This week’s newsletter is brought to you by Marjorie Wildcraft’s, “Grow Your Own Groceries” that helps newbies and experts alike get more food from less ground with less time and effort than you thought possible. I strongly encourage you to check it out by clicking > here <.
You’ve probably been noticing how much your grocery costs are going up. Yes, you read the title of this article correctly, and honestly, I hope it only doubles. It could get much worse.
I’ll explain why. There are many unstoppable forces that are colliding and the result is that food prices will go up like an eruption from a volcano. I’ll highlight the three biggest forces in this article. By the end, you’ll realize that it is time to make some plans, take action, and get ready for a really ”new normal”.
The number one factor pushing up prices is simply the weather. It doesn’t matter what you believe about the cause of climate change – and who really knows? But the fact is that weather patterns are changing around the globe. We are getting more and more severe weather and the bottom line is that it is affecting crop production around the world. Right now, the US is in a severe drought. Many fields have already been cut and fed to livestock before maturity and a lot of what’s left is only expected to yield 20-40% of normal. And a lot of what actually is being harvested is being wasted on ethanol production.
India is currently experiencing a severe drought, as are parts of China, and Africa. Russia has had severe drought several years ago and went from being one of the largest exporters of wheat, to having to go out on the open markets to buy food for its people.
Australia used to produce enough rice to feed millions of people, but due to heat and drought they have lost almost 98% of that production.
Texas has been in drought for over four years now (or 12, depending on the part of the state) and the ranchers have been selling off their herds because they can’t afford to feed them. In the short term, this has kept the price of beef low, but soon the last of these great herds will have been butchered, and the price of beef will skyrocket.
At least one rancher in Kentucky got so desperate that he started feeding remnant candy to his herd—that’s got to make for healthy cattle and healthy meat!
Larry Pope, chief executive of Smithfield Foods (the largest pork producer in the world) has recently given a dire warning. “Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat. Pork is not going to be too far behind. Chicken is catching up fast.” He also stated (in regards to ethanol) “Its almost a government-mandated disaster”.
Do you remember the flooding along the Mississippi last spring? That was farmland being destroyed. And the tsunami that hit Japan? That not only destroyed local farmland, but the water table is now contaminated with radiation which is affecting a much greater area than the devastation in the videos we saw.
Next time you are watching the news and see people stuck in airports because of severe cold, also think about the livestock and winter crops that are freezing to death. Remember that scorching heat this summer? Not only is it tough for you, but the corn and soybeans can’t handle it either.
Around the globe we’ve had droughts, floods, heat waves, cold snaps and worse. These losses have been going on for much of the last decade. To keep things stable, we’ve been eating our stored grains. We are now scratching the bottom of the bin. Even the conservative USDA is reporting our reserves are razor thin.
It is a simple supply and demand situation – the weather is destroying supply while demand increases.
#1 Severe weather is reducing global food production.
Are you getting used to the ‘new normal’ at the pump being somewhere around $3.50 to $4? Do you think oil prices will be going down? No, me neither.
All across the US you’ve seen those mega farms growing the corn, wheat, and potatoes that make up our basic food stocks. Every step in the process of growing that food involves oil and fossil energy. The planting, the chemical fertilizers, the harvesting, processing, and transportation are all processes that need massive amounts of energy (oil) to run.
As the price of oil goes up, so does the cost to produce food
#2 As the price of oil goes up, so do grocery prices.
Many Americans are surprised to find that we are no longer the ‘Bread Basket’ to the world. I certainly always believed that. I thought we produced two or three times what we needed and we were shipping it off to Africa, or India, or somewhere like that. The truth is we export only about 15% of what we grow. And, we import about that much. In fact, the US is getting closer to being a net importer of food.
So we saw above that almost all of the food grown in the United States is utterly dependent on oil and fossil fuels. Did you know that the US imports almost 65% of its energy? That means our food supply is largely dependent on foreign oil. The United States in not food self-reliant.
This gets us into the third biggest factor of why your grocery bill is going to double. The US Government has been issuing more and more money which is having two detrimental effects: inflation and the dollar losing value.
As the dollar loses value it becomes more and more expensive to buy the oil we need to grow food. The dollars that buy that oil are losing value – and with the possibility of the US defaulting on its debt, well, everything is going to get more expensive.
As the Government prints more and more money it is the textbook example of ‘too much money chasing too few goods’. You are probably already seeing inflation, what you may not realize is that hyper-inflation is right around the corner.
Another complication is that as this crisis unfolds there will be all sorts of governmental interventions – most of these will have the net affect of increasing prices. Already, over 30 countries have put export controls on food products to keep food in their country. Within the US, the increasing regulations for ‘food safety’ have put some farmers out of business. Price fixing and rationing are certainly possible, and historically have been shown to be ineffective. Price fixing was tried as recently as the 1970’s here in the US, and you can expect it to come up again.
#3 Government spending and interventions to the food crisis will push up prices.
Unfortunately, this is a very long-term problem. I definitely recommend you start stocking up on food supplies, but the real solution is to learn how to grow your own. The weather patterns, the price of oil, and the various world Governments are not going to suddenly change track any time soon. And there are a host of other factors that will push up prices which I have not written about here. You simply cannot store enough food to get you and your family through this crisis. It is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about growing food in my backyard – and encouraging everyone else to grow food too.
You can take control of your grocery bills and get immunity from the crisis we are facing by simply using what you’ve got right in your own backyard. It is really fun and easy to do. And you’ll be eating much healthier than ever before.
Protect yourself and your family. Start growing your own food.
David’s note: Growing your own food is definitely an undertaking that is similar to eating an elephant. If you try to do it all in one sitting, it’s not going to work out so well, but if you take it one step at a time and keep making forward progress towards your goal, you’ll find that you’re continually better off than you were.
One of the best resources that I can suggest is Marjorie’s “Grow Your Own Groceries” and I strongly suggest that you check it out. Everyone’s going to be negatively affected by the coming skyrocketing food prices, but you can insulate yourself by growing SOME of what you eat…and enjoy food that’s tastier and more healthy at the same time. Head on over to Marjorie’s right now by > clicking here <
What are your thoughts on the droughts this summer and what’s coming for the price and availability of food? How about your experiences in new gardening this summer? What are you planting/sowing right now? Are you growing indoors, outdoors, or both? Share your thoughts by commenting below: