Food for Revolution

Participants at this year's G-8 summit in Deauville are talking about interesting but peripheral issues, such as the economic impact of the Internet. Worse, they are talking about important issues, like food security, in a peripheral way.

PRINCETON – Summits are defined by their location. It is quaint that the 1933 World Economic Conference took place in the Geological Museum in London’s Kensington, at a time when international cooperation seemed as alien as a fossilized dinosaur. On these criteria, Deauville, in French Normandy, with the (slightly faded) elegance of a past era of elite luxury, ostentatious consumption, and sumptuous banquets, is also perhaps not an altogether fortunate choice for the G-8 meeting.

This year, the G-8ers are talking about interesting but peripheral issues, such as the economic impact of the Internet. Worse, they are talking about important issues, like food security, in a peripheral way.

The food issue emerged for the first time as a major theme at the July 2009 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, as a response to a commodity boom that was beginning to falter, but that has since reemerged with the force of a hurricane. Now the G-8 will discuss funding for palliative measures.

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