Are We Heading For Food Shortages Now?

A Wales meat processing plant shut due to Covid19 this week, you may have heard the story, if not, I’ve put a link here . Along with Germany and now Cleckheaton Yorkshire as well as  Tipton in the Black Country.

Is this the start of something?

Has anyone also noticed how, in the weekly supermarket shop, there are occasional shortages? None of the staples , yet, there seems plenty of bread and rice (discounting the panic buying during the covid19 initial response in the UK). But washing up liquid only available in the smaller sizes? Sauces and condiments in short supply? I haven’t seen any brown sugar for about 10 weeks, and have to get it from the corner shop. No big deal, but is this a sign of a trend, I wonder?

These things often start off small and then gather traction. The 2008 crash didn’t happen in one fell swoop but began with sub prime mortgages defaulting, banks closing as their fractional reserve model collapsed, job losses, quantitative easing and savers still only get 0.01 on savings accounts!

Food shortages will come and the cost of food is going to rise. Steeply. It isn’t because of global warming, that is now pretty much seen as a hoax. It is however, a side effect of the corona virus scandal; the biggest and most worrying in history.

food bank

Globally food is in short supply. The price of one staple – rice – has risen by 70%. Food prices in the US have recently seen a historic jump and are set to continue upward. Countries with good food production are stopping exports. Vietnam has stopped exporting because they need their food domestically. Some condemn it as nationalism but any country, village or home would do much the same.

An  over-reaction to a virus no more dangerous than the flu is causing the problem, and may result in the deaths to add to the many who are going to die directly as a result of the lock downs worldwide.

The total death rate from the corona virus is around two thirds of the number who would have died of seasonal flu in the same period. The corona virus figures have been artificially inflated, with many deaths being ascribed to Covid19, despite the cause being pneumonia, cardiac, COPD or a stroke.

The global death rate from the secondary effects of the corona virus scandal will be measured in millions.A look at the background reveals some insight.

Processing plants, manufacturing and distribution centres around the world have been severely disrupted by the massive reponse to this virus.

If one worker on a farm or in a warehouse falls ill with flu-like symptoms then the government often closes down the farm or the warehouse, as outlined above. Is this strictly neccecary?

Elsewhere crops of vegetables and fruit are being ploughed into the ground. Livestock are being destroyed because the supply chains have been shut down. America is now importing beef because of domestic shortages there.

The worldwide house arrests mean that thousands of farmers cannot get their crops picked. Recently a plane was charted to bring Romanian pickers in! Fruit in particular is likely to rot in the fields and tankers full of milk poured away.
Controls on transport mean it has been difficult to move food from where there is produced to where there is needed. Why havn’t governments used furloughed workers to help pick the crops. What about students currently locked out of college and university?

The consequence of all this is that there is going to be massive shortages of fruit and vegetables, prices are going to rocket.

Inevitably, the most of the Remainers, immersed in their own prejudices and ignorance will blame Brexit for the shortages.

Unfortunately, the shortage is global not just in the UK.
Other factors are also ensuring that the shortage will get worse.

When the economy is allowed back into action again, the price of oil will doubtless eventually rise because the existing supplies are diminishing rapidly and most oil companies have reduced, if not stopped, exploration.

This means that farming and transportation costs will rise, that will also push up the price of food.

food store

It may be worthwhile building up your stocks of long-dated food staples such as rice and pasta and bottled water (because that’s going to be in short supply too) and don’t foget the loo rolls. Dried and tinned food with long dates are also good.

Governments tell us not to store stuff but the army don’t buy bullets the day they need them, do they? Perhaps grow some vegetables or fruit is a good idea (watch that no one climbs over your fence to relieve you of them). Don’t have an allotment – the chances of you being able to harvest your own crops are too remote because access to allotments is incredibly easy. It might also be a good idea to stock up on vitamin and mineral supplements.

I suspect that we are going to have more virus health calamities coming up. If it isn’t the corona virus in a second wave it will be something else, and we are not even into flu season yet!. If they can make up one crisis then they can make up more. All it takes is a tame Professor (Liam Ferguson springs to mind)

I’m convinced that the time to panic buy is when there is no panic.

There are  other explanations for what has already happened and for what is going to turn this into a perfect storm. Some of the explanations are short term and some are long term.

Plagues of Locusts have been traveling from Arabia into Africa. India last week noted locusts of ‘biblical proportions.

Most of us tend to think of a swarm of insects as being no more than a few yards across but locusts are different. A decent sized swarm of locusts can be as large as London and there can be many swarms. That’s pretty scary but even scarier is the fact that a plague of locusts can in two days eat their way through as much food as would keep the whole of the population of the UK going for a day. A swarm can lay around 1,000 eggs per square yard of land. Imagine what that will do to food supplies. So now there are swarms of locusts descending on Africa and India, each swarm can cover 20 square miles. All the locusts do is breed and eat. When they land on a tree the combined weight will bring down large branches.

Can we rely on the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency which is supposed to control problems like this. The FAO is a bit like the World Health Organization! The FAO is crop spraying with chemicals but unfortunately the locusts have developed immunity. In one area locusts all fell off trees after being sprayed but three days later they recovered and flew away. A small swarm can strip 100 acres in minutes.

Additionally crisis that has been gripping the world has disrupted supplies of the chemicals for spraying and the swarms of locusts are getting bigger and bigger and threatening food supplies in Africa, Arabia and Asia. The economies of those countries affected are going to be destroyed. Food will be scarce.

But the locusts are munching away and the farmers are digging their crops into the ground and the food shortages which are coming will be biblical.

Is one of the many reasons for the corona virus being exaggerated the desire to close down farms and warehouses and distribution centres – apparently legitimately – when one worker tests positive for the corona virus, or develops a mild symptom or two?

Do a little food stock piling now so that you and your family will have a better chance to be strong and healthy. Countries look after themselves and we all need to do so.
It isn’t selfish. It’s Darwinian survival. Those who survive are not the fittest strongest, fastest or cleverest, but those that adapt the quickest.

If your government finally warns you of this problem, it will probably be too late.

Main image taken from Oliver! (1968)

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