Archive for the ‘food prices’ Tag

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.

Advertisements

Winter Is Upon Us

 

With the first official day of winter quickly creeping up on us, I am reminded of the conditions that arrived with winter just one year ago. Remember seeing lots of newspaper titles such as Florida Freeze To Push Up Produce Prices, Florida Freeze Cuts Produce Supply, Sends Prices Higher and Bad Weather Causes Wholesale Prices… To Shoot Up?

On February 14, 2010, a total of 49 states in the United States received some measure of snow. The only one that did not is Hawaii. It seems crazy, but it did happen. And of course, many areas of the country that grow winter crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, citrus, and berries were entirely unprepared for this.

If you don’t remember the news about the terrible weather last year, perhaps you remember the strain on your wallet that was caused by high fruit and vegetable costs. Or the fact that restaurants all over the country found themselves rearranging their menus to exclude tomatoes, one of the most effected crops, from their menus. This is just one example of how vulnerable food and food prices are to inclement weather. Sure, it doesn’t snow that often in Florida. But as we learned last year, that doesn’t mean that it won’t.

This month, we’ve already seen a major cold snap all across the country. Here in Norfolk, we’ve been fortunate. The average temperatures lately have been highs in the 30s and 40s, and lows in the 20s- nothing extreme. But interestingly, many areas south of us, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, have all experienced unusually cold weather lately. And yes, you are bound to see this reflected in your food prices.

Other areas of the country, such as Cleveland Ohio, have already received inches of snow. Some people were stranded in the cars on the highway for hours when a whiteout occurred. This is a powerful reminder that we are very vulnerable to weather. There is quite literally nothing we can do to stop or change a snowstorm when it is headed our way.

So what is the point that I am trying to make here? The point is preparation, of course. If the entire tomato crop of Florida is ruined again this year, and you have a stock of home grown canned tomatoes in your basement, then clearly this will not affect you. If you experience a terrible blizzard that leaves you and your family housebound for 4 days, don’t you want to have a fully stocked pantry of fresh, healthy foods? A survival food supply is crucial at any time of the year. This is simply a seasonal reminder that we, as humble human beings on this earth, are very vulnerable. The best thing we can do to protect ourselves is to be prepared.

Preparing for Life Without Oil

AP photo from Yahoo! News

By now, we’ve all seen the images from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The photographic proof of damage to the water and wildlife, such as this picture above of a barely recognizable bird on the coast of Louisiana, are truly gut wrenching. The most recent news from dailycamera.com states that within the next few months, the oil slick could reach the Atlantic, and the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. 

Yet despite all of the heartbreaking photos of the unspeakable damage, you may be left thinking that the problem of the Gulf oil spill is one that is distant from you, and does not affect you directly. Unless you live in the south, you may feel far removed from this terrible made-made disaster and its repercussions. Even though these images are horrible, they don’t affect you directly, right? Wrong. Very wrong indeed. 

 

Regardless of where you live in the United States, even if you live hundreds of miles away from the Gulf coast, you are being affected by the oil spill. This disaster, which happened over a month ago and is still going strong, is proof of what many have already known for a long time: we are using (and losing) oil more quickly than our planet can replenish it. Quite simply, we are stripping the Earth of its supply. We hit our peak oil supply in 2008, and since then there has been nowhere to go but down. Quite simply, our need for energy supplies keeps growing higher and higher, and we do not have the ability to meet this need. 

So what happens when our oil is simply gone? As this article in the New York Times points out, it may mean food shortages, a collapse of the economy, and a breakdown of civil order. If you poo-poo the idea of “Peak Oil,” I would caution you to take a closer look at what it means first. You don’t have to be a survivalist like me to see that there is proof of it all around us.  Two members of Congress, one a Democrat and one a Republican, even formed the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus.

I know that over the past year or so, we’ve all been perched on the edge of our seats, waiting for the economy to make an astounding and triumphant comeback after its pitiful decline. But unfortunately this is not what’s on the way. Because of peak oil, instead what we’re in for is an economic decline that will include high(er) energy prices, and food shortages when lack of fuel causes food and supplies to not reach grocery stores. Common products such as plastics and petrochemicals will become much more expensive. Imagine how scarce good will be come when EVERYTHING that is transported to stores by diesel fuel or gasoline simply cannot be transported. 

 

Did you take a look at the previous link to the New York Times article? If not, do it now. It offers some valuable suggestions for how we can all be nest prepared for an energy crisis. Here are some suggestions of my own: 

  • Stock basic supplies and necessities.
  • If you have not already, plant your Survival Seed Bank now. A crisis garden is totally self sustaining and the best way to insure that you have a reliable food source.
  • Consider converting your stocks and investments into physical assets, such as gold and silver.
  • If you feel lost or overwhelmed, seek outside assistance, such courses through Post Peak Living.
  • Reduce your dependence on modern medicines. Instead, begin learning how to use natural remedies and cures. I would highly recommend planting a Survival Herb Bank. You can grow your own natural treatments for everything from diabetes to headaches.
  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit, with items such as pocket knives, multi-tools, folding shovels, hatchets, saw blades, mess kits, compasses, an emergency water filter system, and LED flashlights.
  • Read up on how to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Click here to see Enomni Massage Clinic’s suggestions for survivalist reading.

