Rising Food Prices and Egypt's Uprising

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“In looking at Egypt, for example, the protesters are focusing on getting Mubarak out of office, but the food issue hangs over Egypt because they import such a large amount of their grain. In fact, I think Egypt is currently the world’s leading wheat importer, having surpassed Japan and Brazil which are the other big 3 wheat importers. But what happened with Egypt was that a year or so ago, they signed…a 5-year contract with Russia to supply the Egyptians with 3 million tons of wheat a year, and the ink was hardly dry on that contract before the Russians were announcing  that they were embargoing all grain exports. And so suddenly Egypt had to scramble to replace what they were expecting to get from the Russians.

-Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse. You can hear the entire interview here.