End of an Era: Prospects Look Bleak for Slowing the Coming Food Crisis

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Top Tier Gear USA

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By and large, the majority of the population have deluded themselves into believing a bright future is upon the horizon. For years, economic forecasters and preppers alike have warned of the bottom dropping out of the economy. You know what I’m talking about – the proverbial doom prediction of “it’s not if, but when.” But, it’s not just a phrase to add for dramatic effect, it was a call to action. It was a warning that the American dream is about to drastically change and that it’s time to prepare accordingly. Quite frankly, the “not if, but when” expression is closer than we want it to be.

The End of an Era

We have all seen the anomalous increase in food prices. We can blame it on the extreme weather patterns, or the increased cost-of-living that has occurred over several years, but there is another element to consider. While these factors certainly play into the equation, experts believe the root cause is that the world has entered into an era of “peak food” production. Peak production refers to a point at which the growth in production of a crop, animal or other foodstuff begins to slow down.

New research finds that the supply of 21 staples, such as eggs, meat, vegetables and soybeans is already beginning to run out of momentum, while the global population continues to soar.

Peak chicken was in 2006, while milk and wheat both peaked in 2004 and rice peaked way back in 1988, according to new research from Yale University, Michigan State University and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany.

What makes the report particularly alarming is that so many crucial sources of food have peaked in a relatively short period of history, the researchers said.

“People often talk of substitution. If we run out of one substance we just substitute another. But if multiple resources are running out, we’ve got a problem. Mankind needs to accept that renewable raw materials are reaching their yield limits worldwide,” said Jianguo “Jack” Liu, of Michigan State University.

This synchronization of peak years is all the more worrying because it suggests the whole food system is becoming overwhelmed, making it extremely difficult to resurrect the fortunes of any one foodstuff, let alone all of them, the report suggested. Certainly we can just substitute foods before to production begins to plateau and decrease.

See the complete list of peak foods here.

Many believe this simultaneous peaking of the world’s basic foodstuffs is largely due to the massive population boom (world population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050), which is placing an ever-greater strain on the land for housing, agriculture, business and infrastructure. Quite simply, the demand is greater than the supply. The World Bank warned of this years ago and it continues to plague our way of life. As we continue down this unsustainable path, prices in food and other goods will only continue to climb leaving many without the wherewithal to invest in healthy food choices for their family.

Eating cheaper, less nutritious food, will have catastrophic life-long effects on the social, physical, and mental well-being of millions of young people. We are already seeing this today. According to the last Census report, one out every five children is on food stamps – that’s more than before the recession. This is how many believe the powers that be will bleed the upper and middle class dry. Mac Slavo notes just how serious things have gotten for the middle class.

This chart, published by the London Telegraph, shows what has happened to Americans as they struggled to tread water and keep afloat after 2008. For the United States, there have been some signs of improvement, but mostly for those already on top. And the general decline in the global rankings of economic freedom and civil liberties does not complement the widening inequality, either.

wealth-gaps

 It illustrates the dramatic shift from the post-World War II years of economic expansion to where we stand now…

Moreover, in a recent article written by Michael Snyder of the Economic Collapse Blog, he cautions that the collapse in oil will also play a leading role in the destruction of our economy.

We are really starting to see the price of oil weigh very heavily on the economy and on the stock market…

The key to how much damage this oil collapse is going to do to our economy is not how low prices ultimately go.  Rather, the key is how long they stay at these low levels.  If the price of oil went back to $80 a barrel next week, the damage would be fairly minimal.  But if the price of oil stays at this current level for the remainder of 2015, the damage will be absolutely catastrophic.

 Build Out Your Lifelines

Folks, this is the time that we have all been preparing for. The near future will be the moment your preparedness endeavors will pay off. Essentially, they will become your lifeline. Times have been good to many of us and we have had the gift of time to prepare, but now is the time to double down on your preparedness efforts. It’s time we accept that we have reached an era of total unpredictability.

