Trading in Hunger

Worldwide, food inflation is a worry.The rising prices have been attributed to failing harvests, rising population and increased demand for food, increased consumption/changing consumption patterns in emerging economic powers, the demand for ethanol etc. But a key factor that is not often mentioned is speculation in agricultural commodity prices which often cause severe fluctuations in the price of staple foods like corn, wheat, or soy, for the consumer. When we click a button to execute a trade and then look at the profits afterward, we may sometimes lose sight of the fact that food is not like any other commodity and trading in food is often the same as trading in hunger. It would seem obvious that there is a need to ban or at least limit trading in essential food commodities. Like other contentious issues such as subsidies, however, there is a lack of political will and consensus in making this happen. More on this here.

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