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Rice Shortage Affects Cuisine Around the World

World travelers will be a little surprised if their Liberian street vendor serves them pasta instead of rice, but with food prices escalating around the globe, that's exactly what they can expect. Despite Costco and other retailers' rice rationing, the US isn't suffering from a food shortage. However, people in other countries are making some pretty drastic changes to cope with shortages and unheard of inflation.

Rising Food CostsRising Food CostsPaying Extra: In addition to seeing rice and other grain prices rise in supermarkets, restaurant prices are going up to cover the difference. Plan to pack more food than before, and limit restaurant visits to stay under budget.

Changing Diets: In Liberia, the BBC reports that locals are digging in to plates of spaghetti. The price of rice has nearly doubled in the past six months, making it out of reach for people who depended upon it for a staple diet. Since they didn't grow up twirling noodles around a fork, diners end up teaching each other the everyday technique.

The good news for travelers (despite it being a serious situation) is that a new cuisine is starting up. Liberian pasta is made with lots of chili peppers, and cut smaller to make it easier to eat.

Rioting for Rice: In Indonesia, Haiti, and a few African countries food shortages have even caused riots. At the moment, the riots haven't really affected travelers, but as prices rise the chaos could continue. Keep an eye out for reported shortages before you travel - in a conflict situation, locals who can't afford dinner might not look too kindly on visitors with lots of money.

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