Food riots and the soaring cost of the average shopping basket are prominent in the news, as global food shortages start to bite. And the whole issue is attracting plenty of debate on the FWi Forums, as the following sample of contributions highlights.

“I pulled out some lovely wheat last week, to drill some poxey (sic) grass 6 meter strips, so the rabbits can live there and eat off the next 6 meters. How mad is that? Still, points make prizes.” JohnWhite1.

“The impending food crisis, some would say current food crisis, gets little press here [USA]. Our network ran one hour about the high cost of food and how it is hitting poor Americans, and how warped our farm bill is. The show pegged the number of Americans needing food assistance at 35million. Sad, I think, a nation that puts a man on the moon can’t feed everyone. The number worldwide keeps being shown at around the 850million mark. So what is going to be done about it? I can’t see at the moment anyone over here talking about doing anything to produce more food, if anything it seems just the opposite.” – Kansasfarmer.

“The food riots have got our glorious leaders’ attention, but it will take some members of a regime they sponsor being dragged out of their palaces and shot in the courtyard before they do anything.” – He his-self.

“My favourite [solution] would be nationalise farmland under an EU-wide scheme of state intervention. That way you can take all the small scale producers out overnight, put on some proper kit and pay farm managers decent money and bonuses for gross margin targets. Sorts out pony paddocks, old codgers and tax issues all in one go.” – TeslaCoils.

“My guess is that it will take a long while before it sinks into the minds of the urban populations of the “first” world. So long as the supermarket shelves are stocked it will remain just another news story. At least if the IMF and World Bank have picked it up the behind the scenes work will start.” – Stuart Meikle.

“Prairie style grain-growing, using hydrocarbon-based fertiliser, will become uneconomic, as oil reaches $300/barrel or more. Mixed farming will have to return. Fences and stockmen will return to eastern England.” – glasshouse.