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Are You Ready for a Food Shortage?

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The U.S. could be hit with widespread food shortages as early as April, according to an article linked recently in the Rick’s Picks forum, “Food Supply and Affordability Are Seriously Threatened.” The author, Kellene Bishop, alluded to a perfect storm of factors likely to impact food supplies and prices. “It’s headed into our homes no longer than six months from now, and more likely to be obvious six weeks from now. Unless you’re enjoying an income that can take a 40-50% increase hit in your essential expenses, then I’m certain you will not be spared the impact of this snowball that’s rolling down hill, gaining in momentum and size; and it’s coming right to our front doors.”

Evidently not one to panic, Bishop suggested that in anticipation of grocery-supply disruptions and explosive price increases, we start preparing now with a “methodical, peaceful and deliberate mindset” and no fears of an Armageddon-like event. “I believe firmly that a daily awareness and effort to create a more self-reliant world is critical in developing one’s ability to endure any other type of crisis.”

Not all of those who commented on her essay shared the author’s Zen approach to getting ready, however. There was this response, for one, from a take-charge dad whose brood seems unlikely to starve even if America a few years from now comes to resemble the post-apocalyptic vision of hell-on-earth depicted in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. “I Spent 11 years in the US Army,” he wrote, “three years in a Ranger battalion, two years as a weapons instructor, one year as a Pathfinder team leader, five years’ regular infantry, and one combat tour. Because of this I have no illusions of the evil that lurks in the hearts of men — seen it first-hand. I am a single parent…my 14-year-old son and I have trained very much in-depth in close-quarters battle with assault rifles, shotgun and handgun. Why? People go crazy when they have no food…when their children are starving they go totally out of their minds, and if you have prepared they will be looking at you. Buy weapons, ammo and pay for training. You will not regret it.”

Perfect Storm

Although in her essay, the first of a series, blogger Bishop did not go into detail about the perfect storm that could send food prices soaring, disconcerting signs are there for anyone to see. For starters, although grocery prices are already rising at the most astounding rate we have personally witnessed in our lifetime, they continue to lag commodity inflation that has been headline news.  Still worse is that the trend could just be getting off the launching pad if the price of crude oil is headed above $100 a barrel, as seems likely.  That would drastically increase prices for seed, feed and fertilizer, with a dramatic impact on virtually all food prices.  One perfect-storm factor already making itself felt is the one-two punch of low temperatures in, first, Florida, and then Mexico. Tomatoes, beans, bell peppers and eggplant were among crops that have been devastated in both places, with Mexican growers reporting crop losses of 80-100%.

We’ve linked Bishop’s article because we fully share her concern that food prices and supplies are especially vulnerable right now to shocks that could devastate households.  For those who want to take steps to prepare for such circumstances, we would also recommend a superbly useful book written by a friend of ours, Sean Brodrick. Available at Amazon (in paperback for $7.99), it is entitled The Ultimate Suburban Survivalist Guide.

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  • Ed Nichol March 17, 2011, 8:19 am

    From Ed ( the grocer )
    Easy does it. Most of the food for sale is crap. The most important for life are animal fats, animal proteins, nut oils and basic greens. We have lots and can produce lots more. We waste half. Rich country and poor country. Check out Cuba for things to do when you are up against the wall and see Russia’s policy on small plots. Just keep the mega nationals away from your water and you will be fine.

  • Rich March 2, 2011, 7:08 pm
  • Michael March 1, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Food Shortage & iShares Silver Trust (SLV) scam SHOULD be wild
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-dBQd16cvg&feature=player_embedded

  • MajWilliamMartin March 1, 2011, 6:26 pm

    I am just so glad to see everyone at the White House in the news is eating Steak and Lobster and having Wine… While the rest of the Nation is checking the source of our food to see if it is a GMO or from the Gulf and tainted with oil and chemicals.
    Maybe soon the Stores will have MRE’S instead of regular food for sale. Ya Think?

