Stability uncertain after global food prices surge 28 percent in 2021 – January 7, 2022

Stability uncertain after global food prices surge 28 percent in 2021

World food prices soared by 28 percent during 2021, according to an index based on five major commodities, including cereal grains, meat, and sugar, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Thursday. The abrupt increase, as the world recovered from the economic collapse that accompanied the pandemic, ended five years of relative stability in the Food Price Index.

Food insecurity rises among disabled people, but solutions exist

Even before Covid-19 hit, disabled people were at greater risk of food insecurity because of higher rates of unemployment, lower earnings, and transportation and accessibility barriers. The pandemic only exacerbated these disparities. In 2020, disabled adults were twice as likely to be food insecure as adults without disabilities.

Despite heavy rain and snow, California braces for another dry year

An onslaught of rain and snow has pulled most of California out of exceptional drought, but experts warn that the state’s dry spell is far from over. Officials issued emergency water regulations this week — which won’t affect agricultural operations — even as the northern part of the state braced for possible flooding from winter storms.

Today’s Quick Hits

Omicron goes rural: The explosion of Covid-19 infections due to the omicron variant is moving into rural areas, where the number of new infections rose 72 percent last week. (Daily Yonder)

Pipeline lawyer: Jess Vilsack, son of the U.S. agriculture secretary, is general counsel for a proposed pipeline that would capture carbon dioxide emitted by midwestern ethanol distilleries and carry it to North Dakota for injection into the ground. (Mother Jones)

Mechanized grape picking: Equipment including robotic pickers to pluck bunches of grapes from the vine and autonomous carts to haul the freshly harvested fruit are being tested as part of an overall drive to automate vineyard operations. (California Table Grape Commission)

Environmental justice departure: Cecilia Martinez, who helped develop President Biden’s environmental agenda while he was running for office, will step down Friday as the top White House official on environmental justice. (Associated Press)

State fair manager: Rebecca Clark, who was the spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, is the new manager of the Illinois State Fair, announced state agriculture director Jerry Costello. (State of Illinois)

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