Food Crisis in 2010 is Undeniable

 

I came across this article today, and frankly, I am surprised that it has taken me a whole 4 months since its publication to share it with others: 2010 Food Crisis Means Financial Armageddon.

Follow the link above. Go one, read the article. And as you do, I will resist the extreme urge to say, “I told you so.”

You see, this article does a great job of pointing out what is overwhelmingly true: a food crisis in the very near future is UNDENIABLE. We’re not talking about something that could happen, just maybe, if conditions worsen. The fact of the matter is that conditions HAVE worsened and the time when you will need a sustainable means of feeding yourself and your family is here. It is now.

Here is one point that I think Mr. deCarbonnel does an exceptionally good job of explaining in his article:

  1. The USDA is concerned with how supply and demand looks on paper. Therefore, they price crops lower than what they should be, based on demand.
  2. Crop staples such as wheat, corn, and soybeans are harvested only once or twice a year. A desperate need for food does not allow them to be harvested more frequently. Food must be priced correctly to prevent overconsumption, and to in turn allow each crop to last until the next harvest.
  3. Because the USDA does not appropriately price these crop staples and others, we buy large amounts of crops for a low price. When we need to buy more before the next crop is harvested, what happens? There is nothing to buy. Incorrectly priced agricultural commodities leads to overconsumption and a depletion of commodities. 

Now, put this information together with the fact that nationwide bad weather coupled with global natural disasters have literally ruined crops all over the world. Stocked grocery store shelves aren’t really looking like such a sure bet, are they? I am sure Mr. deCarbonnel would agree, if you’re going to bet on anything, bet that you need to begin relying on your own sustainable food source.

Once you’ve read this whole article, I would imagine you may start to feel a little bit panicked. Don’t panic! But DO call yourself to action. Think above and beyond our society’s warped underestimate of risk. Be proactive, be prepared, and don’t delay.

Bad Weather Causes Increase in Food Prices

Paul Sakuna/ AP File Photo

Okay, so it’s not just the earthquake in Chile that has affected food prices and availability lately. We all know that here in the U.S, pretty much the entire country experienced one of the worst winters on record. Here in Norfolk we usually get a few inches of snow each winter, but nothing like the storm-of-the-decade we received in January. On Valentine’s Day, 49 states received snow fall! Yes, every state except for Hawaii.

Now it’s a month later. Spring is on its way, and here in VA we’ll (hopefully) not receive any more snowfall. But the unusually cold temps have already done their damage, and it looks like you’ll be noticing it in restaurants and grocery stores.

  • This article in Cleveland Ohio Business News reports that prices of lettuce and tomatoes have skyrocketed over the last month. This is due to frozen lettuce fields in California, and heavy rains that flooded tomato fields in Florida. In this particular article, business proprietors claim not to pass increased costs along to consumers. But let’s be realistic. That can’t possibly last long.
  • This Associated Press article at Ocala.com states that you’re bound to see increased prices, as well as lessened availability of strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, sweet corn, and other produce. It’s all due to the cold snap in Florida. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services expects it to affect their citrus crop, too.
  • In this article from the Los Angeles Daily News, a West Hills produce shop owner states, “I’ve been in the business for 50 years and I’ve never seen prices go up across the board like this.”

If you rely on grocery store produce and this makes you feel a little nervous, well, it should. Hasn’t history proven to us that things will get better before they get worse?

Develop a self-sustaining and independent way to feed your family. You’ll never stop thanking yourself for it. Because the food crisis is already occurring around us- you’ve seen the proof. Don’t allow yourself to be an innocent victim of supply and demand.

How the Earthquake in Chile Affects our Food Supply

AP Photo/ Fernando Vergara

If you shop in grocery stores or eat out in restaurants, then you will be directly affected by the recent 8.8 scale earthquake in Chile.

How so? Well, there is a pretty decent amount of goods that America imports from Chile. In fact, in the year 2006, Chile exported about $9.6 billion dollars worth of goods to the United States. Yes, that is $9.6 BILLION. The United States is Chile’s biggest export market.

The major export from Chile is actually copper. This accounted for a good $4.1 billion of the exports in 2006. The second biggest export from Chile to the United States in 2006 was fruit and prepared fruit products, such as frozen juice concentrate. Our grocery stores also get a large amount of their wine, seafood, blueberries, grapes, apples, pears, plums and other stone fruits from Chile.

So then what does all of this mean to you, the consumer? Well, you may not be able to find these exports in American grocery stores and restaurants. Or, you may be able to find them, but it will be at a very high cost to you.

You’ll notice that in many news articles, such as this recent one from Daily Finance, that the Chilean Exporters Association is urging American consumers “not to panic.” This is where I choose to disagree. I say, maybe this IS the time to panic.

Let this be an eye opener. If the food supply in America has been changed by a natural disaster that occured about 300,000 miles away, maybe it is time for us to take a hint and realize that our society is entirely too reliant on imported foods. These suppliers are not infallible. We all need to take measures to be more self reliant. Our grocery store shelves are obviously not going to remain indefinitely stocked. The only way you can truly have a reliable food source is to not rely on grocery stores.