World of Chem: Food January 24 Vitamins
Arab Spring started in Tunisia in January 2010. Tremendous increase in the price of
2 main types:
Affects approximately 1 billion people worldwide
A major problem in Eastern Africa
Environmental (drought) and security factors
Somalia: Civil War. Will not allow help from western influences
into areas they control.
Affects mostly children
Food aid is not a long term solution
Increase local food production
o Fertilizers: Africa 3-5 kg/ha; U.S. 250 kg/ha
o Water daily per capita: Ethiopia 130 L; Canada 4000 L
o Many areas get enough rain but lack systems to store the
o Less than 5% of crops are irrigated
Develop crops better adapted to local conditions
o Drought-resistant biotechnology
o the biggest problem with GM technology is its relative
unavailability to small farmers and its focus on crops that
benefit big commercial interests (which are planted in the
western world) FAO (Food and Agricultural
Solution: Eliminate export subsidies paid by the rich countries to
their agricultural producers
o The U.S. exports corn at 20% less than what it cost to
produce, and wheat at 46% less.
o Local producers cant compete with these prices.
Most developing countries, if given the means, can become self-sufficient
in food production. Since 1980, aid toward food production has dropped
from 17% to 3% of total aid. World of Chem: Food January 24 Vitamins
o Increased demand
Food is available but too costly for many because of increased demand
2008 food crisis: diversion of crops from food into biofuels (corn)
In 2008, oils and fats and cereals increased in price. In 2009-2010, cereals
were still high but sugar spiked as well.
Sugar cane and corn are being diverted into making ethanol
Price Index 2008 2011
Cereals 275 265
Dairy 210 234
Sugar 218 420
U.S. and Canada use about 10% of income on food; India and
China use around 30-50% of income on food. They are most
affected by the food crisis.
o U.S. <10%; Canada >10%
o India uses the most.
Not caused by shortages due to environmental or security factors but
mostly by increased demand. (cereals, sugarcane, etc.)
Increase in oil prices
Oil required to make fertilizer
31.9 cents per gallon for gas back in 20 century
Most of the oil is consumed in the U.S. but in China and India, the
oil consumption is increasing. People are becoming wealthier.
Increased wealth in emerging countries they will shift their nutrition
pattern from cereals to meat.
Brick countries = emerging countries: Russia, Brazil, India, China.
Pig countries = countries in trouble: Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain.
Production of biofuels
CO p2oduction: urban activity
o Materials derived from recently living organisms or their
o CO is2picked up by plants and we use the plant as a fuel.
o Thus, CO is2produced and reused
o 2 main chemicals in biofuels are ethanol (produced by
sugarcane or corn) and biodiesel (mostly vegetable oils, but
also animal fats)World of Chem: Food January 24 Vitamins
o Big difference between sugarcane and corn. Sugarcane:
Sugarcane (extraction) sugar
Brazil & sugarcane ethanol: 50% car fuel
consumption; 42% world ethanol production
Advantages of ethanol produced by sugarcane: less
pollutants, energy savings, CO emissions,
environment, but lower mileage.
Sugarcane Ethanol 1