After reading an article on Time Magazine, discussed later in this article, it seemed that Time was sending a not so subtle message to the public, via innuendo, that required us to take a closer look at the situation in regard the nations food supply. On February 20, Bloomberg.com published an article that should have enjoyed wide media coverage, however was relegated to the alternative news as our MSM didn’t see fit to warn America of the possibility of a looming global famine – and have been negligent in informing us that the food on hand in the United States is at a historic low, without question an issue of national security and survival. We investigated this matter in-depth and an eventual probability of famine in the US is avoidable, at least in the short term, but without the public understanding the danger we face, nothing will be done to alleviate this danger to America:
Famines May Occur Without Record Crops This Year, Potash Says
By Christopher Donville
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — Grain farmers will need to harvest record crops every year to meet increasing global food demand and avoid famine, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Doyle said.
People and livestock are consuming more grain than ever, draining world inventories and increasing the likelihood of shortages, Doyle said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Global grain stockpiles fell to about 53 days of supply last year, the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1960, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“If you had any major upset where you didn’t have a crop in a major growing agricultural region this year, I believe you’d see famine,” Doyle, 57, said in New York. (Emphasis added)
Crop prices have soared as much as fourfold this decade because of increased demand for food in India and China, where hundreds of millions of people are moving up to the middle class and can afford to eat more meat from animals raised on grain- based feeds, Doyle said.
Soybean futures rose to a record $14.2875 a bushel yesterday on the Chicago Board of Trade, capping an 85 percent gain in the past 12 months. Wheat prices, which have more than doubled in the past year in Chicago, reached a record on Feb. 11, and corn climbed to a record on Feb. 6.
“There is a dietary shift occurring in China today, particularly amongst the young,” Hugh Grant, chief executive officer of Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed producer, said in a Feb. 6 interview. “As protein consumption increases, as they move from fish to chicken, chicken to pork, and pork to beef, the demand for commodities increases almost by an order of magnitude.”
“We keep going to the cupboard without replacing and so there is enormous pressure on agriculture to have a record crop every year,” Doyle said. “We need to have a record crop in 2008 just to stay even with this very low inventory situation.”
MUCH MORE, EXTREMELY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE
It is this author’s contention that this impending disaster, which I believe is essentially transparent once the facts are revealed, is being manufactured by political interests that place profit and power above the health and safety of the American public. Spring isn’t here yet, and this is an issue the public can change if enough people become aware of the facts that are widely available on the Internet, but our fascist MSM continues to ignore and/or downplay the issues that are of vital interest to the average American. It’s no secret to the informed public that a global famine is destined to occur due to the persistent drought conditions which are worsening as per the effects of global warming and climate change. Tough times lie ahead, but in today’s world, it’s unconscionable that the American public is being ripped-off so the wealthy can acquire more wealth while we suffer every time we visit the local store(s) when the US food crisis is currently avoidable.
The crisis we face is two-fold; the economic crisis, and the lopsided effect it will have on the lower middle-class, poor, and the countless millions of social security recipients and disabled is staggering! Some families have attempted to stretch their budgets by driving less, and for the first time in years, gas consumption actually decreased and strapped families are curbing their driving in an effort to compensate for the rise in costs of the essentials that feed and supply every American family. LINK On the other hand, the nation’s bulk of Social Security recipients, many who are already stretched to the max, face cutting “what” to make their budgets meet? For those who exist on less than a thousand dollars per month, who number in the millions, what essentials are they to cut out of their budgets to simply survive as we watch everything we buy rise in cost while wages remain stagnant and many are actually declining? This is a lower-class nightmare in the making, and for some, the reality of the nightmare has already come home to roost! 2007 was rough, but 2008 looks even worse and none of us know what nature has in store for us as it pertains to unusual weather patterns that have plagued the US for several years, affecting our agriculture, and are becoming even more unpredictable.
Food industry says prices headed up again in ’08
By Rene Pastor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans who dug deeper into their pockets for groceries last year will face sticker shock again this year when shopping for food, experts said on Thursday.
“There’s going to be real food inflation in this country,” C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive of U.S. beef processor Smithfield Foods Inc., said at the U.S. Agriculture Department’s annual outlook conference.
