Let’s take a look at what’s really going on with this growing season, the drought, and the extremely high temperatures. I posted a comment on Facebook the other day about drought conditions and some smart-aleck said “So? We lived through them before, we’ll live through them again.” I do not want anyone to panic,--this is a panic-free zone, remember, but for this lady to make such a flippant comment concerns me for a couple of reasons…where there’s one there are many who also have this laissez faire attitude and that’s dangerous—very dangerous—because this drought is most assuredly not like anything we’ve EVER lived through and today I’m going to tell you why.
This past week I was attending a medical preparedness oriented education event and I took pages and pages of notes. However, one speaker caught me particularly off-guard. He works for a university in Kansas. Part of what they do is evaluate the farm production all over the U.S. (with drones, if you can believe that!). I can’t believe how sophisticated the equipment is that they have nowadays. Just by taking some scans from some satellites they can tell you how healthy the crops are, what kind of nutritional content they contain and the level of moisture. Apparently the USDA and other official initialed entities rely on this university for appropriate crop prediction numbers. Well the bad news is, these scans are telling a gloomy story.
This professor, Dr. Price, taught us was that a drought doesn’t just affect the amount of food that’s harvested but it also
dramatically affects the quality or even safety of the food as it’s harvested. For example, Johnson Grass which is related to the sorghum and corn family, is a common grass that cattle graze on. Most times it’s just outside the fence. The cattle poke their head through and munch away. Unfortunately though, in a drought situation, the grass turns deadly to the cattle! This is because it will accumulate nitrates when it gets dry and the nitrates accumulate in the leaves where it then becomes deadly when exposed to high heats. (Anybody disagree with me that it’s been horribly HOT this year?) Bottom line, when plants go through a dramatically low water situation it drastically changes the chemical compound of the plants and thus alters their nutritional benefits—just as it would if our bodies were significantly lacking in H2O!
So here we are, in the midst of a horrible drought situation coupled with intense heat. We’re not just concerned about the amount of food that we’ll harvest, but we should also be watchful of the quality of food that we harvest as it makes its way into our homes. This is VERY serious as over 50% of the U.S. has officially been declared to be in a state of severe drought—we’re talking equal to the Dust Bowl crisis. 2012 is officially noted in history as being in the same category as some of the worst droughts in our nation’s history—officially the 6th worst on record with the midwest conditions threatening to give it an even greater historical distinction submitted by the very same Dr. Price who spoke at our education event, it shows that the vegetation problems are most intense in our “bread basket” of the U.S.—i.e. where the majority of our food supplies are grown. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, we get
Unfortunately, this is not a complete picture of the challenges associated with a drought.
Low moisture also makes it very challenging in creating sufficient seeds to save, making them less viable, and even rendering them impotent.
Food conglomerates (essentially one big “union”) cause the prices on our food to rise even faster than they might otherwise because so much influence is spread amongst so few. Did you know that four grocery chains supply 50% of all of the nation’s groceries? Only two companies (Tyson and JBS) have control over the majority of all of the pork (57% of all pork, actually), beef (70% of all beef), and 40% of all of the chicken production in the U.S. When it comes to packaged foods, PepsiCo, Dole, General Mills, Nestle, and Kraft are the few big stuffed shirts which determine food prices. With the power and influence controlled by so few, how drastically do you think this drought will impact our food prices? A lot, because there’s no one for them to compete against much.
A white paper I was reading recently showed Mexico as importing 80%+ of our vegetable produce. Now look at the map and see how Mexico is faring with this drought and intense heat. Needless to say this means even higher markups on our fresh foods as well. How about California? It provides over half or our fruit and nut harvests. Look at how they are faring on the Vegetation Condition map! In previous years over 48% of our corn crops went directly to the fuel industry along with another 10% going towards other corn products (some of which you’d never dream were influenced by the corn market). So in a drought condition like this, what little will there be left for our actual food needs?
Mexico is our biggest supplier of vegetables, only sharing a 2 to 1 portion of the lime light with Canada, though China does take a distant third (in dollar values, not pounds) In the fruit category, most of it comes from Central and South America, with only China (4th) to break up the Top 6 of Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Ecuador. Hmmm…have you had a chance to see if there’s a drought problem in those countries too? Yup, there are.
Did you know that nearly three fourths of our meat supplies come from the worst hit drought stricken areas?? Ouch! And we thought the high price of corn was going to kick beef prices sky high? Imagine what will happen when they can’t get ANY food for their cattle.
