Capital area food bank to begin charging for fresh produce, and sending out scavenging parties. Washington Post June 25 2011
26 June 2011
Christina Tey writes:
The Washington Post today reported that rising food prices were forcing the Capital Area Food Bank to charge a fee for the fruits and vegetables it supplies to aid agencies that feed the region’s most deprived and hungry. Meanwhile in London, BBC News last week reported that more and more Londoners are turning to the Trussell Trust charity’s food banks as they struggle to feed their families.
The past week has also seen another significant event take place: the Paris Air Show. The annual jamboree for the air industry showcases the emerging technologies and deals that are coming to an airport near you. But this year the show’s influence went beyond the airfield to the cropfield.
The air industry is desperately scrambling to secure its survival against a backdrop of increasingly costly and diminishing fossil fuels, and restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. Aircraft manufacturers are already increasing engine efficiency to the max, so the next big thing is biofuels.
The show saw a stream of announcements on biofuels activities. The European Commission launched an initiative with major airlines to speed up commercialisation of aviation biofuels. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced that from September it will use biokerosene derived from cooking oil on one flight route. Nine airlines announced they would use biofuels based on urban and agricultural wastes for flights from San Francisco. Biofuels fever reached its apotheosis when Boeing landed a plane at the show that had been powered by a biofuel/kerosene mix.
The switch to biofuels means we are effectively burning foodstuffs in jet aircraft. The Boeing demonstration has proved it works technically, and it might keep an airline in business. But does it make ‘commercial’ sense to keep a few hundred thousand people in the air while more and more people are starving on the ground?