Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

I am posting a re-post here. I would encourage you to do the same, because this information is worth spreading. I have acquired this list from M.D. Creekmore at The Survivalist Blog. Its original source is the Economic Collapse Blog.

  1. According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices. This was documented by The New York Times in February 2011.
  2.  The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate.  In fact, according to Lester Brown in Foreign Policy, “one third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes”.
  3. Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel.  This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.
  4. Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples.  For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.
  5. Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to “overpumping”.  According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced.  So what happens once all of that water is gone?
  6. In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn “America’s Breadbasket” back into the “Dust Bowl.”
  7. Diseases such as UG99 Wheat Rust and Mad Soy Disease are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply
  8. The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable.  In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to be uninhabitable.  Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.
  9. The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list.  The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil.  The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil.  When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive.  If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.
  10. At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage.  According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.
  11. Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe.  For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.
  12. According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.
  13. According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.
  14. The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.
  15. The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.
  16. The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.
  17. The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.
  18. There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge of economic disaster before this year even began.
  19. 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War 2.  Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying.  None of this is good news for global food production.
  20. There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States.  The following is an excerpt from a recent “special alert” posted on Raiders News Network:

Look around you. Read the headlines. See the largest factories of food, potassium iodide, and other emergency product manufacturers literally closing their online stores and putting up signs like those on Mountain House’s Official Website and Thyrosafe’s Factory Webpage that explain, due to overwhelming demand, they are shutting down sales for the time being and hope to reopen someday.

It is true that most American believe that they will never have to go hungry. They believe that their grocery store shelves will always be stocked with affordable food and they will never have to provide for themselves. People believe this because ignorance is bliss. Please, don’t be ignorant. As always, I encourage you to be smart and be prepared.

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Quick Facts About GMOs

Did you know…

-The process of genetically modifying foods is an entirely man-created process. GMOs do not occur within nature, or by means of traditional cross breeding. “Hybrid” and GMO are not the same thing. GM bears no resemblance to traditional plant breeding methods.

– Most GM crops have been engineered to withstand higher applications of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. For example, Monsanto has engineered crops that can withstand high doses of their chemical weed killer called RoundUp. This means that an entire field can be sprayed with large amount of RoundUp and everything in it will die except for the GM crop.

-Currently there is no law dictating that food products containing GMOs must be labeled as such.

-According to the FDA, 93% of soy, 78% of cotton, and 63% of corn is currently genetically modified.

-Approximately 80% of all packaged foods in U.S. grocery stores contain GMOs.

-Only one study has ever been published on the direct effects of humans eating GM foods. It was never followed up.

-Animal studies have revealed that mice that have been fed a variety of GM foods have experienced a range of health ailments, ranging from stomach ulcerations to allergic reactions to dysfunctional immune systems.

-Advocates of GMOs claim that they are just as safe to eat as “normal” crops. This is an unfounded statement, because no long term tests have been conducted to study the effects of GMO ingestion. Thousands of people could be ill and dying- it’s just not being studied or documented.

-In 2001, a killer mouse virus was accidentally created during a genetic engineering experiment. Genetic engineering can result in the creation of dangerous new viruses and bacteria.

-Genetic engineering is an imprecise practice. It is impossible to accurately guide the insertion of a new gene. This can lead to unpredictable results.

-Presently, certified organic foods are the only ones that you can rest assured are not GM foods. However, even organic foods can be contaminated by pollen drift from GM crops. This is why we must continue the fight against the production and use of GM crops!

Gardening Tips for Fresh Salad Veggies

 

During the winter, I like to tap into my stores of canned and pickled vegetables from my garden. However come spring, there is nothing I enjoy more than harvesting fresh vegetables to make a big, garden fresh salad. (Yes, real men do eat salads.) If you are a salad lover, too, here are some tips for your garden.

Plant greens in April- April is a great time to plant salad green such as lettuces, spinach, kale, and even broccoli. These plants all do well with warm days and cool nights.

Space out your sowings- Lettuce and other salad greens grow very quickly. So you can continuously sow lettuce seeds throughout the spring to have a fresh supply for several weeks. Try planting lettuce seeds every three weeks or so throughout the spring. Take a break during the hot summer months, then continue planting lettuce seeds again in the late summer.

