By Dean Whittaker

So, what did I learn this month?  While researching for a presentation to the Food Facilities Group of Colliers International, I learned that food as a global resource is on its way to becoming the new oil.  By that, I mean that we are facing an escalation in food costs of 20% to 30% which will further create hardships on the consumer who’s already challenged by a sudden rise in energy costs. As difficult as it is for us in the U.S. who spend 15% to 20% of our income on food, it is much more challenging for the poor, especially in developing countries who spend a much higher percentage (70% to 80%) of their income on food.

Private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds are rapidly acquiring U.S. farm land along with global food processing distribution companies.

I also learned that my food travels an average of 1,500 miles to reach my plate. The implications of this fact on the environment are enormous. A group of individuals in Canada have spent a year limiting their food purchases to only that which has traveled no further than 100 miles. What they missed the most was beer and chocolate.

Lastly, I learned the sorrow of losing a frail little five-year old dog named Marcel, who struggled his whole life just to stay alive, but was always glad to see me when I walked in the door. He will be missed.