The World Food Crisis and U.S. Agriculture

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The intrepid economists at USDA* have published an analysis of what the current rise in food prices means for U.S. agriculture. Their report provides a broad overview of the causes and effects of higher food prices. The bottom line: the long-term effects are still uncertain but they will surely be worse for farmers in developing countries than for our own farmers.

But shouldn't the USDA also be concerned about what will happen to Third World farmers? If we are part of a global food system, don't we have some global responsibility?

*The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has produced an interactive report summarizing the kinds of research it does. See if you agree with me that the ERS does invaluable work and performs a great public service.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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