Thursday, September 9, 2010

We are just one bad year on the farm away from horrific famine.

Got food storage?  Got household food production?  Got a local food system?

The recent news that Russia has extended its embargo on grain exports for another 12 months is a reminder that the world teeters on the edge of massive food shortages.  It is not an exaggeration to say that we are just one bad year on the farm away from horrific famine.

This makes household food storage and production, and local food economies, all the more important.  Don't wait for the food crisis to erupt to start storing food, increasing your household food production, and supporting your local food economy.  It will be too late at that point.  The time to grow our local food sustainability is BEFORE the food crises hit.

And those food crises will come upon us, just as certainly as the energy crises and economic crises are upon us.  Indeed, the energy and economic crises, coupled with increasing climate instability are toxic politics, will drive the coming world crises.

Here's an article that gives more details about the coming food crises.  (Note that I am using the plural for crisis, since what we will see are multiple food crises erupting around the world.

Horrific famine coming?

Few people would have the money to seriously stock up overnight.  But most of us can set aside some extra food every month.  One 25 pound bucket of grain/month over a year's time is 300 pounds of wheat, and that's a lot of flour and biscuits and breads.

Here are some links that talk about the annual and seasonal sales cycles in conventional supermarkets.

The Annual Grocery Price/Sale Cycle
Guide to Grocery Sale Cycle
How to understand your store's sales cycles

For local food shoppers, best prices and availabilities will be strictly seasonal.  No farmers market will have a great price on tomatoes in January in the northern hemisphere.  Meat prices often will vary depending on demand and inventory.  If a producer has animals coming on to processing, but he or she still has quite a bit of inventory, then that's the time to notice sales.  It always helps to cultivate relationships with specific farmers so that you can find out such information, since local food producers rarely have advertising budgets.

As with anything else, you will need to develop a plan and implement.  Decide on a monthly budget for food storage and increase your family's food storage each month.  Use your calendar to develop your local food production.  And always try to support your developing local food system with some of your grocery dollars.  I have always believed that one day our local food systems will be all that stands between us and hunger, and everything we can do now to support and expand that system may make a critical difference later.

1 comment:

  1. Bob, do you see many indicators right here at home (OK and TX) that make you think we are close to such a crisis in the very near future? I think many of us are turning a deaf ear to the trenders because dire predictions are the way they get their press. We have been overrun with doom and gloom for the last couple of years. Not wishing to argue with you in the least, just trying to make some sense of itl. All of us have opinions, but some people make the headlines. As for food storage, it is a good idea no matter what might happen ahead. It smooths out the seasonal fluctuations, takes full advantage of sales, cuts down on the trips to the store, etc. Very efficient and economical.

    Have read recently in the finance news that the wholesalers have ALREADY increased prices to the retailers substantially but that the big stores have been afraid to pass those increases on to the customers too quickly. My husband took one look at the bacon prices at WalMart a few days ago and said, no more! In the past the pre-holiday sales have been a good time to stock up on baking and canned goods, but I'm wondering if we'll ever see such good sales again.

    And thanks for your Compendium of Links. ~Liz