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The Rising Threat of Soaring Food Prices

We’ve been in what one could only call a lull … the time between the cost of commodities rising and when those costs get passed on to consumers. Economist and corporations have all said that starting this month and April, we’ll begin to see those higher prices hit the grocery store shelves. And because food is such a large portion of most people’s budgets, those price increases can only present a challenge to family budgets that are already struggling just trying to manage the essentials.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the factors driving food prices up include global supply problems and natural disasters, such as the floods that hit Australia after years of drought, and the fires and drought in Russia that has brought them to the international buyer’s market for grain this year instead of exporting like they usually do. In the United States, wheat (which is our fourth largest crop produced) is showing a marked slowdown with only 26% of the crops in Kansas showing good or excellent following extensive dry weather. Overall, wheat futures are up by over 49% from last year.

The price of sugar reached its highest price in 29 years earlier this year, but above-average rainfalls may hurt crop harvesting. In addition, this year’s sugar production may be delayed because of ethanol shortfalls. Ethanol and sugar are the two largest exports of Brazil, both coming from the sugar cane grown. Other sugar-producing countries, such as Uttar Pradesh, are also reporting shortfalls in sugar production.

While in more developed countries these prices are not causing millions of people to be pushed into poverty the way it is in less developed countries, it’s still a cause for concern. Food prices are expected to rise and additional three to eight percent overall by the end of the year, and those prices will not likely come down any time soon. In fact, food prices are rising faster than most other products.

In Canada alone, lettuce was up 34.5% and potatoes were up by 11.5%. Coffee showed a 6% increase and milk a 4% increase. Globally food prices rose by 25% through 2010, according to the United Nations. In the United States, according to the U.S. Labor Department, fresh vegetable prices leapt by nearly 50% in February alone. This spike in food costs is one of the main factors spurring the revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East.

And as we’ve seen, because of a “global” economy, those revolutions affect our pocketbooks as well. As of this writing, oil is trading at over $105 a barrel. This hits farmers extremely hard, who have to factor in fuel costs to their crops prices. And because of the use of cross-country transportation to haul this produce all over the United States, those fuel costs are also factored in again at the wholesale and retail levels.

And because the EPA has given the nod to increasing the amount of ethanol being blended into fuel (from 10% to 15%), that will mean more corn will go to fuel instead of food. By 2022, congressional mandates insist that our ethanol consumption triple from what it is now. Government bureaucracy and green mandates seem intent on starving people to death.

And then the growth in China and India of their middle class is spurring an additional demand for goods that has not been present until very recently. This increase in the demand for meat (particularly by the Chinese) is an additional strain on lower grain yields since ranchers have to feed those stock animals. It’s a never ending vicious cycle, and one that we must confront head-on. We cannot afford to continue with piecemeal solutions for different problems, when those solutions affect more than the problem they’re attacking, especially as it pertains to the food supply.

First off, contact your legislators and demand that government mandates that drastically affect the ability of Americans to put food on their table be rescinded. And if your representative won’t cooperate, then work to vote them out in the next election.

We must also work toward developing a monetary policy that doesn’t rely on fiat money, another factor driving up inflationary prices. We already have that in the United States, but Congress ceded its authority to the Federal Reserve in the early part of the 20th century. It’s time that Congress reestablish control over the Federal Reserve and return us to a sound currency backed by tangibles.

And third … grow a garden. We still have access to heirloom seeds, and those are your best hedge against inflation. Grow your own food, and then save some of those seed for next year to plant another crop. Even if you live in the city, you can still utilize container gardening to grow food for your family to eat.

In addition, there are sprouts as well. You can have sprouts growing and ready to eat within 3 to 5 days. The bottom line is, even if the politicians do everything they can to bungle the American Dream for most of us, we still have options available.

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. I think I may just hunker down, watch the whole thing go up in smoke and get ready to start over.

    • Hey Greg, I feel the same way. My husband and I sit here and wait for the collapse and watch others worrying about their vacations. I no longer say anything to people because they think I’m nuts.