Prices of grain futures have surged lately. For example, wheat futures have more than doubled on the Chicago Board of Trade over the last 12 months. Pope said meat shoppers eventually will pay for the rally because farmers who raise livestock cannot absorb the sharp escalation in feed costs. MORE
Some of the rise in wheat prices in the US is to be expected based on the global issue of reduced grain stocks and the subsequent impact on the market LINK, however the majority of the price increases have been based on rising fuel prices and the Bush administration’s illogical decision to use corn as the primary ingredient in ethanol production. The huge corporate farmers that have turned to corn production, as well as many of our struggling smaller farms who have been spurning wheat, is directly affecting the cost of America’s prime food staple, wheat, which is used in the primary foods that drive this nation. Our own grain stocks are at a historic low, and if any of the government’s fears are realized, i.e., pandemic, terrorist attack resulting in martial law, natural disaster, or an epic economic crisis (which I believe is our most pressing issue), the nation only has an estimated food supply on hand that will last the nation 60 days or less. Without a question, even placing aside the enormous cost and suffering to the public, the situation isn’t likely to improve any time soon. LINK The trickle-down effect is that many families are cutting-down on purchases of beef, pork and chicken, all which have experienced price increases due to the rising cost of corn, also a staple for feeding livestock. Besides meats, the effects are also being felt on all dairy products as well as eggs and cereal, basically every essential food item that are the staples of many American diets.
Then, in a remarkable bit of timing, Time Magazine recently reprinted this article, which was originally published on Monday, Mar. 31, 1941:
Food: A Weapon
For the U. S., food distribution is an economic and moral problem. Hitler uses food as a political weapon. Last week, in Foreign Affairs, Economist Karl Brandt listed some of the ingenious and devastating uses to which this weapon has been put by Nazi experts in the last seven years.
At Home & Abroad. Both Stalin and Hitler use food to destroy internal opposition, reward accomplishment, punish failure, establish the class distinctions of their “new orders.” In Germany the “warrior caste” of the armed forces gets the fattest ration cards, skilled and essential workmen the next. Down at the bottom come prisoners, the insane, the Jews. Ration cards giving the owner right to more food are used to give workmen incentives to seek promotion, to increase their output. Supplies are suddenly cut down (regardless of the amount stored) to scare the population into believing the situation serious, or extra rations are suddenly granted to boost morale in a bad time. Food statistics are guarded like bomber planes. To the Nazis, food is “a beautiful instrument . . . for maneuvering and disciplining the masses.”
Nazis use food to smash their enemies in neutral countries, before trying military occupation. One technique: offers of huge foreign food purchases are suddenly concentrated in a single agricultural country; a fantastically high price is quoted; the offer is broadcast to the hard-pressed farmers, who in turn bring pressure on their Government to accept. In the process, patriotic resistance is undermined; the neutral Government that makes the deal is compelled to pay its farmers in its own currency while waiting payment from Germany. A sudden ending of the demand brings a price slump, followed by farmers’ defaulting on taxes and mortgage payments. Says Economist Brandt: “If this German technique were ever tried against the Latin-American countries, it would work magnificently. . . . Hitler . . . could throw every one of those countries into political convulsions and stir up violent hatred against the United States.” MUCH MORE, EXCEPTIONAL ARTICLE!
We can always predict our future by closely examining our past, and the past of other nations that have succumbed to the forces of fascism. The Mainstream News Media has covered this issue in bits and pieces but have failed to meld all of the stories together to reveal the “big picture”, the one that corporate America and President Bush are attempting to hide from the public. I find the timing of the Time’s article interesting, almost as if they were warning America by innuendo rather than facing-off with the government and stating the obvious. To those who have radical inclinations and believe Americans can somehow fight their way out of tyranny, while I admire their resolve and tenacity, they fail to understand the entire country can be brought to our knees within a matter of days by governmental manipulation of our food, utility, and water supplies. Understanding and studying our past does not mean it can’t be changed, but it does indicate the path we are blithely being led through, and it’s a dead-end as it pertains to our future. The contents on the Time Magazine article deserve close scrutiny and in understanding the methodology of other fascist regimes, it’s our hope that a similar tragedy can be averted in the United States. A hungry, starving population is more apt to give-up even more of their civil liberties in the “hope” that somehow, normalcy will return to their lives.
Ethanol production based on corn does not significantly affect what Americans pay at the pump, nor is it currently more “environmentally friendly” than using traditional fossil fuels. We don’t have an economical method of distributing ethanol yet, and our methods to produce it, and the impact on the environment and our water supply is frightening:
Corn ethanol—not as green as it seems?
Controversy over whether production of corn-based ethanol damages water quality has continued since President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address where he announced a goal of increasing corn ethanol to 35 billion gallons by 2017.
Following his address, a committee of scientific experts warned that such a rise in production could pollute water and cause shortages at local and regional levels — including the Chesapeake Bay.
“The quality of groundwater, rivers, and coastal and offshore waters could be impacted by increased fertilizer and pesticide use for biofuels,” reported the experts of the National Academies in a study published on Oct. 10.
The report cites case studies of areas such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, where the nutrient pollution of agricultural runoffs has had a devastating effect on the environment.
