Friday, June 24, 2011

Prepare: Food Shortages In The USA

Food Shortages in the USA? How could that happen? The grocery stores are full. The fast food restaurants are pumping out burgers and wings. The population is overweight and plodding around from meal to meal.

But it can still happen.

Our food production and distribution system is no longer tied to our local communities or even states. The grocery store features bread packaged in Ohio made from wheat grown in Montana and shipped by 18 wheeler 900 miles before it hits your store shelves.

Fruit and vegetables from dozens of countries fill the produce section. Apple sauce and cranberry juice comes from China. Fish originates in Vietnam. Beef from Argentina.

At the same time, farm land across the USA is being reused for retail or residential development or in some cases, allowed to revert to the wild. Watersheds and aquafiers are drying up. Federal regulations are stopping the flow of water to farmland to preserve endangered species. New environmental rules limit the use of land, fertilizers and the raising of farm animals.

Finally, transportation and fuel costs only keep rising. Many countries which produce food for the USA are moments away from instability and many do not enjoy the same rule of law or food safety rules we take for granted in the USA.

Basically, this boils down to a precipitous situation with many potentially damaging events which could jeopardize our food supply and availability.

What can you do?

First, eat local. Get used to eating foods produced near where you live right now. Go to farmers markets rather than purchase the latest and greatest "frankenfood" of another country.

Second, grow something of your own. Tomatoes, melons, and herbs can all be grown easily by the brownest of thumbs.

Third, stock long term foods like rice, oatmeal, wheat, oil and other foods which are the foundation of most meals. Don't limit your stores to one or two pounds; purchase fifty or more pounds of rice and other grains and store appropriately.

Finally, determine which foods are not readily available, but which you are used to and enjoy and store those as well (or give them up). Things like coffee, tea and chocolate. Also consider finding local alternatives.

With the rapid purchasing power of the dollar, international tensions and the unreliability of the supply chain, don't get caught with an empty pantry or being forced to depend upon the government to supply you and your family your next meal.

Don't forget to check out the new e-book about preparing for potential food shortages "Sold Out After A Crisis"!

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