  • Sutton March 1, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I’ve been secretly photographing 350+ pounders at the mall for a future display on life before The Great Dieout, when Calories were the cheapest man’s ever known.

  • Benjamin March 1, 2011, 11:33 am

    I don’t know about you people, but all this talk about food is making me _thirsty_!

    Now, whether it’s a glut of state/muni bankruptices that come first, or the sharp rise in food, you can count on one thing and that is your local water supply to become erratic if not shut down altogether. Storing ahead is of course sane, but the question is not so much “got water?” as it is “GET water?”. I do hope all of you here have been thinking and practicing just that. Myself, I no longer do so for months or even weeks on end. A few weeks or so, and that’s it. Often less if more precipitation is forecast. I suspect as adaption kicks in, that will reduce to mere days, as materials for fire (boiling), distillation (even solar), filtering… are going to get very scarce when supply chains fail.

    This brings me to all those who plan to farm and/or raise livestock and/or heroically Rambo against the hoards of Mad Maxes. In general, water doesn’t need to be potable (free of micro organisms) for crops and animals. River/well water will do for them, but you on the other hand need potable water, which means you need to boil, which means you need fuel. Even way out in the country, there’s always dead and rotting things and defecating in the water, by animals if not man. It needs to be boiled. Period. And you’d be surprised at how fast a local forest can be stripped barren of fuel by even mere thousands. Maybe even mere hundreds.

    And before anyone tells me about bleach… Bleach has a shelf life unconductive to long term storage. It’s supply-chain vulnerable. Purification tablets, aside from being supply chain vulnerable too, do not work quite as well as boiling does. As for other methods of obtaining water (such as solar distilation, which does work), they don’t create nearly enough to maintain adequate stores of potable water, especially the kinds that allow for you to play Rambo. You can rely on those other sources for mere days at a time, that’s about it. Less if you labor (which is why many untried survival gardens and ranches will go by the wayside).

    Adaption to hand to mouth will rule the day. It’s nature way. Hand to mouth balances things out. Show me an impoverished country of millions that has endured collapse where millions don’t live hand to mouth. And I’ll show you Atlantis inhabited by Supermen and Superwomen, and their pet Kryptos . It ain’t real. We can only live outside the natural balance because we are (supposed to be) smarter.

    You can read any number of survivalist blogs. A lot of them have good stuff to impart, do not get me wrong. But I think too many people read waaay too much into these. These will not do for enduring a collapse of indefinite duration. The objective of skills and prior storage is enduring shorter term disruptions only or getting back to civilization. I pointed out a few days back that gold is for better times, not worse. And so it is with storage and survival skills. It is good for a temporary disruption. That is as much as anyone needs to do. That is all one _should_ do. Adaption, on the other hand, is for collapse. If you are not planning on living hand to mouth, then you’ve not thought this through nearly enough.

    Anyway, remember that food is less important than water. Because you need to boil it to drink it means fuel is the limiting factor. Take it as easy as you can; a busybody type goes through water much faster, and thus resources. So does over-boiling, which can be read about here…

    http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/how-long-do-you-need-to-boil-water/

    Rolling boil is more than adequate. I’ve personally tested this through means better not discussed. Test it for yourself, if you must, then remember and most of all share that information. It WILL save you and the ecosystem on fuel.

    • Steve March 1, 2011, 5:54 pm

      Ben, You’ve nicely touched the tip of the iceberg. Clean water is about where one lives. I have consumed water out of a caribou track, and from small streams all over the place in my neck of the woods without any alteration of the water by any means. The closer one gets to high density population the more the risk. Drinking water out of a caribou track is about as risky as it gets in the wild, unless one drinks just downstream of a beaver house. One needs to worry about human infection in the water, not so much the rot of an animal. Yet, one will do what one will do when it’s necessary. What the origin of your personal water supply is, is a real question, and how many others need that water supply is very important.

