A very worrying article in this morning’s Financial Times reports that the number of chronically hungry people in the world is approaching 1bn. World Bank President Robert Zoellick stated that the rise in food prices had already pushed an additional 44m people into extreme poverty. The number of undernourished people in the world (last year about 925m) will hit 1m by the end of the year. Since the poorest people spend more than half of their income on food, they are very vulnerable to price rises. The prices of wheat, corn and soyabeans have hit 30-month highs recently, after bad harvests, export restrictions and increasing demand in emerging countries and in the US and Europe. Once again, I am reminded of what Jeremy Rifkin said in the European Economic and Social Committee last September (see post here). The idea of 1bn chronically hungry people out there – and all through the accident of birth – certainly provides a broader perspective to things….