It can be hard to imagine a looming food crisis when you can walk into your local grocery store and see shelves overflowing with abundance. You can find easily find everything you need, and plenty that you don’t.
You might even ignore those around you warning you to stock up on food while you still can. In fact, they might seem like Chicken Little desperately calling out, “The sky is falling!”
But don’t let the full shelves fool you. While the sky may not actually be falling, the world is facing a food shortage. It’s only a matter of time until it hits. Until then, the government wants you to keep walking into the stores, feeling like everything is fine.
The world’s food situation is not fine. Here are just eight of the many indicators that it’s time to stockpile food, and start growing some of your own.
1. Raising Food Prices
Have you noticed the price of groceries rising in your area? I sure have here, especially for basic staple ingredients such as butter, flour, and rice. Every time I head to the store, it seems like I have to stretch my food dollars a little further.
It’s not just in my neck of the woods where prices are creeping up. According to a study by the USDA Economic Research Service, supermarket prices are expected to rise .25-1.25 percent during 2016, and 1.0-2.0 percent during 2017. While those percentage points may seem low, they’re still moving up.
But, since the price of gas and food are intertwined, those numbers could soar past predictions if gas goes up again. Most of the food in the supermarket wasn’t grown in your local area. It was shipped there, requiring fuel.
As food prices continue rising, it’s getting harder and harder for families to buy what they need. That means the number of families now getting food assistance from the government continues to grow. It’s not a healthy outlook for our food supply.
Plants need water to grow and produce harvestable yields. As temperatures around the world rise, droughts are becoming more common.
Widespread droughts are hitting fertile cropland across the planet. From California to India, low rainfall and high temperatures cause devastation on crop production. Long-term forecasts indicate these weather patterns are likely to continue.
3. Diseases Wiping Out Crops & Animals
It’s not just the weather wreaking havoc on our food supply, it’s also disease. From the virulent Panama disease taking out bananas to African Swine Fever that can wipe out entire pig farms, diseases are running rampant in the food supply.
Modern food production techniques such as CAFOs create the perfect environment for peril. In a natural setting, you’d see a couple of pigs on farms across the landscape. They’d be interacting with nature, and have other animals and plant life around to help keep disease causing parasites at bay.
Instead, the majority of today’s pig farms are just pigs and concrete all around. When a disease comes in, it quickly moves through the whole herd. Often entire farms have to execute their animals to prevent the disease from spreading.
The loss of that many animals plays a role in rising food prices. Supply can no longer keep up with demand.
These issues aren’t just a problem for pigs. Cows, chickens, and other animals are being raised in conditions that make them prone for disease.
Crops are being raised in similar fashion. Instead of farmers growing a variety of crops, you see corn growing in huge fields for miles around. There are similar fields for soybeans, wheat, and other crops.
4. Food Safety Concerns
Have you noticed how often food is being recalled? From peanuts to frozen vegetables, meat to processed foods, it’s hard to trust the establishment to deliver safe food to your table. Listeria, e-coli, salmonella, and a host of other food borne illnesses are harming and killing people around the globe. Modern food handling practices have led to these food safety concerns.
Factories play a part in the production of numerous food products. When one factory has a role to play in the bulk of the food system, a containment can quickly spread.
Add transportation, storage, and unsafe handling, and you’ve got food that’s ready to play host to multiple strains of bacteria. Then there’s that whole GMO debate. Some countries don’t believe that genetically modified foods are safe for consumption. Others have drunk the GMO Kool-Aid and are pushing them on the marketplace at an astounding rate.
That’s another reason to grow your own food. You can pick heirloom varieties that haven’t been modified. No matter what you grow and preserve, be sure to inspect what you stockpile to ensure it’s safe.
5. Crops Being Used for Other Purposes
Crops aren’t just being grown to feed humans anymore. A huge portion of our food supply goes to feed cows. Cows were never meant to eat grains in the first place! Let them eat hay, and that’ll relieve a huge burden on our food supply.
Then there’s the whole ethanol thing. About a quarter of US corn is being used for fuel instead of food now. With a food crisis already in the works, using food for other purposes adds to the problem.
6. The Death of Small Farms
The family farmer is slowly become obsolete. Small family farms are being bought out by large mega-farms.
When single companies have their hands in so much of the food chain, a blow to one can cause huge problems. Conversely, when you have hundreds of small farms producing, it’s easy for the others to step in and make up the difference if one experiences loss.
But with rules and regulations definitely favoring mega-farms, it’s no wonder that small ones are selling out and shutting down. As governments continue persecuting small farmers, the number of farms producing your food will continue to shrink.
(the Lost Sense)