'No one can explain why a rich country has no food'

Consumers, are you being hoodwinked? Can you live without the independent family farmers? Consumers take heed! You can be the real losers as the independent family farmer is financially squeezed into oblivion. Scoff if you will! Buy the imported food and cheaper goods produced by cheap labor, including child labor and sweatshops, which were outlawed in our free country decades ago. When we, the largest free country in the world with the most abundant food resources, import more food and goods than is exported, something is wrong. - LA Times.

The top 10 agricultural producing States, in terms of cash receipts are (in descending order): California, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri. California has the largest number of food manufacturing plants, followed by New York and Texas. - USDA

Recent droughts in California has affected the food supply in America, water is piped through the All American Canal to the farms in desert areas of the state, a very important resource to the California farmers. EPA regulations is causing a shutdown of the amount of water going to California farmers.

Personally I grow a lot of my own food and I have a supplier for beef and pork. I am increasing my garden this year by about 30% in size and I intend to can and freeze more this year than last.

Why you ask?

Look at prices for food in the store and the availability for quality produce. Someone working minimum wage has to work for 2 to 3 hours to buy a steak dinner with a baked potato and a vegetable, assuming he wants good beef. The problem is not in the wages he earns but in the prices of goods he must buy. Raising wages will only increase prices.

Here are some thoughts from around the world about food shortages, the first is recent, the list at the end cover from 1995 to today.

Venezuela food shortages: 'No one can explain why a rich country has no food'

Toilet paper, rice and coffee have long been missing from stores, as Venezuelan president blames CIA plot for chronic shortages

"There is something about finally having enough to make ends meet and being unable to buy what I need because it's gone missing. It leaves me feeling indignant," says Rodríguez, a 55-year-old man

It fills me with rage to have to spend the one free day I have wasting my time for a bag of rice," Zeneida Caballero says. "I end up paying more at the re-sellers. In the end, all these price controls proved useless."

This time, however, food shortages have gone on for almost a year and certain items long gone from the shelves are hitting a particular nerve with Venezuelans. Toilet paper, rice, coffee, and cornflour, used to make arepas, Venezuela's national dish, have become emblematic of more than just an economic crisis.

"We used to produce rice and we had excellent coffee; now we produce nothing. With the situation here people abandoned the fields," says Jesús López, in reference to government-seized land that sits idle. "Empty shelves and no one to explain why a rich country has no food. It's unacceptable," adds the 90-year-old farmer from San Cristóbal, on the western state of Táchira, bordering Colombia.

(Side Note)

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and 25 of his House colleagues called on President Barack Obama to release willing farmers from their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts in order to produce additional grain. With Americans facing rising food prices and government officials predicting the possibility of grain shortages, immediate action is necessary to enhance U.S. production.

"Other than oil, we produce close to nothing, and even oil production has decreased. There is a lack of hard currency, and, in a country that imports everything, this becomes more evident with food scarcity," says Oliveros.

For Oliveros, an additional cause for the shortage of basic food staples is the decrease in agricultural production resulting from seized companies and land expropriations. "More than 3m hectares were expropriated during 2004-2010. That and overvalued exchange rate destroyed agriculture. It's cheaper to import than it is to produce. That's a perverse model that kills off any productivity," he says.

According to President Nicolás Maduro, the food shortages are being artificially induced by the opposition. He claims they form part of wider plan concocted by the CIA to destabilize his government, sabotage the oil industry and trigger power cuts.

(Side note from the LA Times)
A defiant President Robert Mugabe vowed to continue seizing white-owned farms, saying drought and growing international isolation, not his policies, were to blame for food shortages that threaten half of Zimbabwe's people with starvation.
Zimbabwe has announced plans to nationalize all privately owned farmland, a move that analysts said could create more food shortages in the southern African nation.

My thoughts?

According to President Barack Obama, the food shortages are being artificially induced by the Republicans. He claims they form part of wider plan concocted by the TEA Party to destabilize his government, sabotage the oil industry and trigger power cuts

Other articles from around the world on this subject.
Millions of poor Indonesians are in danger of acute food shortages because of drought and a deepening economic crisis, the United Nations said. The economic crisis has prompted protests and riots. In its report, the U.N. said 7.5 million people "risk experiencing food insecurity until early next year."

