Beyond the extremists and the survivalists, beyond those wanting to sell emergency food supplies and beyond those who blame the government for everything, there is a vague feeling of unease about food that has the potential to grow as the situation becomes more ominous.
At the end of this list is another list of links to articles around the internet. I've tried to omit the doomsdayers and find the true facts, but if you have anything to add, please do so.
Here's why I think we will experience a serious food shortage:
1. Natural weather disasters have caused more food production shortfalls than usual. We've felt the repercussions before when coffee and sugar production fell due to weather, but this is more widespread. Drought, floods, freezes and cooler than average or hotter than average temperatures have had devastating effects on crops.
2. Banks are unwilling to loan to farmers for fertilizer, seed, etc. The economy is taking its toll on farms that work like businesses in that they borrow working capital each year and pay it off when the crop comes in. Banks are not loaning anyone much any more and this includes farmers.
3. Legislation is making it more and more difficult for the small farmer or backyard food marketer to sell their produce. This will affect farmer's markets and roadside stands and limit your choices.
4. Developing countries like China are demanding more and better quality food as their standard of living rises and individuals are better able to afford dairy and meat. This takes grain to grow, which may be in short supply. See numbers 1 and 2.
5. Some nations are halting food exports to try to keep their own prices within reason. This leaves less on the market for other nations who depend on them and drives the price up.
6. The ever worrisome biofuel situation chimes in. Land that was once producing corn for feeding out cattle and hogs is now being used to produce corn for biofuel. As legislation, global politics and disasters push the price of oil up, biofuel beckons farmers with promises of making more money than if they were growing food.
7. Just a suspicion but I am in no way alone in this: Food reserves are down. Grains, dairy and other food surpluses are held by the government and released as needed. Food prices are at record highs for many of the reasons listed above... where are the reserves? Either we're being lied to about them or they're being withheld for political reasons. I don't know which I'd rather believe.