Middle East Turmoil Reflects Global Anxiety about Wheat

Supplies of the staple food grain are tight–and may get tighter


STAPLE CROP: Wheat supply has been hard hit by weather-related disasters, a foretaste of what may be to come under climate change Image: CarolSpears via Wikimedia Commons

Underlying the wave of unrest across North Africa and the Middle East is the fact that some of the cries for democracy are coming from mouths in need of food. Media outlets around the world were quick to make the link between food and the protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, pointing to one specific grain: wheat.

Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world, with Algeria not far behind. Together, they import more of the grain than all of South America. Even Pharaoh Ramses III‘s tomb was found with engravings depicting his royal bakery.

… it’s just a preview of what’s likely to come, according to food security experts.

Tiffany Stecker, ClimateWire, Scientific American

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