One thing we have learnt this week is about food banks and energy. There was another big report on food banks in the Guardian newspaper this week. As I have blogged on here I don’t like food banks. However, in this article there was a plainly a link between high food and energy prices. People were struggling with both and of course as we have written about in our book there is a link.
“Oil plays a significant part in modern food production because it provides fuel for tractors, combine harvesters and all the other machines used in modern food production. Oil also provides the feedstock for agrochemical production, and natural gas is used in the production of fertiliser. Beyond the farm gate, the storage, processing, transportation and presentation of food all involve substantial inputs of oil to get it on to the store shelf. Given this dependence, the expected peaking and decline in world energy supplies will inevitably have profound effects for food production and food security around the world.”
This link looks set to continue. Of course part of the problem is economic. Median wages in the US and UK and probably other countries have not risen for 20 years and certainly here wages have been lower than inflation since 2008. Most people at the middle and bottom don’t just feel worse off, they are worst off.