      • I can totally relate!

        • My friends no longer listen to me and I don’t much care. Afew of us ha ve planned and srored for future use and are now gardening with zeal. We have dabbled and experimented over the last few years but are now much more serious

  2. dontfencemein1979

    Check out this post for a shelf stable breakfast worth trying!

  3. i am a food storage expert. and teach food storage… and you are right . some people think if you don’t talk about it …that it will go away..
    Please educate yourself … on being self- reliant… this is so important now more than anytime in history..
    remember the pioneers…. we can do it..

    • *laughs* the reason it’s more important now than any other time in history is because, at any other time in history, only the idiot aristocracy didn’t know it, and for a majority of that, they did have at least theory!

      The Industrial Revolution really messed us up.

  4. Hi again,

    I need to ask this. I am an older women of 56, limited means, but already have about 1 yr stored up, and am still getting many more needed items.
    But—- I do not know how to go about, finding and learning about communities, groups, or individuals that feel the same way. I would rather live near other people who feel the same way, then be in the middle of idiots who haven’t prepared for any type of disaster at all.

    Can you help me with any suggestions?? Thank you for your site and web.

    • A lot of us are in the same situation. We are ready for a year, but don’t know a soul here that is also prepping. A bit scarey.

  5. southern patriot

    That’s me and my family. Many friends think that nothing can happen to this country and I hope their right. But we got a lot of things that need to be fixed and there is no common sense in Washington DC that is going to get us out of this mess. i wish there was. I guess we can no longer wonder if we’ll see another Jefferson Smith( from the movie Mr. Smith goes to Washington) with his Abe Lincolin ideals, who goes to Washington and sees corruption and tries to tell what he saw. Perhaps the Taylors of the world have taken control of this country, and we only hear what they want us to hear and see and read. God Help us if that is the case. We continue to buy what we can afford,a couple of extra cans of food here and there,some camping gear and items you wish you had when TCHIF. Hope I’m reading the right stuff (#1 is the good book)and get what we need,looks like storm clouds are building up on the horizont. American appears to be in trouble. What else are we John Does and Jane Does suppose to? Take care, SP

  6. southern patriot

    10-4 on the scary. Trying to prepare for a storm that you know will hit,but not really sure when and where. They tell us to write and call our politicians,but they don’t care what we think. Wrote a Senator and he stated he could not speak to me because I was not from his home town or State. I bet if I had $10,00 in an envelope he would have listened to me. Is there any way I can get a re-fund for all of my tax dollars that have been squandered over my life time? It’s like these politicians are being forced to vote a different way, then what their consequence tells them to vote or how the voters tell them to vote. Hope their not being black mailed??The only thing I know that is smart for me and my family is to buy as many extra cans of food and have extra water on hand. Trying to think out of the box and buy things we’ll need when tshtf. Good luck to us all and God bless. SP

  7. southern patriot

    FYI. about a year ago we stated to purchase food in cans and in freeze dried packs from MH @ WM. We’re coffee drinker’s and we were purchasing Folgers instant coffee-8 oz. for $4.50. Should have bought some more coffee at those prices,today’s price at WM is $6.88. Prices seem to be moving up and up. I use to buy MH freeze dried food at WM I’ve noticed lately, with the exception of one or two packets of MH on the shelves, there not stocking it any more. We really can not purchase any gold so we thought we would buy some food and that would be our gold. Still not a bad idea. Our victory gardens are still producing what we can eat,even with all this heat. We’re just going to hang in there and take care of our own.Thanks for letting me have my say. Good luck to everyone and God Bless America. SP

