Europe battles rare strain of E. Coli
A rare and deadly strain of E. Coli has sickened almost 2,000 people, killed 18, and left hundreds with kidney problems across Europe. Officials have yet to pinpoint where the rare and dangerous strain is coming from. Germany has taken the hardest hit, with the majority of cases reported there. Meanwhile, Russia has banned all imports of fresh vegetables coming from the European Union, a significant financial blow to farmers.
More Americans on food stamps
Just under 45 million Americans received food stamps in March, new data show, up from 40 million a year ago. The food stamp program, officially called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), cost $68 billion in 2010.How much money to allocate to the program next year is up for debate in Congress. Here’s a quick analysis of growth in use of food stamps.
Rice and corn prices set to double
There’s plenty of concern about the rising cost of food. Retailers say people spent less at stores in May due to rising food and gas prices; the United Nations reports global food prices are at a record high; and with some coffee bean prices up 99%from a year ago, chains like Starbucks are raising prices on consumers. Now, a new report says the cost of corn and rice will double over the next 20 years due to climate change. Look for conversation about stabilizing prices at the G20 meeting in France later this month.
U.S. considers food aid for North Korea
Some estimates say that due to a hard winter and its reliance on aid for food, North Korea’s food supply is running short, putting six million at risk. To assess the situation, the U.S. sent an envoy who is expected to offer a decision of whether to provide aid. But offering food aid to the isolated country is controversial--former President Jimmy Carter says it's a humanitarian must, others disagree.