Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Panic over rising global rice prices

We have not seen panic over the shortage of food in developed countries for a long time. With the rising rice prices in different countries and the consumers' fear of the shortage of supply of rice, many businesses and households have been stacking up bags and bags of rice.

One of the Chinese restaurants in town told me that their usual supplier has increased the price of rice by threefolds. Walmart is out of supply and they went to Sam's Club in El Paso to stock up. However, due to the panic buying by the consumers, the retailer is restricting the purchase by a few bags of rice per customer.

Rice is a main staple of most Asian countries and the soaring prices of rice have affected many negatively. In Philippines, people are asked not to throw away leftover rice and fast-food restaurants are advised to give half a cup of rice instead of what they normally give to customers with the meals.

The rising price of rice is driven by many factors, including climate and fuel cost. We really need to do something about the fuel cost and how we treat the environment. We are not only killing the earth, we are also driving ourselves nuts.

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