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The End of Cheap Oil Means the End of Cheap Food

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April 2, 2008

Mandan, ND – The high price of oil means steep increases in basic food prices as well - and that will mean people going hungry. In recent months, the price of foodstuffs ranging from milk to bread and eggs has skyrocketed because of the high cost of both transporting food from the field to the table and the actual costs of putting in crops.

Gary Holthaus with the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society thinks the end of cheap oil is coming faster than predicted and the results will be devastating.

"The first big impact of the loss of cheap oil is going to be massive hunger. That will be global, but it will sure affect the U.S. as well."

Holthaus says the entire U.S. food system is based on the availability of cheap oil to power trucks and tractors, make fertilizers, and process the finished product.

"So, the price of food goes up. Last year it went up 40 percent all the way around the globe and the sticker price on food, even in the last few months in the U.S., has been kind of a shock."

He says you can already see the effect in North Dakota, where the number of individuals on food stamps has increased six percent in the last year.

Dick Layman/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - ND