Russian-Ukrainian war causing the world to go hungry?

The war between Russia and Ukraine may lead to food shortages felt worldwide


Katie Gardner

Food supply running out: Empty shelves at Fred Meyer in Snohomish. Due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, 1/3 of wheat farming hasn’t happened this season. This has left shelves at grocery stores empty. “Losing half our food supply could destroy our economy,” sophomore Sidney Packard said.

Empty egg shelves at Fred Meyer in Snohomish. (Katie Gardner)

15% of all global calories come from wheat and rice, and ⅓ of our wheat and rice come from Russia and Ukraine. It’s crop season right now, and since these countries are currently at war, wheat farming isn’t happening there.

“The supply chain for food is 90 days. We have 90 days worth of food in the supply chain and… if it stops, let’s say for some reason stop all farming, we would have 90 days left of food worldwide. Okay? Now, 25 percent of all global production is food. We’re about to lose 12 percent of that production. That means, we’re losing half of our food supply,” Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck Program, Blaze Media, reported.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, food and beverage prices are already up 8% from what they were in 2021, and the increase is expected to be 4.5-5% more than that by the end of this year.

The Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey shows that as of mid-March, over 21 million people in the US didn’t have enough food in the last week. With the war, this is expected to get worse.

At a press conference in Belgium, US President Joe Biden (D) warned about the potential food shortage. “With regard to food shortages, yes we did talk about food shortages. And it’s going to be real… Both Russia and Ukraine have been the breadbasket of Europe in terms of wheat, for example, just to give one example.”

Also contributing to the food supply issues is the increase in cost of fertilizer. Russia is the largest fertilizer producer in the world, and in March, the Russian government told fertilizer producers to suspend exports completely. This has put a lot of pressure on suppliers. The cost of urea, potash, and diammonium phosphate – important components of fertilizer- have risen by 42% since the invasion of Ukraine.

“Even if the Russian invasion were to end soon and food inflation cooled, soaring fertilizer costs would have a delayed effect on the market and leave supply strained well into the future,” Ben Wink, Reporter, Insider.

“I think that the US should do whatever they can to help out. I think that when countries are at war, they need help providing for their citizens, and we need help providing for our citizens, which is why they grow wheat and we get some of that. The US should help out farmers because it’s hard right now,” junior Monica Allred said.

Idaho’s members of congress Mike Simpson (R) and Russ Fulcher (R), sent President Biden a letter asking him to act on the high fertilizer prices. Some suggestions they made are eliminating the cross border vaccine mandate for transporters, urging the USDA to provide support for farmers, increasing US gas production, and more.

“I think that the US should do whatever they can to make sure that it doesn’t become a world war. I think that if we get too involved that it could potentially make the situation worse, but if we don’t do anything, it could also be really bad for us as losing ½ of our food supply could destroy our economy,” sophomore Sidney Packard said.