      The “state of mind” of the individual is much more important than anything else. Those that believe that nothing will ever happen are the first to become savages. Those that have stuff and are not mentally ready will allow others to have that stuff. The Laws of Nature will weed out. Governmental forms will appear starting with family government. Consider population density as the greatest factor. The greater the numbers of people, the greater the risk of savage acts sooner. Know the sources of year round water that are available exterior of government ‘cleaning with chemicals’, and/or boiling.

      Can one grow enough, without urea from natural gas, to supply one’s needs? How about if there are no seeds at the local store? Will the seeds at the local store be the kind of seeds one needs? This is not hand to mouth as some suggest, but; enough to get through the lean to start again in the spring. There are few places on earth where hunter / gather’s still function hand to mouth.

      The military is prepared, and has thought about every aspect of every potential for civil disorder – have you?

    • warren March 1, 2011, 7:30 pm

      Out of a caribou track? I also saw True Grit…both of them.

    • Cam Fitzgerald March 1, 2011, 9:02 pm

      Benjamin, you surprised me with your post today. I had no idea water was one of your big interests. It is by coincidence one of mine too.

      You have likely already heard about “slow bio sand filters” and how effective they are at cleaning out Giardiasis and E-Coli and most other suspended particles including iron. I did incidentally drink water from one of these bio-sand-filter systems in the Third World.

      I had encountered one of these units on Lake Tana in Ethiopia while travelling. It had been provided by a Canadian NGO.

      The water is pretty turbid at the location I found it. A big murky stirred up pond really that definately does not look potable at the best of times especially near the shore. Anyway, I was offered a glassful (and me, being a little adventurous, as you have probably noticed by now), said what the hell and I drank it. I am still alive and feeling just fine.

      Anyway, these are incredibly cheap to set up and operate. No need to buy the commercial filter for them either as long as your sand layer stays moist at the top and therefore provides a bio-protection layer.

      Basically a simple home sand filter amounts to no more than a full-size barrel (steel or plastic) with sand and gravel (at the bottom), some valves to control flow and an input pipe. Gravity does the rest.

      Here are a couple links to help. Everyone who seriously has concerns about water and believes we may be at risk one day needs to realize how easy it actually is to get clean water from poor sources on very short notice. People with no education whatsoever in very poor countries know how to set up and operate these simple purification devices.

      http://www.biosandfilter.org/biosandfilter/index.php/item/229

      http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-43234-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

      http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-43234-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

      And here is a detail view of a manufactured version of a bio-sand filter that gives you the picture that helps it all make sense. This is a commercial version but keep in mind that absolutely anyone can build one of these on short notice with local materials and very little specific knowledge. And that is exactly what is being done in the Third World where financial resources are scarce and demands huge.

      Benjamin, the beauty of these simple systems is that they require no electricity, no batteries, no heat, no chemicals, no specialized technology and no fancy filters from far-off counties. This is back-yard stuff that a ten year old can build on a days notice. And they give very acceptable water that you can tune-up further with a quick boil if you still feel anxious.

      http://www.purefilteredwater.com/bsf.htm

    • Benjamin March 2, 2011, 1:13 am

      Cameron,

      No, I have not heard of this before, but the question was on my mind for the _longest time_… doesn’t more sand help? One would think, but without any solid confirmation (the internet will be the internet), I just had to assume no, and look into other alternatives. This will be valuable. Thanks!

      Steve,

      I’m not sure if “tracks” is literal or some nice way of saying something else, but I did once see a man squeeze water from elephant poop, and drink it. I can only surmise that the freshness of the, uh, bulk is what made the water sanitary enough to drink. Kind of like a “five second” rule, where the bacteria outside doesn’t have a chance to get inside yet. But since I don’t have elephants or caribou here, I’m just not going to worry about that 🙂

      On a serious note, in looking at how much I used to store, and what I see more people planning, I had to question the validity of many things. Laboring, for example. A modest garden I can understand, but the way some people talk, you’d think they were planting green acres. As someone who has labored outdoors in all kinds of conditions… No way I’m going to be doing lots n lots of work with supply chains down. Weeding out works both ways. Even that victory! garden can fall by the wayside, out of sheer necessity. I was just curious how many people with “not me!” attitudes have considered that. Myself…

