Aussie Apocalypse Continues

As we reported last month, Australia is in the grip of an eight-year-long drought that’s threatening the wonderfully chow-obsessed country’s food supply. Looks like that impending food crisis is closer than we thought, judging from a piece in Tuesday’s Sydney Morning Herald: A recent 40 percent rise in flour costs is poised to push up bread prices significantly, and veggies might double in price by the end of January, according to producers.

Eggs and milk are also discernibly costlier at Sydney’s supermarkets already, but the price of meat hasn’t risen significantly—even though farmers are selling their livestock for pennies at wholesale markets. The federal agriculture minister has just ordered a commission to get to the bottom of this, er, curious pricing disparity.

Paying 10 cents more for a carton of eggs or a couple bucks extra for a bunch of basil might not sound like such a big deal to those of us used to paying a premium for the organic or locally grown versions, but when an entire society’s food prices—right down to its bread—increase, that’s pretty scary news. But what’s the solution? One possibility is that the country will end up ditching its historically anti-GMO stance and start engineering genetically modified crops (requires free site pass) to be drought resistant. Would you get behind that kind of decision, or do you think there are other proven solutions to drought-related food shortages?

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