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The return of Malthus

The Malthusian prophecy of a catastrophe in the world's food supply could yet come to pass

By Chris Haskins   January 2008

Extraordinary events are taking place in the global food market. The price of wheat, soya, maize and milk products has more than doubled in the last few years as demand has outstripped supply for the first time since the second world war. Why? The world’s population is growing, but not at an accelerating pace. Yet millions of poor people, especially in China, can now afford to buy meat, and the production of animal protein requires a much larger input per kilo than that of vegetables. The average Chinese citizen eats 30 per cent more meat now than five years ago.…

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