Clearly there are changes that are necessary in order to slow this impending fate. One simple change we can all make is to consume the food you purchase. Roughly 30 to 40 per cent of the food grown globally for human consumption never gets eaten. Eliminating this wasteful way of life would go a long way to feeding the growing population.

Another way to circumvent this inevitability is to begin limiting our dependence on the grocery stores. Growing or raising your own food sources, learning skills to live self-reliantly, and bartering for goods and services will help you become more in tune with what your family needs to survive the food plateaus in the coming years. As well, consider these other suggestions for limiting your exposure to this potential game changer.

  1.  Get prepared. Buying food, products and supplies in bulk, will help you prepare for price inflation. If you have the means to do so, buy 30-60 days’ worth so that you have everything you need. Having these on hand will help you if times become more difficult. You can use this free online series to begin creating a personal step-by-step preparedness plan for your family; or, buy the best-selling book, The Prepper’s Blueprint to use as a reference in your preparations.
  2. Preserve wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, by tying your money up in assets it will help you avoid the inflating prices of food sources in the future, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
  3. Invest in food. If we are at our peak for certain foods, now is the time to store them for future use. Further, these foods last a lifetime and would make a sound investments for future planning. Ironically, many of these are in the peak foods list. Ideally, you want to store shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise, and also offer you peace of mind in case the economy further degrades because you’ll be in direct possession of your food. How much food should you store? The Ready Nutrition food storage calculator can help you to determine how much inventory you may need and allows you to break your purchases into weekly shopping trips so you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars up front. As well, read Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First for more ideas.
  4. Invest in an emergency pantry. Did you know that nearly 23% of your grocery bill is spent on processed foods and sweets? Rather than spending it on GMO filled junk, you can use that money to invest in a food pantry. One of the best decisions my family made into our future livelihood was to eliminate our debt by simplifying our lifestyle, and by creating a food pantry based on the 25 most popular pantry goods.
  5. Learn how to grow your own food. In a homestead environment, a person wants the land to work for them as much as possible. Invest in fruit trees, seeds and garden supplies. If you really want these peak foods, find a way to grow them yourself. Further, if you live in a rural area, consider investing in trees and bushes that will lure wild game. The trees and bushes can provide you with added sustenance and help you stock meat in your freezer. Here is a how-to guide for creating a garden fast.
  6. Raise livestock. Rather than paying hard-earned money at the store for eggs, poultry and dairy – raise them yourself. Chickens are very easy to care for and can provide you with meat and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, you can find substitutions for these peak foods with a little research and ingenuity. For example, rabbits would be a suitable protein replacement. Similar to chickens, they don’t require much care and with some effort can be fed from the homestead’s garden or you can grow fodder. They are also great breeders and will provide you with ample amounts of meat. These are the 10 best meat rabbit breeds. As well, for modestly purchasing a fishing license, you can stock your freezer with fresh-caught fish.
  7. It all adds up.  Pay off debts ahead of time and work to restructure your outgoing funds to lower your expenses as much as possible. Any money that is saved, set it aside. That way, if your personal income dries up, you won’t have to go into default.
  8. Simplifying your lifestyle. Before you begin investing, take steps to get out of debt. Debt only enslaves you further, and simplifying your lifestyle can help break those shackles. Learn about these 6 ways to simplify your lifestyle.

 We Have a Choice

With higher population volumes competing for the same types of foods, food inflation is a likely scenario facing an already struggling society. Malnourishment could be a the forefront of long-term issues due to this issue. As se stand at the brink of this precipice, remember that you have a choice to make. You can continue to ignore the tell-tale signs or do something about it. The investments you make into your future today can be consumed and used tomorrow. Sooner or later these essential crops could stop producing altogether and your lifelines will need to be in place.

