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“Grains Gone Wild” is the headline in Paul Krugman’s New York Times column today. There are financial troubles in the world, Krugman writes, “But there’s another world crisis under way — and it’s hurting a lot more people. I’m talking about the food crisis.”
Krugman, a Princeton economist, notes the higher prices in stores today and food riots around the world. One cause is that more people can afford to eat meat — in other words, more people are eating like Americans. Other reasons are high oil prices and bad weather around the globe. These are all problems that are happening naturally.
Krugman, however, believes using corn to produce government-subsidized ethanol is a “terrible mistake.” Or, as the always outspoken Krugman puts it, “people are starving in Africa so that American politicians can court votes in farm states.” The result, “Cheap food, like cheap oil, may be a thing of the past.”