      Very much. After all, we all want the best chances, so taking it easier and laying low for a while can’t possibly be considered, right? He who hesitates is dead and all that, right? I’m not so sure of this. I notice a definite difference in food and water intake when I just more or less sit. I notice nature is not an expedient re-supplier, and can only be made so with continuous efforts that might become unfeasible. On a series of broader observations, it does seem nature makes all sorts for a reason. Even the grasshoppers serve a purpose, as do all the fat people. I don’t know how apocalyptic all this will turn out, but I am reasonably certain that if it is anything like a prolonged nuclear winter, many things intuitive would turn out to be the opposite.

      “The military is prepared, and has thought about every aspect of every potential for civil disorder – have you?”

      I suspect very little would surprise me…

  • JJ March 1, 2011, 7:09 am

    Rick, that blog you referenced is simply filled with total and utter BS, like canola oil being a toxic poison.

    You do your reputation serious damage by even linking to a thing like that. For the most part, I like your blog, but try to do some research before you just throw up random links filled with propaganada.

    • A. Rand Fan March 1, 2011, 7:28 am

      What do you know about Canola Oil? You probably think High Frutcose Corn Syrup is great to. Or Soy Isolate.

    • Steve March 1, 2011, 5:10 pm

      JJ, If random links to propaganda are justification of elimination of a feed. Well, I guess one would need to disconnect from anything the government says about just about anything.

  • Henry Hub February 28, 2011, 10:43 pm

    It is interesting that the former solder’s way of dealing with starving fellow citizens is to shoot them. This is a reflection of the warped and perverted American mind set.
    We have governments to deal with situations like this. Food rationing and controls are the only answer. Citizens should work together to see that all are provided for. This is what being a patriotic citizen of the USA is all about.

    • Steve March 1, 2011, 1:24 am

      No Henry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      The government protects against foreign powers.

      The rest is your job as an individual. THAT THINKING IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE U.S.

      CARL MARX, CARL MARX, CARL MARX, CARL MARX

  • Tech-trac February 28, 2011, 10:20 pm

    and I suppose shareholders have a say about where corporations place their political bets? The latest figures show that organized labor contributes only 30% of political contributions. Sadly Texas, a right to work state, has a $30+ billion deficit. WI had a $140 mil deficit before labor contributed cuts in benefits. Corporations got a $140 mil tax cut! We all know that Republicans still cling to their ‘trickle down’ hypothesis even tho Wages & Compensation have been declining
    for over 3 decades. Apparently that trend hasn’t been reinforced by declining union membership.

  • F. Beard February 28, 2011, 9:48 pm

    Are You Ready for a Food Shortage? RA

    Yes. I carry a 60 day supply of it on me at all times.

    Many Americans do.

    • Cam Fitzgerald March 1, 2011, 3:37 am

      Funny guy! I am all bones myself. Have to do storage the old fashioned way. I have a larder to keep the veggies crisp all winter of course.

  • Agent P February 28, 2011, 8:01 pm

    “When and if society comes unglued, I hope the military here can restore order, the Rambo lifestyle is a movie fantasy with over 30 million people in California.”

    That is quite an interesting ‘hope’ you have there.

    Restoring ‘Order’ in the manner you state, will mean certain confiscation of property, food reserves, weapons and any other personal belongings that might put You at an advantage over your fellow citizen. And in today’s government-dependent society, having an advantage over your fellow ‘disenfranchised’ citizen, is not a dynamic that an emerging Authoritarian State is likely to countenance.

  • Cam Fitzgerald February 28, 2011, 5:14 pm

    One of the biggest problems I see with food inflation around the globe is that it drives a tendency towards hoarding.

    This behavior seems to apply equally to those who produce surplus food as to those who depend on imports to breech the gap in supply.