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Contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

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  • jim_robert

    You lost me with the rehash of the disproven Malthusian bit, Tess. You have discounted one thing: man’s ingenuity. This isn’t a cure all, and doesn’t mean we can be profligate; it does mean that we have *always* kept up with population increase – which is slated to crest and start dropping this century. You need to google the Julian Simon/Paul Ehrlich wager and find out who lost… and why. Malthusianism has been used to justify all kinds of egregious evil.

    • Nexusfast123

      Irrespective of Malthus there are a number of issues that will not be addressed and will trump your ‘ingenuity’ delusion:

      1. The Earth is finite and our ‘system’ of commerce operates as if the Earth is an infinite resource – raw materials, oil/gas, etc, are getting costlier and costlier to extract;
      2. Those that ‘own’ the planets resources (top 10%) are never going to share with the rest. They are incapable of self reform and this will exacerbate
      poverty. An inability to more equally share resources will result in greater numbers suffering from poverty and food insecurity;
      3. Our diet will kill eventually kill our civilisation if we don’t nuke ourselves or a natural event does us in. Our ‘industrialised’ meat and dairy diet is incredibly
      inefficient and makes carbon emissions from fossil fuels look incidental when compared the carbon, pollution and water resource issues that are emerging as we cut down all the forests and hover the oceans to maintain this diet (there is not enough land, water, etc, to satisfy the Chinese and Indian middle class demand for meat and dairy);
      4. Water….we are rapidly running out of clean water – huge volumes are wasted on industrialised meat and dairy production.

      If we changed our diet from meat and dairy we could let much of the land go back to nature. We would move food than we need as it takes 10kg of plant protein to produce 1kg of meat protein. We could let the oceans recover, also eliminate massive pollution from billions of litres of animal waste and have significant water reserves.

      Yes, humans have ingenuity but it will not overcome the nature of the current system and the issues outline above.

      • joetentpeg

        Hate ta throw a little acid rain on your green parade, but you’re the one that is delusional if you think going back to living like davy crockett is going to ‘save the planet.’

        Newsflash/bad news. The planet is doomed to be an iron cinder when the sun turns into a red giant in about 5 billion years, cuz that’s what stars do.

        And there’s nothing you or anyone can do about that.

        Good news. We have 5 billion years to find a new home(s) among the millions of potential earth-like planets.

        The industrial, nuclear, and information revolutions will allow us to evolve our technology to get out there.

        Wishful thinking about living like Tonto won’t.

  • Joe Lizak

    If we ever run out of food in America it’s because our government did it on purpose. The first people to starve in the world will be the Africans.

  • disqus_3BrONUAJno

    As long as some human, somewhere, can grow or raise food, s/he will find someone who will want to buy it, for personal use and/or resale.
    Add to that the proliferation of edible things growing in the wild and it is pretty hard to imagine starving to death.
    I’d add a collection of books that one can use to identify edible from inedible plants to ones library.
    I’d recommend against buying storage foods that are complete and ready to eat in favor of those which are just freeze dried individual components. It is difficult to determine which of the components is tainted when there is more than one.

  • Ken, North Face

    Good ideas themselves a veritable harvest LOL. My policy is a self imposed kind of austerity plan. Say I set off for Town yet only a tenner in my pocket. Difficult yet not impossible to cope. My waistline and receding hair suggests a man fond of the Good Life LOL. You can laugh all you want LOL. My capacity to cope when I forgot my money saw me borrowing enough for a pack of chocolate biscuits and my work never suffered but to keep the plastic on you at all times is ideal LOL. My goal is to go outside the need for a pension plan which I may not get anyway due to economic circumstances outside my control.
    I hear it all the time to minimise your exposure to the events you cannot control yet maximise yourself to that which is within your control is King.
    With or without a classic picture of SHTF and its attendant shootings and Lord knows what else, one fears a slow inexplicable decline when before you know it you are in too deep and your head spins because you cannot work it out.
    I’d make History if I lived through SHTF. I know I would. Therefore investigating the Time of Plenty Pension Plan is best bet considering how my usual calls are so wide off the mark LOL.
    So help me God.