Food Security During a Global Pandemic


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COVID-19 is like a giant stone someone had hurled into the global pond: we can all feel the ripples, which in some cases are more like waves. Food prices and food security is one obvious example.

You probably remember the toilet paper rush at the start of the pandemic. All of a sudden, supermarket shelves were empty of TP and other basic essentials, with most of the public hoarding in a blind panic. Locally, we saw the shortages of other staple products, like eggs and butter. At the time it seemed like a temporary glitch, but now the picture appears different.

Most authoritative sources agree: food prices are rising, and the trend isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. Many of the reasons have to do with the pandemic in some way or other, including production and supply chain disruptions, increased shipping costs, and the dollar’s deprecation. 

For people in developing countries, and for economically vulnerable people in developed countries, this may be a disaster. Some will get by with trimming off extras and being more mindful of what they put in their shopping cart. Others will face the painful choice between food and medicines, utilities, or transportation.

According to this article, “Large numbers of people in the Indo-Pacific region have returned to farming due to the economic impact of the pandemic; in many ways farming has acted as a de facto social safety net.”

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