The people are hungry: The link between food and revolution

Food insecurity fuels political instability….


The rising price of food isn’t theonly thing driving the revolutionary fervor from Tunisia to Turkey to Brazil. The bad economy was surely a principal factor (remember that Adel Khazri shouted “This is Tunisia, this is unemployment,” as he burned). There was the effect of new social media technology. And then there was that tyranny thing that people seemed to dislike.

But food scarcity is different, because it looks as if it’s going to stick around even as the economy improves. And unless we do something about it, the riots and protests will spread.

As Motherboard writer Brian Merchant put it:

Two years ago, the New England Complex Systems Institute published a famous paper that sussed out the mathematical correlation between food prices and unrest: Every time food prices breached a certain threshold, riots broke out worldwide.

We’ve been bouncing around that threshold — 210 on…

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