Jimmy Doherty, friend of Jamie Oliver’s and celebrity pig farmer (yes, there is such a thing), has taken it upon himself to explain the real reasons behind these sharp price hikes. His research took him to “the bread basket of the world” in Kansas, the paddy fields of India and the cocoa plantations of Ghana, but always, pointlessly, began with a round of vox pops on the streets of London. Naturally, white van man was unable to provide much insight into the vagaries of the international commodities market, but at least Doherty’s central point was repeatedly made: food prices are more complicated than you might think.
It wasn’t particularly surprising to learn that the price of rice and chocolate is affected by the political situation in India and Ghana respectively. Nor does it seem fair to begrudge the Indian government for prioritising feeding their own people over keeping prices low in Lidl. What was more surprising is that even a foodstuff as quintessentially British as beef is subject to international market forces via what Doherty called “the three Fs”: feed, fuel and fertiliser. Meanwhile, extreme weather events – including our own terrible winter of 2012, have caused the loss of 57 million tons of wheat crop worldwide. In short, you don’t need to read the tea leaves to foretell the imminent downfall of civilization; it’s there in the rice leftovers, the half-eaten hamburger and the miniature Mars bar too.
Text by Ellen E Jones/ The independents TV-Critic coming out already in 3/2014 in GB, but now they show it in the german TV: ZDF neo on august 30th 2015 at 15h – just in case you’ll have the chance to watch it here
*the independent this was shown at Channel 4 last Year in March- hope you got a medea pen channel where you can watch this still now. Otherwise pick the german ZDF neo channel on august 30th 2015 at 15h, they’ll show it then.