If you want to know what is going to shape the way we live more than any other factor – look no further than food. As food gets scarcer, prices go up, and players in the food chain start getting very rich very fast. More importantly, they will exercise enormous control over the resources that we all rely on – literally – for our survival.
Depending on how you count we all have spent progressively less of our disposable income on food (for the UK 30% in the 50s, 17% in the 80s, less than 10% today) and correspondingly more on housing (10% in the 80s, 20% today).Yet now bread, vegetables, eggs, cereals, milk, cheese are all rising in price faster than they have ever done before. So is fuel. Meanwhile real incomes are in decline.
My hunch is we’ll have to spend significantly more on food from now on. Because we simply won’t have a choice. The question is what’s going to give in return?