Plant fast-growing radishes- Radishes are excellent for those who are looking for a bit of (practically) instant gratification. They go from seed to harvest quite quickly, and are great for a variety of applications, (as you may remember from my radish blog from last year). Green onions are another fast growing salad crop.

Plant a variety of greens- Don’t stop at predictable Bibb lettuce and Iceberg lettuce. Try something a little different, such as my favorite Red Salad Bowl lettuce. The leaves are large and crisp, and a pretty deep scarlet bronze color. Don’t forget about the super nutrient powerhouse spinach, too. A great variety here is Giant Nobel spinach, which is a very reliable producer of large, smooth leaves.

Remember to water- When you plant greens, make sure to keep their soil moist so that they do not develop a bitter flavor. All leafy greens crave water– but don’t give them so much that the soil becomes swampy.

Harvest strategically- When you harvest lettuce and spinach leaves, cut the leaves off about 2-3 inches from the base of the plant. This way, the plant will produce new leaves, and you can get several harvests from the same plant.

Harvest in the morning- Lettuce and other leafy greens are sturdy and crisp first thing in the morning. If you harvest in the evening, after an entire day of stress, the leaves are more likely to be wilted and tired.

Thin your seedlings- Once you have planted your lettuce seeds, the lettuce plants may come up crowded together. In this case, it is best to pull out some of these seedlings. This is a process referred to as “thinning,” and it will help to insure that your remaining plants have enough room to grow. Once your seedlings have sprouted, thin them to be about 2 inches apart. The good news is that you can eat the baby greens from the seedlings that you have to pull.

Check for snails at night- Slugs and snails may try to eat your salad greens. Your best defense in an organic garden is to check your garden at night, and simply pull snails and slugs off with a gloved hand.

GMO Foods Are On the Rise

Yesterday evening I read a statistic that frightened me. I was reading a publication called Taste for Life, which stated that as much as 93% of all soy that is produced in the United States has been genetically engineered. 93%. That is so close to 100% that I find it terrifying and appalling.

Just as of January 2011, we have even more reason to be concerned about GMOs. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has given the green light for the production of genetically modified alfalfa. It seems that they now wish to ignore all of the possible harmful effects to both human health and the environment that were previously documented.

See, you may think of alfalfa as just those hairy looking little sprouts that you see on the salad bar every now and then. But alfalfa is something a lot bigger than that within the world of agriculture. This is because in the United States, alfalfa is primarily used for cattle feed. Is is the fourth largest field crop in the U.S, behind corn, soybeans, and wheat. 20 million acres are planted with alfalfa in the U.S. each year.

The national leader in GMO technology, Monsanto, has engineered a type of alfalfa that can resist its chemical weed killer Roundup. And yes, now this GMO alfalfa may soon be planted all over the country. I mean this quite literally, because currently alfalfa is grown is almost every single state.

 Why are GMOs bad?

As far as environmental concerns go, this is big. Little research has been done about how genetically modified organisms affect our delicate ecosystem. However, we do definitely know that they have the ability to spread in the wild. GMO canola plants have spread like crazy over the last few years. And the laws surrounding GMOs are utterly ridiculous. Did you know, for example, that is GMO seeds from Farmer #1’s field blow over to Farmer #2’s field, then Farmer #2 can be sued for theft? It’s true. Dangers to the environment aside, it’s pretty messed up that this is what GMOs (and Monsanto) are doing to the farming industry.

As far as human health concerns go, well we don’t really know how GMOs affect us because adequate human health testing has not been done on them. In mice, a diet including GM foods caused stomach ulcerations, allergic reactions, enlarged livers, and disturbances to their immune systems and their internal organs. In humans, the same is possible, but we really don’t even know how high the risk is, or how bad these health problems may be. You know what is a scary way to find out, though? By introducing GMOs into our diet by way of conventional dairy and meat products, which is exactly what will happen as soon as cows are fed GMO alfalfa.

Fortunately, the Center for Food Safety has announced its plans to file a lawsuit that will fight the USDA’s decision to deregulate GMO alfalfa. Their lawsuit is definitely one that is worthy of our utmost support. We must continue to fight to keep GMOs out of our food.

For more information on stopping the spread of GMOS please visit nongmoproject.org and saynotogmos.org.

One last thought to ponder on GMOs… Research has shown that when foods grown using genetically modified organisms are placed in the wild, wild animals do not eat them. Don’t you think we have something to learn from this?