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Food prices expected to rise due to California drought and other factors

The California drought is making food production more expensive, causing prices to rise at grocery stores.
The unrelenting California drought is joining a deluge of detrimental factors straining the agricultural industry and boosting food prices around the country, reported Connor Adams Sheets in the International Business Times.

The reporter interviewed Milt McGiffen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside, who said he remembers hearing about famines in faraway countries when he was growing up.

Reports of widespread hunger scourges have been minimized in recent decades, but he said that those kinds of news stories are “starting to come back."

“It's more of a problem than it was and we're getting to where we have more people than we can feed so we need to do something one way or another,” McGiffen said.

The Riverside plant physiologist said there are myriad ways to bridge the food gap, but that implementing them will require a concerted and deliberate effort.

“There are proposals,” he said. “We need to control our population. We need to use our resources efficiently. The one thing farmers will say over and over again -- and you'll hear this in every industry -- is they will say they need to have less regulations.”

But overall, the future of farming and eating will come down to the ability of humans to come together and work to address these major challenges in creative and effective ways.

“We used to do a lot of research in ag, and we did our job too well, and food became cheap and plentiful so now there's fewer and fewer people looking at these issues,” McGiffen explained.

“We're going to have to decide where our priorities are.”

Posted on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 12:39 PM

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