    Russia as we all know stopped exports of wheat last year following a disastrous crop and fires across its grain belt. In dependant nations such as Egypt there is pressure to purchase larger than normal supplies of grains and rice in preparation of next years unknown supplies.

    Here in North America though we are well insulated from the food shocks that much of the world is now facing. The percentage of our income we utilize for food purchases is amongst the lowest in the world.

    That does not mean we are “safe” though. On this continent, JIT, or just in time delivery means that even a truckers strike lasting a mere two weeks will result in shelves being bare in most cities.

    Our reliance on a system of transportation from distant central storage facilities has also left us very vulnerable, but in a different way.

    So you may have the money to buy anything you choose in North America but it makes not a whits difference if the product is not delivered and available when you actually need it.

    And this brings up the question of fuel costs and delivery charges. We could soon revisit demands for increased compensation from unionized truckers who cannot afford to bring the products in situations where their expenses are not covered. Who is going to argue then?

    Nobody works at a loss, right?

    One thing is certain, food is becoming much more significant than just fuel for basic human needs. I believe the shortages developing are turning those needs into weapons of war and that is something that just cannot be ignored anymore.

    In our lifetimes we will see many millions perish from famine caused by a combination of economic factors (cost), environmental degradation, political failures and hoarding of food in wealthier nations.

    We may even see food used as a tool in acts of war against neighbors. This seems an inevitability as demands outstrip supply and cooperation between states fail where basic nourishment is on the line.

    Can social collapse really be ruled out where shortages prevail for extended periods of time? Not likely. There are absolute limits to population growth and I believe we are nearing that threshhold now.

    That means that the day is coming when the expense of food as translated into its energy equivalent cost exceeds the ability of people in many countries to pay and therefore that famine will be the outcome where local production cannot meet local demands.

    It will pay then to be stocked up and ready. You don’t have to survive a crisis forever after all. Just be prepared to last longer than all your neighbors.

  • laurent February 28, 2011, 4:49 pm

    Thanks Robert, No copyright on this. Everyone feel free to forward everywhere as I have started yesterday.

    The Enemy Is Down The Street

    This is an emergency message to the collective bargainers of Wisconsin. You are falling right into the divide and conquer trap that is set for you all. Please get together with your non-union compatriots, together with your fellow-members of adjacent states and turn your sights onto the enemy.
    Your enemy is not governor Walker. Your enemy is not the government opposition. Your enemy is not in Wisconsin. Your enemy is not in Washington.
    All these are but entities hanging from the strings being manipulated by your real enemy. This is an emergency. You must get together in the name of not only your members, but of all citizens and start walking towards New York. Your enemy is not at all the general public.
    From your remarkable reputation of values and determination, you could potentially gather three million supporters to walk onto Wall Street. Bring your demands onto the table of these enslaving banks. These are your enemy. These are our enemy. This is the enemy at the root of every economic dispute presently happening on this planet.
    Just go in there peacefully, set up camp and ask J P Morgan, BoA, Citi, Wells Fargo, Wachovia and the others for the few billions that Walker needs to balance the budget, and just take it back to him. But before you leave the bank, ask them also for the money they stole that was meant to balance all local, municipal, state, and national budgets. Also don’t leave without the money this den of vipers stole from the Arab world,
    the African world, the Third world, or just plainly The World. If they don’t quite have enough there on Wall Street, just move up the isle a bit and get the rest from Rockefeller. If this evil House doesn’t have quite enough at home, there is another House in Europe that could fill in the gap without even feeling the pinch. Please go to New York. That is where the enemy is. Wall Street has barricaded off every one of our Main Streets, but you can get around that. Your are demonstrating the ability to straighten this mess for one and all.

    • warren March 1, 2011, 7:19 pm

      Don’t stop at the banks. They are just puppets of the Fed.

  • laurent February 28, 2011, 4:36 pm

    JJ, correct, your cabbage patch has to be totally out of sight. Retrieve your goodies one bite at a time from your cave, and try not to gain any weight. This could be the smoking gun towards your demise.

