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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wheat is the staff of life (and a nice place to poop)

Cat_on_toilet_2 The politics of high food prices have been discussed at length on the Western Standard blog.

In Emaciation Proclamation, I look at reports by former Western Standard writers Kevin Libin and Colby Cosh on the impact of biofuels on food prices.

In Pay Dirt, I look at what these high food prices will mean to agri-business. (Things have never looked better for farmers.)

In The Hunger Opportunity, Western Standard blogger Adam Yoshida writes about the global food crisis, and the opportunities it presents.

But despite our comprehensive coverage of global food shortages, we missed something -- kitty litter. If you’re troubled by what Fidel Castro calls the “sinister idea of turning foodstuffs into fuel,” you might be equally troubled by a product that turns food into kitty litter.

Swheat Scoop® cat litter is made from wheat, and is being promoted as an environmentally friendly product.

Environmentally friendly? Where have we heard that before?

Don't get me wrong. I haven't lost my trust in the free market. Swheat Scoop has every right to buy wheat for cat litter. I'll feel better, though, when high food prices realign our priorities when it comes to the uses of food. (Let's just hope global governments don't interfere with this market process.)

Until then, I'm going to teach my cat to use a composting toilet.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on April 23, 2008 | Permalink


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What a great way for the west to demonstrate, once again, that we are so productive we can toy with our extra food. Gives new meaning to the phrase "rub their noses in it".

Posted by: dp | 2008-04-23 12:17:13 PM

Good point, dp. Capitalism does create abundance. I should have titled by post “Money to burn and food to poop on in the West.”

But this point will likely be lost on politicians who will respond to the global food crisis with command and control policies.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-04-23 1:19:44 PM

Yeah, let them eat cake!

The welfare state was not invented by socialists or liberals but by conservatives. Enlightened self-interest is better than facing the guillotine. LOL!

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-23 1:23:40 PM

The last large scale welfare state experiment with food came out of the Soviet Union. The Soviets collectivized agriculture operations in 1928 which lead to the mass starvation of 7 million Ukrainians.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-04-23 3:20:41 PM

Not really a food experiment, but the "great leap forward" starved millions in 1960. Forcing farmers to collect doorknobs and belt buckles for makeshift foundaries was typical socialist strategy.

At least conservatives leave the thinking to the people with some practise at thinking.

Posted by: dp | 2008-04-23 3:28:33 PM

You might go back to the mid-nineteenth century and look at the schemes of the Utopian Socialists of France. Even before you do that lets settle on a definition of "Capitalist" that we can all live with. It certainly is not synonomous with businessman.

Posted by: DML | 2008-04-23 7:58:36 PM

It was not collectivism that murdered Ukrainians, but Stalinism. Anyone who claims the contrary is wilfully misinformed, just plain ignorant or a propagandist, or all three.

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-24 12:28:28 AM

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