The U.S. Food Shortage: How Will it Impact Your Family?
Most people are aware that a water shortage is currently impacting the lives of millions of people in California, and it is easy to understand how a problem like this, if left unchecked, could spiral into a nationwide issue.
However, there is another huge problem looming on the horizon that the majority of U.S. citizens are completely unaware of.
This lack of knowledge could cause you and your family to suffer greatly in the near future, especially if the economy crashes again next year like so many experts have predicted.
What is Causing the U.S. Food Shortage?
There are several factors that have caused food prices to increase, and certain types of food are already becoming more difficult to find.
For example, a drought that hit parts of the country in 2013 led to the smallest cattle herd since 1951. This made the price of beef and milk skyrocket, and it also resulted in there being less beef available in supermarkets across the country.
In fact, beef prices hit an all-time high by February when the average cost became $5.28 per pound.
A significant price increase on a common food staple coupled with a reduction in the available product hurts U.S. families in multiple ways, and this is only the beginning.
Unfortunately, beef is not the only meat product to become harder to find.
Pork prices shot up a staggering 13 percent in just one year due to porcine epidemic diarrhea killing off approximately 6 million pigs that were intended to be turned into food for U.S. citizens.
The decline of beef and pork in the country has allowed chicken farmers to reap a big profit, but this does not mean that they have started breeding enough extra chickens to take up the slack.
Instead, the poultry industry has merely attempted to maintain its chicken numbers while simultaneously increasing prices as much as 9.2 percent in less than two years.
However, it is important to note that the lack of extra chicken production is not entirely the fault of greed. Statistics indicate that rooster fertility dropped an estimated 2 percent in 2013, and this problem is not expected to correct itself anytime soon due to genetic issues. Therefore, although there is currently more chicken available than beef or pork, the prices are still starting to go up due to a slow decline in poultry population numbers.
There are several other common food items that have also shot up in price this year, including coffee, limes, orange juice and shrimp.
The majority of these price increases were caused by droughts in various parts of the world, so this is yet another example of a dwindling supply leaving people forced to pay more money or select cheaper alternatives that might not provide them with the same essential nutrients.
In the past, people who could not afford pricier items were able to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption to remain healthy, but even that is becoming more difficult due to the California water shortage.
In fact, popular items such as broccoli, grapes, lettuce and tomatoes are all less prevalent right now, and prices could go up as much as 34 percent.
To make matters even worse, experts believe that the situation will become increasingly dire over time unless the California water shortage can be corrected.
What is Happening in California?
Being aware that there is a drought and actually understanding just how catastrophic the problem is are two very different things.
This summer, millions of people nationwide participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of ALS, and this was a beautiful thing that was accompanied by one major issue: it encouraged people to waste water.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this fundraiser was the fact that several celebrities who live in California contributed to the water waste instead of utilizing their public platform to raise money for ALS while also calling attention to the water crisis that threatens a major portion of the nation’s food supply.
It might be more understandable if the drought was a new issue to the Golden State, but it was already three years old in 2009 when the governor at that time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, asked cities throughout the state to commit to reducing their water consumption by 20 percent.
The usage of groundwater in California has shot up by 20 percent in an attempt to keep up with basic needs, and the state is expected to increase this reliance on aquifers to minimize the damage that is being caused by the drought.
For those not in the know, aquifers are underneath the ground, and they store groundwater.
In most cases, this water cannot be refilled once it has been fully tapped out, but the nation now needs this nonrenewable resource in huge quantities to meet the demand for water.
Once these aquifers go dry, a significant water source will be gone forever, and the ground above these areas can also become permanently damaged.
In other words, making the decision to put such a heavy demand on aquifers right now instead of finding alternative methods to deal with the drought is similar to a sports team mortgaging its future by trading away all of their talented young players for a big name star in the hopes of winning just one season.
Unfortunately, though, the potential consequences for everyone in the U.S. are far more drastic than simply watching your favorite team lose for the next decade.
If the aquifers are allowed to become completely wiped out, reducing water consumption by 20 percent will still leave an annual deficit of at least another 20 percent, and this is only if the drought ends.
If the drought continues, California will not be able to sustain all of the people and farms that are currently there, and entire cities will most likely end up deserted.
People who take a shortsighted approach to major problems might think that emptying out part of California is a great plan, but this fails to take into consideration the importance of all of the farming and food production that comes from the state.
The reality is that the entire nation needs California to be fully operational in order to have fully stocked supermarket shelves. Therefore, if you think food prices and shortage issues are difficult now, just wait until California’s aquifers run dry.
Nationwide Food Price Increases
If you do not eat meat or dairy products, you might not have noticed until more recently just how severe the price increases and shortages have already become, but vegetarians and vegans are now suffering along with everyone else due to the continual increase in vegetable prices.
This will become worse over time, and the U.S Department of Agriculture has admitted that an overall food price increase of 3.5 percent is expected by the end of 2014.
This means that even people who eat the least expensive products available are already battling with an increase in food prices, and all of the U.S. citizens who live below the poverty line are now tasked with somehow reducing their food budget by 3.5 percent without starving.
Economists have indicated that these price increases have now surged past the overall inflation rate, and there is no sign of this potentially catastrophic issue going away anytime soon.
