I need 100 lbs of rice, PRONTO!

According to CNN, the international price of rice is skyrocketing. I was unaware, but it does make an odd sort of sense. Food prices are on the rise, and rice is a pretty basic food staple that’s used around the world. In addition, there’s been lots of talk about biofuels and traditional food crops being used for these fuels. I was unaware that rice could be turned into biofuel, but even the pressure on other crops such as corn or wheat may have consumers using rice as a cheap alternative. Still, when a discount giant like Sam’s Club decides to limit how much rice each consumer can buy, something is seriously afoot.  UPDATE – now it looks like Costco is in on the rice-limiting trend, too.  Alas, my fair Costco!  How well have I loved thee?  I may have to transfer my allegiance to BJs, teh current rice holdout.

It’s unclear what has lead the retailer to the 80-lbs limit per customer, other than soaring rice prices and a possible eventual shortage. A statement was also made that the limits will mostly affect businesses that buy their rice in bulk, though “A typical Sam’s Club Business Member does not buy more than 80 lbs of rice in one visit”. What is this, WWII? What about all the Japanese sushi places that can no longer afford to do business under the new rule? What if I happen to go through 150lbs of basmati in three short days? I can’t be going back to Sam’s Club every other day!

Actually, it’s been quite some time since I’ve set foot in a Sam’s Club, but that’s besides the point. It’s the principle of the thing. If I want to stockpile rice by the ton in a giant pit in my backyard, that’s my business. However, it looks like I’ll have to give up my rice-swimming dream, at least for the moment. There are starving kids in Oklahoma, you know.

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