Image from Jakarta Post
Khao kaeng is a ubiquitous Thai dish consisting of rice, and either spicy curry, pork omelet or stir fry. The price of khao kaeng is normally between 25 and 35 Thai Baht (between USD $0.79 and $1.13) however in the last few months the price has risen sharply to an average of 55 Thai Bhat.
Food is the basis of urban civilization. When humans figured out how to grow mass crops and transport them, is when we were able to establish permanent cities. The Thai Red Shirts have proven that food is inextricably tied to civic peace this week with an uprising over food costs. They are demanding protection from Prime Minister Yingluck, especially as the overall economy shows signs of growth amidst this price gauging for basic commodities. Imagine basic food prices doubling in the US – would the protests remain peaceful? Would they be larger and more charged than ‘Occupy’?