  8. well we just got word the other day that we have a blight going on up here in maine its hitting tomatoes and potatoes and now we are hearing that we could get up to 6 inches of rain with some wind gusting up to 50 to 60 mph on sunday my dad had to pull 4 of his tomatoe plants due to the blight on them but he is hopeing he got them out in time to save the rest of his plants the blight got his tomatoe plants a few years ago and he didnt get to them in time and lost most of his plants they are saying this blight can transfer its spores up to 40 miles or more in the wind and because my dad grows so many tomatoes and cucumber plants every year its the 2 plants that we dont have to grow in our garden instead of them we work on planting other things like corn peas and string beans carrotsso we can work on the stuff that he doesent grow like we have made 24 qts of pickles for us and made him a dozen pints of pickle sbecause thats all he wanted we have been canning a bunch of tomatoes for our selfs and a bunch for my dad when ever he wants us to can him up a bunch of stuff he brings us up the jars and lids and we spend a few days on canning every week plus makeing jams we almost have enuff jam and jellies for both my dad and my wife and i plus we are giving the kids a few jars of jelly and jams our kids are grown up and have there own kids nowand the grand kids love the jams and jellies we make more than the stuff from the store our goal is to have enuff of our canned foods to last us for over a year and we have been stocking up on the canned foods at the stores we have a years supply of the store canned veggies now wife said we have to slow down on buying so much food we are running out of room for it and i told her not to worrie about it cause with 11 grand kids and 5 kids its not going to go to waste i think its going to be a good thing if they happen to stop over and are out of food that we can have enuff to help them out and not cut our selfs short because out of the 5 kids only 2 of them stocked up on foods and they both have around 6 months worth its the other 3 that dont bother to stock up they thing everything in this country is fine and dont belive that it could hit the fan ive already warned them if they can help them selfs that we could take in the grand kids but they are on there own or they are going to be paying us for food instead of play station games and other toys

  9. One of the priorities a prepper should have is building up a survivor library. There is much to learn in being self-sufficient and we can’t learn it all at once. Having a library as a resource is invaluable. Getting these books if it “hits-the-fan” will become much harder due to the breakdown of communications and transportation nets. Also, many will be destroyed in riots and burned as fuel.

    Books on herbal medicines, food preservation, blacksmithing, basic woodworking, beekeeping, animal raising, self and home defense, making your own cleaning/laundry supplies, dyeing cloth, sewing, candlemaking, etc. Most of these can be bought inexpensively. They help one analyze one’s skills and identify one’s prepping priorities. Also they may provide a souce of barter in the day ever copmes in that one can exchange one’s knowledge/skills, and/or open up a barter-based lending library. It may also provide the knowledge needed to folk looking for new vocations in a more local economy. This can make an area safer by giving folk a way to earn a living, other than stealing,and provide broaden a community’s ability to sustain itself.

    I would be leery of getting anything stored on digital media as one has to have electricty to access the information. All you need with a book is some daylight or a candle.

  10. I was laid off in Sept 2011. I was storing food for about a yr. It has really come in handy for this time. With my husbands pay and my unemployment we have been ok. But now we only have my husbands pay and I have opened a business. I know crazy right…especially in the economy. But it has been doing good slowly building. I am a Master Cosmetologist. And I have opened a small salon. I still get things that are on sale and stock up. But I have noticed that they are making cans with pop top lids. And I know they dont keep as long as the cans that dont have pop top lids. It is hard to find cans without pop top lids. We are going to make a system to catch rain water. And I want to make an outdoor oven. Thanks for this site.

  11. Moonlightmystic7

    Prepping is not only good because of rising food cost, but because we never know what’s around the bend. A earthquake, a tornado, sickness, a job loss, a EMP attack, etc. Any number of things could happen that we will be glad we are prepping. I know when my ex suffered a job loss if we hadn’t been prepping we would have been in dire straights. I take my prepping from that story of the ant and the grasshopper. I don’t want to be the grasshopper with no shelter, food or way to protect myself. So please be an ant. It only makes sense if you want to protect yourself and your family.

  12. You have to buy what you can, grow what you can, where we live, it’s hard to grow much except for root plants, so every time we shop, we buy extra. There are people from the LDS church that will get cheap food for non LDS, I have got things like 50 pounds of dry milk for $50.00, one dollar per can with a 02 absorber, many other thing at great prices, check for a local LDS canning center, many times you work for a day canning and get to take a bunch home at no cost.