    • Travis February 28, 2011, 8:27 pm

      Gaining weight will be the least of your worries in a true survivalist scenario regardless of how much food you have socked away. You will be doing physical labor to take care of your AO and any sedentary type individuals will be soon weeded out.

  • Aussie Mick February 28, 2011, 4:21 pm

    As an Australian, I feel sorry for the people of the USA. I have found most of the ‘yanks’ I have met to be great people. To sit on the sidelines and watch the way that America is being destroyed by a combination of the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, the big banks and the Govt….add to these criminals…the CIA…homeland security…and the new world order movement…what chance has the ‘little guy’ got? Not only are they destroying the USA…but their policies are driving other economies around the world into the dirt. Even our Australian Govt. is heading in the same direction…spending like there is no tomorrow, introducing a ‘carbon tax’…we are ruled by a “Fabian Society’ witch who is in bed with the Greens. I have got to the stage where I spend as little as possible so that less GST is available to the Govt. to waste. Don’t depend on anyone else to look after you and yours..plant fruit and veges, buy beans , bullets, silver , find like minded people…the shit will hit the fan..be prepared.

    • Steve February 28, 2011, 5:14 pm

      Australians are so grounded it hurts. Most of you will survive because you are connected to reality “grounded”, and just don’t mess with feely good american – well you know what it is.

  • John Jay February 28, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Plenty of food in the chain groceries in the Los Angeles area.
    Depending on the season and sales, a lot of it is still cheap.
    Strawberries are in season I guess, $1.50 a pound now, chicken $.99 a pound.
    I have seen no outrageous prices except for corn which is an ethanol side effect, I don’t buy any as a result.
    If you go to the Walmart grocery, even cheaper food prices.
    If you are far from the food source in a very cold state, and you add in rising fuel/transportation costs, you are in trouble.
    I’ll stay here where it is warm year round, and food is close and cheap.

    As far as the Wisconsin situation, it is just part of the slow motion collapse and ongoing fight over ever dwindling tax monies since we have shipped our productive tax base and jobs overseas, and have increased spending by trillions on overseas military failure, and local Wall Street looting of more trillions.
    The only solution to that problem is collapse, poverty, and a growing third world type population here.
    I see no way to stop what is coming, and expect the trend to continue.
    When and if society comes unglued, I hope the military here can restore order, the Rambo lifestyle is a movie fantasy with over 30 million people in California.
    If it comes to the point of firefights over your cabbage patch, you are screwed no matter how well armed and trained you are.
    How many gunfights do you think you will live through?

    • Steve February 28, 2011, 5:10 pm

      Some important points missed. Urea, the fuel for all current highly compact growing comes from natural gas. (yes, even your corn is fueled with natural gas urea). Fields do not plow themselves, or harvest themselves. California, how is your water to grow supplied. Can the land support the population with limited water, and fuel. The chicken @99 is fed corn, as is beef. Producer/grower beef is what has raised to 140 a hundred. (rancher needs a feeder calf to grow, and this is the cost) Wholesale beef will be affected maybe 12 – 18 months downstream. What is on the shelf of a grocery store is irrelevant. It is the supply chain that needs to restock that store every day the counts. Go into a grocery store before restocking occurs on a week-end. There is a period, often late Sunday when a break comes in restocking the shelves. The first day that people realize what facing a shelf is, and there are gaps – its too late brother.

      As to unions, and jobs. The problem is when one cannot work unless one pays the fees to a purpose that one does not agree with which is controlled by a union which you are forced to pay dues to. The union, and the democrats no longer represent the blue collar common man. The thing that is breaking the back of society is the fact that the unions represent the persons who have the highest benefits, gold lined heathcare, greatest wages, who are not being taxed because the union owns the democratic legislator.

      Wake up ! Unions represent the elete ‘caste’ just below the ‘ruling caste’, and are against the ‘common caste’. No common man will ever see the benefits now showered on the government worker, and I do mean G.M. is a government worker who got a 4000 deposit in their 401k, which you paid for with the bankruptcy.

