"And He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, 'Come.' And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.'" (Rev. 6:5, 6 NASB).
The deranius was equivalent to one day's wage. The basic survival needs, barely, for humans and their livestock! This famine will result in death and will be especially devastating to the third world. Here's an often overlooked and curious comment about not harming the "oil" and the "wine." What do these have to do with famine? They must be symbolic. Perhaps the "oil" represents the spirit filled church and the "wine" represents God's covenant people, Israel. If this is so then it sets these two groups up for hatred and persecution from an envious world, which leads us into the forth and fifth seals of Revelation.