Saturday, January 29, 2011

The future of food... is it here?

Ok, I'm worried. Or beginning to worry. Food prices are still going up and there are many reasons for them to continue to rise. One is the weather. You don't have to look very far to see extreme weather. Snow measured in feet instead of inches, droughts that hang on and on, floods, tornadoes in places that don't get tornadoes.

And then there is the threat of diseases. Blights, fungi and bacterial problems are beginning to plague monoculture megafarms. Loss of seed variety, encouraged by Monsanto and GMO practices, add to the threat. It's becoming more and more difficult to maintain heritage seeds - seeds that are needed to ensure the continuation of food crops.

Crop failure, no matter what its cause, can be disastrous now more than ever, because we live in a global world.  Preferring local food can be seen as backwards and nonproductive.

What product prices should we be most concerned with? Start reading the labels on your shelves because those products very probably contain some of these.

Wheat  - bread, rolls, cookies, cake... pizza dough, cabbage rolls and the hundreds of items that use wheat and/or gluten.

Corn  - popcorn, sweet corn, corn meal, corn flour, corn starch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup... this affects the cost of literally thousands of products.Corn has almost doubled in the last 6 months or so.

Soy is another one that has seen rising prices. Not just in soy sauce or soy milk, soy is found in many, many products.

But maybe you've heard this before? In 2007, there was great concern (although much of it behind closed doors, they tell us) about rising food prices and possible shortages. Food prices did rise, but not so much that we didn't adjust and go on. Will it be that way this time?

I don't know, but I'm hearing rumbles that I never heard before. Rumbles of crucial food shortages, of hunger increasing, of government programs not being able to keep up, of food banks having to turn away people. Do you think our government will tell us if there was a serious food shortage? No way... people panic. People act stupid when they fear anything, and the government knows it.

Hunger and food riots have always happened somewhere else... not here in the USA. We have lots of cheap food... don't we? I believe the near future may tell us a different story.

Pay attention to the overall picture and watch your food budget closely.

16 comments:

Coolwhip said...

You know, as a consumer I was blissfully unaware of GMO products...never gave them a 2nd thought. However, as a mother, my concerns, like yours, are there. While we are fortunate that we haven't quite felt the tightening of the belt like so many of our friends & neighbors have, I am aware that at any moment, we could be next. Last year, I took care to plant & grown ONLY heirloom varieties of tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, lettuces, & peppers. It scares me to think just how much clout big corporations have with the gov't. As a mom of a daughter who, to me, has begun to develop much earlier than I expected, I'm shocked to see that she is actually behind most of her female classmates. Relieved, & shocked. I can't help but wonder how much of what I've fed her, up until 2-3 years ago, has effected her health...her brother's as well. Scary...scary stuff.

Angie
aka eyrehead

Pat said...

I agree, Angie. Scary stuff, especially for the upcoming generation. It's hard to realize all of what we've done to ourselves.

Bevlion said...

Pat, I think you know where I stand about where we are at in God's time table, but I'm seeing signs that make me know things are accelerating fast.

A major part of that Middle East problem as of lately has to do with the hyperinflation already hitting the nations and the food shortages they are now going through.

We definitely need to keep at least a 2 week to a month of food supplies on hand should we have any transportation problems once the Persian Gulf is shut down again. I wish I could at least has chickens in my backyard laying eggs all day long. :^(

Just my two bits. Love Ya and thanks for allowing us to share.

Pat said...

You know I agree, Bevlion except that I think more than a month's worth of food would be wise. We can help others if need be. The government passed a law that they have the right to confiscate food in an emergency... just a heads up.

Stacie said...

Pat, could you share a site that shows the law about government confiscating food in an emergency?

stayathomemummy said...

I too am worried about the increases in food costs. As a stay at home mum we have a limited budget and i also try to by organic and ethical food - this is becoming increasingly difficult. A very timely post indeed. Stacey x

Pat said...

Stacie, the Patriot Act gives the government practically unlimited power to enter private dwellings, eavesdrop or read any communication and confiscate any goods of the citizens of the US.

Pat said...

stayathomemummy, I agree in that it's becoming more and more difficult to afford food that isn't laced with poison.

Social Deal Map said...

The so called "organic" may not be 100% safe either, as hermone or poison are everywhere. Organic just mean it did not touch hermone or poison at the last step.

Pat said...

Social Deal Map, although I wasn't addressing organic food at all, I agree with your comment. When "Big Business" took over organic labeling, it was corrupted. Stay with small, local producers even if they're not certified organic (which is almost a joke) and look for ones who farm naturally.

Anonymous said...

yes food prices were predicted to go up this year! I went shopping myself and could not believe how lacking the sales were (unless you buy a lot of junk food!) I spent my usual amount of food but got much less and had to forgo many of the things I used to buy!
Also Corporations are taking over the Organic foods as well so we can kiss that goodbye!
It's hard to buy food for the long term when you can't even buy for the week because it is so expensive! I am shopping the $ store more for canned foods since they have gone up in price to over a $. And don't even get me started on the tasteless food....
It IS scary! Unfortunately this is only the beginning!

Pat said...

I'm afraid you're right in that this is only the beginning. We've had cheap food in abundance for a long time here in the US, but that may be a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

I haven't gone shopping in two weeks....I think I'll be in for sticker shock!!!

Pat said...

You might very well be. The end is not in sight yet, either.

Anonymous said...

There are eight GM food crops currently. Soybeans Corn Canola Sugar Beets Hawaiian Papaya(most)and a small amount of Zucchini and Yellow Squash. If you can't afford organic try looking for labels with NON GMO on it. Sugar also is GMO unless it is pure cane sugar. then it is a combination of sugar cane and GM sugar beet (GM0). ANYTHING made from corn including corn flour corn sugar corn meal is GMO. Sugar substitutes are GMO any kind of dextrose food starch fructose is GMO. Vegetable oil is GMO isoflavones soy sauces is GMO Soy Lecithin is GMO Soy Milk protein isolate soy flour tempha Teriyaki marinade Vitamin B-12 Vitamin E tamari just to name a few! For a complete list go to NonGMOShoppingGuide.com It gives you a complete shopping list!

Anonymous said...

If you are not in a hurry when you shop and look through the deals you can still do well. I went food shopping this past weekend and got $116.00 worth of groceries for $83.00 including meats and organic vegetables.