Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prepare: crop failure, colder weather and food shortages coming this fall

Yesterday, I wrote at length about job and credit survival. I forgot to mention two parts of the unemployment disaster that the Guv and others are not talking about.

First, many people I know are accepting big pay cuts to stay employed. We are talking about 10 and 20 percent across the top pay cuts. Yes, these people will be cutting back in their expenses no doubt. But what about the amount of money they contribute to savings and retirement? That will go down. And the amount of money to pay down debt? That will go down as well. Forget about additional shopping, these people will be fighting to keep their homes and cars.

Next, the forced furlough. The boss orders everyone to take a week or two of unpaid leave. This are happening everywhere and of course, our friends in the government and press are keeping hush about it. Many companies are shutting their doors for one week to one month this summer and not paying employees all the while. What's the effect of that little action?

On to today..

Weather in the Midwest, Northwest and West is colder than expected. Many parts of the country have not gotten out of the 80's this summer. This has affected crop production with corn futures on the rise.

Add to this the demand for corn for ethanol which reduces the amount of the limited crop available for food, both for people and animals.

Finally, throw in new regulation both for water and proposals for greenhouse gas reductions all of which will hit the agricultural sector particularly hard.

Net result? Higher food prices followed by potential food shortages. Where? Overseas? Nope, right here at home.

It gets better. When supplies shrink and demand stays the same, prices go up. Add to that little scenario 10 to 15% expected unemployment and we have hungry people unable to purchase higher priced food.

What a mess.

What can you do now?

If it were me, I would lay in a stock of basic foodstuffs now. That means big bags of beans, rice, flour, sugar, salt, jugs of cooking oil and plenty of spices. I would also look at cases of canned goods like vegetables, fruit and meat.

Next, I would purchase as much fresh fruit (its all on sale right now) and get busy dehydrating and canning.

Then I would pick up some big packs of meat. Freeze it, dry it or can it as well.

A garden can produce in the winter, but not tomatoes or corn. Garlic, onions and potatoes can be grown though.

Stop eating fast food. Save that money for real food.

Stop making little trips to the grocers. Make big, fill-the-cart trips once a week. Load up on staples now.

Start exercising. The unhealthy may not make it to next year.

How did it get to this?

We put our food into our fuel. We took good land and turned it back over to nature. We penalized farmers for water and fuel use. We considered taxing cows and pigs because they produce methane. We have junk food so cheap nobody raises their own natural food. We crammed millions into cities to control them, but failed to allow for urban food production.

A hundred years ago, chickens walked around New York City. People had vegetable gardens in their backyards in Boston. Barns and cows were common in Dallas.

But not anymore. We have turned people into bees and ants. Scrambling around inside of a controlled colony to serve the king and queen bugs who sit in the center of the hive in DC and NY. We slave for the equivalent of three days and die. Food for the colony. On to the next generation.

It won't last.

As always, remain optimistic, faithful and full of hope. We have been preparing for this for years. We will persevere.

Get ready. Be watchful. And get to work.

1 comment:

Staying Alive said...

As usual, a very well written piece. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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