In recent weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, eating in hotel restaurants. If you’re staying in a nice hotel in a big city in this country, the price tag for meals can be a shocker. Some places automatically add a 15 per cent gratuity to the over-inflated bill just to add insult to injury. The gratuity can be bigger than what the farmer was paid for the food on the plate. Business travelers and tourists with lots of money just flash their credit cards and come back for their next meal to do it again. One of the biggest health threats in North America is obesity because we eat and drink way too much. Consumers here make all sorts of demands and have all sorts of expectations about their food supply. However, if you don’t eat in expensive restaurants, food is amazingly cheap as compared to disposable income. Meanwhile, in many developing countries, we hear that food demonstrations and riots are ramping up. People living on meager incomes are being hurt by the rising price of pulse crops, flour and cooking oil. A large percentage of the population goes to bed hungry at night because through no fault of their own, they can’t even afford the staples of their diet. As we sip expensive wine and order grilled tenderloin with a cabernet demi-glace, we need to appreciate that rising food costs are a major cause of political instability in many regions of the world. I’m Kevin Hursh.
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