In fact, the expected price increase rate for 2014 was way higher than it was in 2013, and it is likely that these predictions will get even larger for 2015.
Can These Problems be Quickly Corrected?
The low voter turnout numbers for the latest election highlight the fact that many people have become apathetic, and there is also a strong sense of “if I ignore the problem, it will go away” within certain communities and demographic groups.
Unfortunately, the increasing food prices and shortages that we as a nation are facing are not going to magically go away, especially if steps are not taken at a government level to address climate change issues that have been linked to unusual weather patterns and droughts.
At this time, it is best to operate under the assumption that government help is not coming anytime soon, and this means that it is up to each of us to take steps to protect ourselves from the food and financial crisis situations that are on the horizon.
There are many prime examples in other countries of how desperate things can become when food shortages occur, and many scientists believe that a global food shortage will happen within the next 40 years.
Taking a look at some of the issues that a lack of food have caused in other countries should help you get a better understanding of the type of action that you must take now to protect your family.
For example, a food shortage in Venezuela was dubbed a bigger concern than the constitution by many citizens and news networks, and armed officers were utilized to crackdown on hoarding and overpricing.
Citizens reported that they were unable to find basic staples such as eggs, and there were concerns about looting and rioting.
These concerns are understandable when you consider the fact that rioting did become an issue in Haiti and Egypt in 2007 and 2008 due to a wheat shortage that was caused by India instituting an export ban.
The United Nations has predicted that Ebola could lead to a global food crisis. An estimated 40 percent of all farmers in Sierra Leone are no longer tending their fields.
Some California residents have already found themselves going to bed hungry at night due to the drought-induced food shortage.
What Should I Do?
As you can see, there is no quick or easy fix to this problem, and the reality is that food shortages on a global level are headed our way.
When you couple this with the water shortages in the U.S., it is now more imperative than ever before to put an action plan in place that will enable you to stop relying so heavily on supermarkets.
- Utilize Aquaponics – Although aquaponics requires the usage of water, it is actually much more environmentally friendly and uses less water than other traditional methods of growing fruits and vegetables. Therefore, if everyone started using Aquaponics, they would be able to dramatically increase their own food supply while reducing water consumption. As an added bonus, the fish that are used to keep the system running properly could be used as food once they become so big that they need to be replaced.
- Stock up on Canned Goods – Perishable items should be grown and maintained on your own property so that you can control this imperative food source. However, canned goods are also a great way to help your family deal with a food shortage, especially if it is the temporary type that entire areas can experience after a natural disaster.
- Stock up on Water – The lesson of the California water crisis and many other water issues worldwide is that everyone needs to have some water on hand in case accessibility becomes limited for a short or long period of time. If you do not have at least enough water on hand to meet your basic needs for a week, you are not fully prepared for even a short interruption in water service. Alternatively, you could dig a well on your property if there is a source of water available to feed into it.
How you prepare during the next few months could make the difference between living and dying.
Everyone needs to start growing some of their own food so that they can more effectively deal with problems such as increasing food prices and a decrease in the supply of much-needed items at their local grocery store.
So what does that mean for making preparations for your family?
Every American home MUST have a complete plan that includes steps and resources to prepare for a break in the food supply, a massive food shortage, or even a spike in food prices due to a shortage.
The drought conditions in California have already happened and will have an impact on our overall food production as a nation.
As drought spreads to other parts of the world, food production is dwindling in countries we import food from as well.
Thousands of American families are already preparing for the worst.
Key items to address are…
- Water – You can die from dehydration in as little as 72 hours so knowing how to store water and capture water for the long term as well as filter even pond scum is a must
- Food – You need a minimum of 3 months of food per person in your family PLUS a means for growing food (even indoors) for the long term
- Power – If the grid shuts down for a period of time you will want to have a dependable back up power source that can run your essentials and keep your electronics charged
- Shelter – You will need to be able to secure your home and keep it safe for your family with a hard perimeter PLUS avoid mistakes that can actually signal to unprepared folks that will come and ransack your supplies to survive themselves
- Defense – You must have some basic, powerful, self defense moves that will allow you stop an attacker dead in his tracks (this is a MUST if you have children)
- Medical – During this time of unrest a visit to a hospital could be a major risk and a small scrape can become deadly if not treated properly right away. So you must make sure you have a properly stocked medical kit.
After much research we found a few resources that have already compiled the most critical information for you and laid out the solution in an easy to follow step-by-step plan that can be completed on any budget.
It is only a matter of time before millions of Americans will be staring this crisis in the face wondering where it came from and how did this “creep up” on American so fast.
The media is barely covering this. However CBS did an hour long story on the drought in California and how American is about to lose ONE THIRD of its food production. In this rare, hard hitting report CBS showed that the cost of food has already gone up 18% while average American wages have only increased 1.2%
Grain shortages are already affecting feed for cattle and the cost of beef went up 30% from 2013-2014.
There may be a time, like in Greece after their financial collapse in 2009, when no amount of money can buy food for a period of time.
A complete preparation plan includes a short term solution AND a long term solution so your family is insured security no matter how long this situation continues.
87% of Americans polled said they would turn to crime and violence if needed to feed their children.
This is what you will be up against! The only way to avoid the catastrophic outcome is to make the decision to get ready now before it is too late.