    • Sarra the fletcher March 6, 2011, 6:28 am

      Alaska, where I live, is not only cold, it’s also 1500 miles from the nearest link to the US food supply chain. My Significant Other is in the grocery business, and he has been watching stocks closely for over a year. Canned corned beef, of all things, has been off the shelf for six months. Scallops are getting hard to get. Cod fillets are coming in at less than a pound sometimes. Tomatoes are even more costly than gasoline up here. And so forth. We’ve been worried for a long time.

      Hunting and fishing are becoming less sport and more necessity among Alaskans. Last moose season was incredibly crowded, so bad that the legal moose were pretty much gone from our favorite hunting area by the second or third day of the season. I’m expecting an epidemic of poaching this year.

      We have always raised a significant portion of our vegetables ourselves, and will be raising pigeons and rabbits this summer as well. Those are prolific breeders, tasty, and can be raised on an urban lot without disturbing neighbors as long as you are clean.

      Presently we have bulk supplies in the larder, and a chunk of our tax refunds will go to rounding out the basic supply.

      We’re really not survivalists, although as I look this over, I rather blush at that claim. Thing is, we’ve always lived by the rule that it is better to have but not need than to need but not have.

    • Sarra the fletcher March 6, 2011, 6:32 am

      PS – Agrium, the fertilizer company, closed their big urea plant on the Kenai Peninsula a couple years ago. They claimed that they couldn’t get enough gas to keep it open. For the last two years, the city of Anchorage has had a city-wide practice drill to help people get prepared for what some officials consider to be an almost certain disruption in the regional supply in the next few years.

  • john hartmann February 28, 2011, 3:56 pm

    just watch the movie rollover

  • BlackTooth February 28, 2011, 3:28 pm

    get some chickens…you can even have some in town where I live.

  • laurent February 28, 2011, 3:06 pm

    In all humility, I have three recommendations.
    1) Steve, you may want to put a short leash on that steer. Especially if he is coming of “freezer” age.
    2) Buy extra seeds, as set up a small kitchen-size greenhouse to extend your growing season.
    3) Message to Wisconsin group:

    This is an emergency message to the collective bargainers of Wisconsin. You are falling right into the “divide and conquer” trap that is set for you all. Please get together with your non-union compatriots, together with your fellow-members of adjacent states and turn your sights onto the enemy.
    Your enemy is not governor Walker. Your enemy is not the government opposition. Your enemy is not in Wisconsin. Your enemy is not in Washington.
    All these are but entities hanging from the strings being manipulated by your real enemy. This is an emergency. You must get together in the name of not only your members, but of all citizens and start walking towards New York. Your enemy is not at all the general public.
    From your remarkable reputation of values and determination, you could potentially gather three million supporters to walk onto Wall Street. Bring your demands onto the table of these enslaving banks. These are your enemy. These are our enemy. This is the enemy at the root of every economic dispute presently happening on this planet.
    Just go in there peacefully, set up camp and ask J P Morgan, BoA, Citi, Wells Fargo, Wachovia and the others for the few billions that Walker needs to balance the budget, and just take it back to him. But before you leave the bank, ask them also for the money they stole that was meant to balance all local, municipal, state, and national budgets. Also don’t leave without the money this den of vipers stole from the Arab world,
    the African world, the Third world, or just plainly The World. If they don’t quite have enough there on Wall Street, just move up the isle a bit and get the rest from Rockefeller. If this evil House doesn’t have quite enough at home, there is another House in Europe that could fill in the gap without even feeling the pinch. Please go to New York. That is where the enemy is. Wall Street has barricaded off every one of our Main Streets, but you can get around that. Your are demonstrating the ability to straighten this mess for one and all.

  • Jeff February 28, 2011, 2:48 pm

    [ Expect the CRB to double 2 years from now ] And the joke CPI will still be .04 % .

  • Marc Authier February 28, 2011, 11:09 am

    Expect the CRB to double 2 years from now. Serious.

