Monday, June 6, 2011

I Sincerely Hope You're Storing Food

Amid all the stories about the wicked problem with produce contaminated by E. coli in Europe, it's not being emphasized that massive amounts of food are being destroyed.  In Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic and the UK.  I don't know how this food will be made up, or what the percentage of damage is, but it has to press food prices up. 

Here in the US, Corn planting is late in the upper Midwest, which is still sopping wet from the winter and (alleged) spring.  The situation appears to be the same in the Northeast, where it seemed to be  a record winter for snowfall.  Much of this corn is grown for animal feed; not having the feed is going to increase demand on corn from somewhere else, but it's looking like there's no such place as "else". 

Texas is still almost completely in drought conditions, which will put pressure on cattle ranchers.  In Arkansas, the situation is schizophrenic.  "Tyson Privett, an extension agent in northeast Mississippi County, summed up the two extremes: On one side of the county's levee system, corn and other crops are starting to shrivel up. On the other side, hundreds of acres of farmland are still flooded."  Let's not even get started on the lower Mississippi area, where floods have not receded enough, and a lot of that land is not going to be usable for years. 

I know I've beaten on this drum before, but better to have and not need than need and not have.  Food prices are going to continue to go up.  And coffee really is like guns: two supplies is one and one is none. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen. And I wonder how badly the ethanol game is hurting the availability of corn for feed? I also read a while back that this was going to be a bad year for the Chinese wheat crop.

    Got garden? Good quality seeds (preferably heirloom) aren't a bad idea, either. With raised beds you can control a lot of the conditions that might not be favorable otherwise. Never too late to put _something_ in the ground.