Friday, January 25, 2008

In mood for meatless food?

You are so shocked by the previous post that from now on you will eat nothing but whole grain bread, muesli, and only sometimes steal your hen one egg?
Fine, as long as you can afford.

Food prices are skyrocketing. Arable land is becoming scarce. And forests continue to disappear across the globe. The world must decide between affordable food and biofuels.

All it takes for Hans Dietrich Driftmann, a businessman from Germany's northern Holstein region, to explain the way the world works is a package of muesli -- or at least to explain the way his world, the world of agricultural markets, works.

Driftmann picks up a packet of "Köllns kernige Multikorn-Flocken" ("Kölln's Crunchy Multigrain Flakes") and reads out the list of ingredients: oats, wheat, barley and rye. Then he slips a set of price tables out of a plastic sleeve and does a couple of calculations to illustrate how the prices of the muesli's ingredients have changed: rye has gone up by 55 percent, barley by 70 percent and wheat 90 percent. The price of oats has also skyrocketed -- by 80 percent -- since the last harvest a year ago. This final figure is what really hits home for Driftmann.

... and the story ends here.

Bon appétit
The Peace of the Night.


  1. The world is going to become a very frightening place. Today there are wars created for our insatiable demand for oil. Tomorrow it will be for arable land and water.

    Farmers in Australia are suffering because of the on going drought. Australia does not get the rainfall it used to. Even in Melbourne we are on water restrictions. Two years ago my lawn was like a bowling green, now it is a nasty mess. We can only water trees and plants on two days per week, between 6am – 8am.

    Once Australia used to produce such an abundance of crops, that the excess produce was dumped into the sea because there was an over supply on the market.

    How terribly spoilt we once were.

  2. Now you are really depressing me here. What will I be able to eat in good conscience or be able to afford? I'm very fond of Alpen Swiss style muesli. I see you have more bad news for us but I must read them in order.

  3. :) Are you talking in future tense, Ardent?
    Joking aside, yes, one could shudder. I do know, though, that by way of comparision I am shuddering (complaining) at a high level.

    Wishing a pleasant Sunday, and a steady rain refreshing (not only) your lawn. :)

    it may not sound nice, but sometimes I think it is not good for one's character to permanently live on the bright side of life. A little down here and there could teach to appreciate what one thought it could be taken for granted.
    And if it were jmb's matutinal muesli, and Sean's porridge. :)

    As for 'depressing' you. I'll soon do my very best to cheer you up, again. Until then, have a marvellous 'old fashioned' Saturday. :)