It's not a coincidence that there is growing civil unrest in areas where: 1) local food production is insufficient to feed the population; 2) inflation is making the scarcity very expensive. World Food Import Export Ratio Above is a chart dealing with food self-sufficiency. It is measuring, in calories, (exports-imports)/consumption. Green marks countries with high food self-sufficiency and the scale moves to red, which marks countries poorly able to feed themselves, much less export food (original Net Trade in Food chart). Anybody following the current unrest in North Africa and the Middle East will immediately note that the area is bathed in red. Add in the percentage of a person's income spent on food and the picture looks even worse. For example, both Spain and Algeria are dark red, yet the Spanish spend only 14.6% of their incomes on food, while Algerians spend a whopping 44% on food. That means that if World food prices go up they'll cut into the discretionary spending of the Spanish, while they'll cut to the bone in places like Algeria. The Chinese are having a crop failure, but they have money to buy food imports. That, and the increasing transport costs due to rising oil prices, means that the price of food will go up. This does not bode well for stability of any post demonstration/revolution Middle Eastern and North African governments. I think it will almost certainly extend the instability of an already unstable region. ... The way to a man's heart And check out the photos here (and note the horrifying packaged and prepared (predigested) food of Westernized diets): Fresh Pics: What People Eat Around The World So what does this all mean. For starters: 1. The world is going to be a turbulent place due to scarcity and inflation (finally Paul Ehrlich can be happy). 2. The USA is indebted to China. China needs more food. Watch for increased exports from the USA to China, and an acceleration in USA food inflation. 3. The Obamanoids and the Feds will continue to ignore food inflation while the lower and middle classes are squeezed. 4. The ongoing federal deficit spending will not resonate well in 2012 as people see their own grocery bills ballooning and are faced with painful decisions (gas for car vs. food).