November 2011

Banking on hunger
- How speculators moved into food


Food has become a hot asset. Markets view food scarcity as the 'investment opportunity of a lifetime', and are pouring money into agricultural commodities. The impact is catastrophic, as speculators push up the price of food and force millions into poverty.

In this month's issue of the New Internationalist we investigate how investments in staple foods like maize and wheat have caused hunger. We find out about the financiers who are buying up African savannah, highlight efforts to buffer the Majority World poor from market shocks and call for an urgent clampdown on speculation.







Making the news this month

6 Daniel Ortega - yesterday's man?
7 Lebanon recognizes 'honour' killing is murder
8 The Maldives calls for global climate commitment
9 Ivorians still suffering after post-election violence

11 Theatre of survival
How the young Guatemalans of Caja Ludica are using drama to face down violence.
PLUS: Music as dialogue courtesy of Griselda Sanderson and Juldeh Camara; Wuthering Heights - but not as you know it - in Andrea Arnold's film; and a rollicking religious satire from Evelio Rosero.

Special feature: Banking on hunger

16 The food rush
Maize and wheat are hot assets, right up there with gold. But since investors piled into food markets, the poorest can no longer afford to eat. Hazel Healy gets to grips with the commodity speculators.

19 Meet the food speculators

20 Food speculation - THE FACTS

24 Take action/Further reading


32 Are religious schools bad for society?
Humanist Andrew Copson and feminist Catholic theologian Tina Beattie go head-to-head.

What do YOU think? Join the debate by visiting

Regular Features

4 Letters
Why we shouldn't romanticize indigenous peoples; the other 9/11 victims; and Wangari Maathai remembered.
Plus: Scratchy Lines by Simon Kneebone.

10 Steve Parry
As the internet comes of age, our new columnist takes a humorous look at its past, present and future.

25 Making Waves
Graeme Green meets Rosi Orozco - a remarkable woman fighting human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Mexico.

26 Lost causes - Russia 20 years on
Victor Sonkin weighs up the gains and the losses on the anniversary of the break-up of the Soviet Union.

30 Country profile: Iraq

35 Puzzle Page

36 Cartoon Corner
Polyp's Big Bad World, Marc Roberts' Only Planet and guest cartoonist Julio Carrión Cueva from Peru.

37 Letter from Cairo
In a climate of uncertainty, laughter can sound hollow, discovers Maria Golia.

38 And finally...
Children's author, poet and playwright Michael Morpurgo writes his own happy ending.




NI Japan




From this month's theme

- The food rush (NI p16-18, 22-23)
- Meet the food speculators (NI p14-19)
- Food speculation - THE FACTS (NI p20-21)

From other articles

- Wangari Maathai remembered (NI p5)
- Ivorians still suffering after post-election violence (NI p8)
- The Maldives calls for global climate commitment (NI p9)
- Making waves: Interview with Rosi Orozco (NI p25)
- Are religious schools bad for society? (NI p32-34)
- Only Planet (NI p36)


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