“The economics of corn ethanol have never made much sense,” according to a Sept. 19 editorial of The New York Times, because corn requires more land for growing, has “modest” environmental benefits and is expensive to produce.
The long-term effects of using corn as a base for ethanol are not being addressed in the MSM and the general public has no idea of the impact this disastrous decision made by the Bush administration could have on the survival of the United States as the global water shortage intensifies – not to mention the financial impact that is worsening by the day as our food costs are rapidly escalating with no end in sight. The situation has improved in some areas, but the United States is still experiencing crippling drought conditions in several areas throughout the country. LINK Using corn, which requires enormous amounts of water per acre for cultivation, is exacerbating the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer – the life’s-blood of America’s breadbasket. We have known this valuable natural resource is being rapidly depleted for years; this is an article from 2006 to demonstrate that we knew this was a serious problem far before we committed to much of that very land to corn production:
Scientists say drought accelerating depletion of Ogallala Aquifer
U.S. Water News Online
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Drought is speeding up depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer so much that a University of Kansas researcher calls the problem “as pressing or more pressing” than it ever has been before.
Eight university scientists recently spent a week in western Kansas to measure the water levels of 500 wells that draw water from the aquifer. They discovered the water level is dropping faster than it did in the last decade.
“What happens when it gets dry, people pump more, so they’re drawing on it more,” said Rex Buchanan, associate director of the Kansas Geological Survey. “These numbers clearly show the issue of depletion of the Ogallala is out there, and it’s as pressing or more pressing as it has been.”
The Ogallala stretches from northern Texas to South Dakota and is a major source of water on the High Plains. In addition to the university study, the state’s Division of Water Resources tested 700 other wells in the area, reaching similar findings. MORE
It goes back much further, and in 2001, CommonDreams.org published an informative article that our government is ignoring, scrambling to pick-up nickels while they step over dollars in a decision making process that defies common-sense! After you read U.S. Faces Day of Reckoning it’s more than obvious that our government is ignoring well-known issues that affect the very survival factor of millions of our citizens – all in the name of greed, fiscal mismanagement, and the corruption of the Bush administration. The aforementioned article has proven to be prophetic and is a stark reminder that we’re in a trend, not an abnormality of a couple of particularly dry years.
If you believe in national security, which most of us do and all of the Presidential candidates are emphasizing, and look closely at our economic woes, a major factor in the inflation of our core food costs are directly related to our government’s decision to use corn to produce ethanol; the cascade of higher beef, poultry, milk, and our core food supply costs as it relates to cereals, flour, bread, and other essentials to our survival is being threatened and mismanaged on a colossal scale with long-term effects to the environment and economy that must be addressed and discussed in the upcoming Presidential debates. We have ignored this issue for far too long, and protecting the nation’s breadbasket is as essential to our survival as maintaining an adequate military.
The recent politics of South and Central America have demonstrated that the world is becoming more volatile as each day passes. Skirmishes and political upheaval are occurring with a frequency that has been exacerbated by Bush’s poor diplomatic skills, or total lack thereof – and in an uncertain global environment, we believe that being able to sustain ourselves and grow our own food is a vital national security concern on several different levels, i.e., the safety of the food, the impact to America’s farming community, and most of all, our ability as a nation to stand on our own feet in the event of a national emergency, whether it be natural, man-made, or even engineered by a government that is bent on bringing America to its knees and knuckling-under to the whim of corporate America rather than what’s beneficial to the majority of America.
We need, and should demand that our national food stores be replenished. The old adage that “Charity begins at home” has become self-evident. I’m not advocating that we cut-off wheat sales to starving nations, however, I do believe in balancing our “giving” with a comprehensive program of building-up our own wheat stores, much as we have done with the Strategic Oil Reserve. Oil without food is worthless, a lesson our nation could learn the hard way. We were told that high oil prices were due to expanded consumption and the crisis in the Middle-East, but now that we know American consumption is decreasing and oil prices are still rising, another lie is bared for all to see. We’re already being gouged into poverty by the oil conglomerates – and if we allow the same thing to happen with our food, Americans will face the worst downward trend in personal wealth in this nation’s recent history – and it’s already well under way. We need to demand that more of our land is dedicated to wheat production and that our ethanol policy is re-visited and addressed with a solution based on our ecology as well as our economy, not tow the line of the greedy corporatism that is destroying our country.
President Bush has finally advised the nation to drive less in an effort to drive-down oil prices. (Darth Cheney likely had a seizure when he heard the news…) We also believe the government should stress food, medicine, and the storage of other essentials in the event of any situation that will imperil the population because of the government’s inadequate store of staple food supplies and lack of a system to insure that in the event of an emergency, those with medical problems can insure they will not suffer because of poor governmental planning.