what they are not telling us is that making Ethanol cost more energy to produce. It is so convoluted that you need to take notes to remember the pros and cons.

Now the question is, what is more important, feeding the people or keeping the environment clean? It certainly is a double-edged sword. In my opinion, we need to tackle the rice shortage and rising food prices first and then figure out other ways to keep the environment clean.

8 comments: to “ Do We Need To Stock Up On Rice? so far...

  • Anonymous April 25, 2008

    It is really a wonder why governments subsidize these things when they can very well see that it is affecting other food products. This is a worldwide problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

  • Amy April 25, 2008

    Mareng Barb, dito rin nag taasan na ang presyo ng bigas:(

  • Marvin April 25, 2008

    I've also read that the US gov. gives corn subsidies because corn is in EVERYTHING here. Look at any of your processed foods in your pantry and they are bound to have corn oil or high fructose corn syrup.

    Corn is basically a cheap source of sugar, and is a major ingredient used by all the big time US food corporations. They make billions of dollars, while smaller farms struggle.

  • Dana April 25, 2008

    Rice, rice!!! Hmmm....

    here's the link of my post that you might be interested to read...thanks!

  • Mira April 25, 2008

    I remember in the past, that when we get rice crisis in the Philippines, its always due to bad weather destroying the crops and farmers didn't have enough palay salvaged from typhoon. Now, its because of corruption mainly aside from hoarding. Hopefully, we wont suffer too much from this crisis as we have alternative source in CA where they have abundance of medium and short grain rice.

  • the donG April 27, 2008

    In my opinion, we need to tackle the rice shortage and rising food prices first and then figure out other ways to keep the environment clean>>> i simply agree.

  • haze April 29, 2008

    Prices are speeding up not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well! I just hope this will be resolved soon !

  • Admin May 09, 2008

    i was a costco yesterday kasi i'm hungry for a rice...sadly they all out. kahit sa target wala rin. kanina lunch time we had chinese kasi gusto ko ng rice. been days i didn't have rice.