Rampant demand, sudden shortages, and riots over prices-the world food
crisis is starting to hit home. Also in the issue hitting newsstands
today: Ultimate fighting? For children? And, how the star of Da Vinci's
Inquest threw it all away. For more on these stories and comprehensive
coverage of the new Tory budget visit www.macleans.ca.
TORONTO, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - With the global supply of cereal grains falling
to 40-year lows, and with consumption trending ever upward, the earth's supply
of food is suddenly under pressures unknown in half a century. Two weeks ago,
wheat prices hit an all-time high of US$18.53 a bushel, while corn, driven in
part by demand from the biofuel industry, climbed to $5.34 a bushel, more than
double the average price before 2007.
The political repercussions have been swift, and in some cases violent.
In Mexico, about 70,000 people hit the streets to protest the doubling and
tripling price of tortillas. Chinese officials are warning that rising rice
and corn prices could lead to civil unrest in rural areas. Even the food-rich
West is starting to feel the pinch. In September, rising pasta prices, a
direct function of the soaring value of wheat, sent Italians flooding city
squares in Rome, Milan and Palermo to demonstrate. In the United States, the
skyrocketing cost of chicken and cattle feed is hitting the pocketbooks of
consumers at all points of the economic spectrum. Milk, eggs and filet mignon
are all going up, and so is Kraft Dinner.
Ultimate fighting? For children?
Cage fighting used to be considered a brutal and violent sport enjoyed by
only a bloodthirsty few, but today it's hard to miss. Turn on the television,
and ultimate fighting is no longer on the fringe; instead, it is primetime
viewing. It remains illegal in Ontario, Vancouver and in the B.C. Lower
Mainland, yet it is shown on the three major Canadian sports channels, and on
U.S. specialty and pay-per-view channels. That popularity has spurred parents
to sign up their children. Kids are taught grappling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu-and
the other moves, kicking, punching, chokes, arm locks, all of which are
combined together to make up ultimate fighting. Maclean's talks to coaches,
parents and the kids who are now big fans of the sport.
How the star of Da Vanci through it all away
Da Vinci is broke, in trouble with the taxman-and needs a job. The great
actor Nicholas Campbell talks to Maclean's Brian D. Johnson and explains how
he threw it all away.
Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
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investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit www.macleans.ca.
For further information:
For further information: Jacqueline Segal, (416) 764-4125,