“Hu tieu” is a popular Vietnamese soup featuring rice noodles and shrimp. Global demand for the soup’s two primary products – rice and shrimp – has brought unprecedented prosperity to Vietnam. Last year, Vietnam surpassed Thailand to become the world’s largest exporter of rice; 90% of that is produced in the Mekong Delta. European and American markets are clamoring for Vietnamese shrimp, also farmed in this region. Now it appears that the global demand for these products is threatening local resources. And climate change is part of the mix. Deforestation, the loss of shoreline, saltwater intrusion, and more powerful storms represent real threats to sustainability.
“This drive for prosperity, and the wealth that comes from feeding foreign appetites, is at risk of becoming a victim of its own success. A growing number of scientists and economists say that without major changes in the way the land is used, the boom is unsustainable…The relentless pressure to earn more money and boost development is both intensified by climate change and worsening its impact.”
A fascinating story that demonstrates the connectedness of food, economics, and natural resources within the context of globalization. The Guardian reports.