    You find like minded people, people who are really prepping and get togather and form a survival group, it’s amazing the amount of information available from a group of people.

    We have just about anything you can think of between us including a place we can all bug out to to survive if necessary that is close to all of us. We are rural. We have large ponds right next to us, silos full of grain.
    We educate each other, share intel, books and meet once a week to plan and learn. We meet and train, we are very selective about who is in our group, it’s not large, but big enough, have become friends and have the same beliefs. We have a doctor, herbelist, 2 gunsmiths, and people with many skills, former special ops military and people who are expert at canning, food growing, cooking with what we have. We have tried to cover everything we can. Money is always a problem, so we don’t take expensive vacations, buy expensive toys etc, our money is going into preps, we make things, buy old hand operated equipment, have solar and windmills for power, lots of good 6v golf cart batteries and we know how to rebuild them, communicaions.
    Get with the right people. We hope we don’t have to fight, but will in a heart beat. Trying to be as low key and out of the way like we are is not a bad thing.

    If all goes south, we have a far better chance of surviving than an individual family or a few people. If necessery, we will die with our boots on, not on our knees.

  13. I must disagree with several arguments made in this article.

    First alcohol use as a fuel is not going to effect the human food supply. It would take a VERY long to post to cover all the reasons why, but to cover the basics: the greatest percentage of corn grown in the U.S.A. Grain belt is not for human consumption. It is used only for animal feed. Once this corn is used to make alcohol, it changes but is still destined to be used as animal feed. Can a bushel of feed corn be used as BOTH fuel, and feed? Yes, but how efficient comes into play. It can be said that some feed value is lost, but in some cases feed value is gained. As one example, if the corn was to be fed to a dairy cow, using that same corn to be first used to make alcohol fuel, then moved as wet distiller grain to the same dairy cow, some studies have shown there to be a net gain in feed value (Iowa State U. study, you can google this).

    More later…..

    • To continue…..

      If the feed corn is not going to feed a dairy cow, but rather a laying hen for egg production, then I believe that I read that the feed production gain was cut. Simply put a cow and chicken are very different 🙂

      It also has to be considered that if fuel alcohol was removed from production, it can be assumed that the grain growers may well rethink what crop they grow in the future. In my lifetime I has witnessed huge changes in growing habits of farmers (grain production). This article seems to suggest that for the sake of feeding more people, and keeping food costs down, things like alcohol fuel should be stopped. The problem with that goal, is that to keep the grain production at a high level, there MUST be profit. In the end, a farmer might want to feed more people per acre, but would be unable to do so if there isn’t enough profit to pay for his input costs, and cover the risk he must take every year.

      • Sorry keep getting pulled away….

        In recent years I have seen pasture turned into more acres to grow corn, this was done because it made sense for the land owner to do, more profit in corn then grass fed beef. Make changes in alcohol fuel production, does all that land go back to grass? I would guess not, (not ALL anyways) however, if those changes take away the profit to the individual land owner, he will be forced to find a use that will pay the bills, or he loses (even to the point he loses the land if he can’t pay the taxes). Stop alcohol production but understand it simply does NOT automatically mean cheaper food prices, or even more food (human food) being produced.

        Then there is the argument which is more important food, or energy (fuel). Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this question. However, the answer is not always simple. No matter how much food for human consumption is produced, it will be of little use for anyone if it does not get off the farm, and into the hands of the person who is in need. We no longer live in a world where people just travel to the local farmer’s food stand along a road. We no longer have a flour mill in every county. Now raw commodities like grain travel large distances to be made into food products, then travel again to the customers. Every year this gets worse, and more and more fuel is used to get the food to where it needs to be. A person just can not expect that crude oil can be the only source of fuel, or that it will just always come from “other” countries. America has to be able to produce at least some of it’s own fuel. If we can not pump our own crude, we damn well better keep a back-up fuel in production.

        Did not, and can not cover all points. My main argument is that if you stop alcohol production, you can not just assume lower food prices. Just too many factors that come into play.


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