Here’s another conundrum…Are other nations relying on us to send food to them? Yes. In fact, as a result of their own crisis with Mother Nature and financial collapses, they are relying on us to send MORE than ever before. Will the food prices we charge them be significantly higher due to the drought conditions we are experiencing? Yes. Are any of these countries already struggling greatly with their own financial challenges? Unfortunately, yes. So how well do you think that these nations will be able to handle the drastic food price increases? Do you recall the food riots which occurred in 2007 and 2008 in foreign nations when the prices of rice, corn and wheat spiked 100% or more? There were food riots in more than 24 nations including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Haiti, Indonesia, Senegal, North Africa, Yemen and Haiti where the rioting became so violent and public confidence in the government’s ability to address the problem dropped so fast that that the Haitian Senate voted to remove the country’s prime minister, Jacques-Édouard Alexis from office. Other nations had angry protestors which ended up dead as they clashed with police. (Where do hungry people get their energy to protest? I haven’t figured that out yet.) Russia still has not fully recovered from their intense drought in 2010. The flooding of Australia’s crop has them asking for wheat to be imported all of which spikes the demand for a product which also affects pricing. It’s no wonder why the author of "Tropic of Chaos", Christian Parenti, said “The initial trouble was traceable, at least in part, to the price of that loaf of bread.” (Just so you know, this isn't an endorsement of his book which is full of "global warming" gobblety gook.)
Closer to home, with a real unemployment number of 22.5%, can Americans handle a 20-30% price increase on their foods? Oh, where did I get the number of 20-30%? From my own experiences in the grocery stores and from hundreds of other fans who have shared with me their actual experiences. (So please don’t buy into this garbage line of “5% increase” in groceries being circulated among the Lame Stream Media.) Keep in mind that higher spending on food staples means significantly less spending on other items which will increase the unemployment and financial economic strain on this nation.
And then there’s more…China and Japan own the largest portion of our foreign debt; as a result, they have significant leverage in laying claim to the food that they need. China has had its own food crisis over the past two years so you can bet that their need will not DECREASE this year in light of the crop conditions they’ve had so far, and Japan is in the enviable position of being 2nd in line for demanding we sell crops to them. Japan is struggling with tainted food sources as a result of the nuclear plant compromise it suffered this past year. They have stated that they will import MORE food this year than ever before as a result. The only problem? Um, we don’t have as much food to sell you as we have in years previously. (Are you starting to get the picture as to why wealth makes very little difference when it comes to food?) If we keep honoring the demands from foreign nations and our own insistence at using food for fuel, then we run a very real risk of having just as bad of a scenario next year according to historical drought weather patterns.
So if you were to look at history, what do you think is a common companion to escalating food prices, let alone when they are combined with stark unemployment numbers? The answer is social unrest and violent conflict. (By the way, The Depression unemployment was only a couple of percentage points above where we are presently and that was with a much better GDP and lower inflation.)
Have you heard the saying that “we’re only 9 meals away from anarchy”? Well, that’s exactly what is starting to crop up all over the nation. Poverty stricken youth are swelling up with anger and desperation, willing to get gain for what they need at all costs. Otherwise ordinary citizens are starting to compromise on the moral boundaries which they’ve set for themselves in the past, but those boundaries are becoming more and more narrow and blurred. Let’s not forget that we’ve already got escalating numbers of Americans living at the poverty level. What’s an additional 20-30% food cost going to do to them? Send them on the street?
The ripple effect of a drought is unimaginable to most. They look at it as something that is simply happening out there and which they will be unaffected by, but they have never been more wrong than they are now. Drought leads to food inadequate food supplies; it also leads to dry land everywhere which leads to wildfires which lead to extensive depletion of an already struggling water supply. The crops that are growing are still suffering from the onslaught of insects whose populations were not properly “thinned out” as a result of mild winter weathers. Water supplies weren’t replenished as a result of this same mild winter and given a one-two punch with a rather dry spring in many areas and too much water in others causing flooding and late planting. The intense heat adds to the drought problem by bursting key parts of our nation’s infrastructure at a time when municipalities are struggling to keep their lights on, let alone face multi-million dollar fixes to their water delivery infrastructure that was built during the early 1900’s! Oh, and lets not forget that our nation no longer has any substantial wheat reserves because we already sold it all!
Clearly, we’re not talking about a little hiccup in our crops this year. If we’re listening, we’ll understand that the so-called hiccup is actually an obnoxious sounding alarm trying to save us from unthinkable consequences within our homes. So sure, we’ve had droughts before, but she certainly was nothing like this!
© 2019 Of COURSE this post is Copyright Protected by Preparedness Pro. All Rights Reserved. NO portion of this article may be reposted, printed, copied, disbursed, etc. without first receiving written permission by the author. This content may be printed for personal use only. (Then again, laws are only as good as the people who keep them.) Preparedness Pro will pursue all violations of these rights just as vigorously as she does any of her other freedoms, liberties, and protections.