    • Robert February 28, 2011, 5:00 pm

      Hmmm-

      A double in the CRB would mean that the long positions I took in MOO, DBA, and DBB in early 2009 was a good idea.

    • Rich February 28, 2011, 8:13 pm

      Nice 54 – 63% returns despite losing to contango every time they roll contracts ahead.
      Big4 had DYY, +93% same time period, stopped out…

  • Cam Fitzgerald February 28, 2011, 6:45 am

    There was a very extensive report and analysis done by Nomura Global Economics on food issues that is well worth reading if you have the time. It is a bit long (80 plus pages) but was well done and covers a lot of territory.

    Basically it will scare the hell out of you by the time you are finished, especially after seeing the details on how close to the edge some countries are right now today (before much of the commodity boom has even been reflected in prices on the ground).

    Here it is: http://www.nomura.com/research/getpub.aspx?pid=390252

    Go straight to page 27 of the report and have a look at the “Food Vulnerability Index for 80 countries” to get an eye-opening perspective on how much income is required for food in the nations most at risk.

    In Egypt for example, household spending on food as a percentage of total income averages 48% according to the report. That represents statistical data collected before the current run-up in food commodity prices though.

    Helps to explain the Mid-East riots a bit, does it not?

    • Rich February 28, 2011, 7:34 pm

      Thanks Cam.
      Perhaps that’s why Jesse Ventura’s shows on FEMA Camps and Fusion Centers were taken off the air…

  • mario cavolo February 28, 2011, 5:53 am

    yep…my meal foray to well known and busy Sweet Tomatoes restaurant chain in Scottsdale had me reading a “due to supply problems, we are currently not stocking tomatoes on our salad bar”

    How’s that for ironic?

    Cheers, Mario

    • Robert February 28, 2011, 3:48 pm

      Well, you know what they say about irony:

      Irony is the the willful act of ignoring the possibilities that become perfectly obvious when taken in hindsight.

      In reality, though- vegetable supplies taking frost hits, etc, is nothing new, and they’ve never destroyed civilization before.

      The question is what canned stocks look like, and whether your local farmer’s market is running dry.

      When cans are leaving the store shelfs by the case, and when the local country vegetable stand has a “closed until further notice” sign posted out front, it will be time to:

      1) Be thankful that you are prepared (and ready to go all Commando-crazy on your neighbors to defend your stash)

      or

      2) Panic.

    • roger erickson February 28, 2011, 5:47 pm

      the cost of irony depends on how long recognition & response requires;

      Can we create an “Irony Ore” index? Should be more important than NYSE:SLW

  • Other Paul February 28, 2011, 5:26 am

    I’ve read that:
    –40 million + US people are on food stamps.
    –239 million US people live paycheck to paycheck.

    That’s a lot of people living on the edge. We’ll see how much
    –Grin and bear it
    versus
    –Vigorous calls for government to do something like:

    —Seniors demanding a “re-do” on the late 2010 Social Security inflation adjustment (0%).
    —The calculation of the inflation factor in TIPS is in May and
    —Any mid-term adjustments to the vehicle mileage allowance.

    The reaction to the solution in the Wisconsin legislative and executive branches could set the tone for what the “commoners” will do on other issues, like food inflation.

    • Rich February 28, 2011, 7:20 pm

      Approaching 44 M now with EBT Cards from JPM, average benefit $33 a week, cards accepted by fast fooders. 70,000+ union people may rally in Madison, but legislatures realize they are out of money, and are cutting benefits, like the 20,000 students in MI just dropped and the cuts in MediCal and Medicaid. Congress procrastinated extending unemployment benefits. The author is right on about self-reliance. Salad days are over…

  • Steve February 28, 2011, 4:27 am

    I have a steer in the field I paid 96 a hundred for. Could sell him right now for over 140 a hundred. Just what does that mean?

    • Rich February 28, 2011, 7:09 pm

      Big4 long the usual Feeder Cattle and Live Cattle too for some time=higher prices…


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