President Mwai Kibaki declared Kenya's food shortage a national disaster, saying about 3.3 million Kenyans need emergency food assistance because of a widespread drought. Kibaki said more than 60% of Kenya's crops would fail this year.

President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, analyzing the Communist Party's widespread and unexpected losses in parliamentary elections, has linked the setback to deepening anger over severe food shortages. "The food problem is the fundamental problem at present,"

Wearied by food shortages, 1,110% inflation, coup rumors and a prolonged rebel war, many Peruvians are voting with their feet--and more than half would leave the country if they could.

Food shortages in chronically hungry North Korea are expected to worsen sharply this year after a meager harvest and a disastrous winter, a senior U.N. aid official said.

South Korea will donate 1,300 tons of rice to Mongolia to help the country overcome food shortages.

Algerian authorities declared a state of emergency and called out the army as thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in downtown Algiers on the third day of widespread rioting over food shortages and rising prices.

Drought has triggered extreme food shortages in three East African countries, putting millions of people at risk of famine as the lean dry season approaches, a humanitarian group said. Pre-famine conditions have already emerged in eastern Ethiopia, including escalating malnutrition, reports of child deaths, and human and livestock migration.

God Bless.

Just my thoughts for today.

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Comment by James on February 7, 2014 at 2:25pm

 Hugh weather aside farmers through out time have dealt with inclement weather a bigger threat is our own government & their globalist  cronies  !

GOD Bless The Republic! 


Comment by Patricia Gillenwater on February 4, 2014 at 12:17pm

Norma, I spent some time in Iowa. Farmers growing corn or soybeans literally had nothing substantial to do in the winter. During planting and harvest season big farms, and smaller ones, would contract out this work. One day there would be fields as far as the eye could see of corn and soybeans and inn a days time big carbines and trucks would show up and the field would be reduced to stubble. Weather plays a big factor as you say and can reduce crop yields, planting and harvest. 

I believe the new farm bill increases the cost to the farmer for crop insurance. The small farmer, very small, yes more braking work required.

Farms who still require that their crops be hand picked, say strawberries, have the illegal do the back braking work. Of course not all. 

Farming is a good life although there are risks both in the financial arena but many times to ones health. Perhaps one of then threat ever looming ias from big AG taking over by crook or not.

Farming now in some cases a scientific enterprise. High yield ones require a degree in agriculture and management, a big investment. A farmers salary can range from say 40k to well over 6 figures. As you alluded to there exist interrupting factors.

A smaller pig farmer often has to deal with big outfits such as Hormel and the like and believe me Hormel and the like set the rules often the p.rice in the end is of benefit to big enterprises. Hurts the smaller guy.

Farming is a business fraught with hazards for sure but not bad life for a  youngster to choose.

Comment by Norma J. Sears on February 4, 2014 at 9:36am


The aging farmer is losing his children as they go to college and seek higher-paying positions without the back-breaking work and the long hours farming require.  Weather also pays a part since being flooded out or dry, hot weather absolutely destroy profits.

That's when big ag swoops in and buys the farms at much less than they are worth. 

Comment by Patricia Gillenwater on February 3, 2014 at 3:53pm

Hugh, Good article.

There are food shortages world wide. I do think part of it is it is used by Western countries as a tool of manipulation of a countries political climate. A country such as Egypt relay heavily on imports.

Part of the problem say for the US and UK may directly related to the intertwining of global economies thus the problem may go back to trade agreements.  No doubt bio fuels are part of the equation. There is a explosion of a big push to allow more exports from the U.S., money is behind this as well. 

CA is a bread basket for sure. The land that is desert really in CA that one sees from interstate 5 for example as more water is applied the salt rises to the surface making the land less useful except maybe for cotton which CA is a big producer. This is a short cut gain for grower who seem all to willing to do it. I think this is driven in no small part by big AG. 

Its true that EPA has regulated water usage. I must also say that it has pushed growers to better methods.

The Delta area is also quite productive. This area is also great for recreational usage. The Delta water also makes its way to the LA basin for use by the burgeoning population there. The Delta has a big component, dependency, on the core of engineers who seem, at least while I lived in CA, not to live up to expectations. Runoff from farming chemicals used butted up against water usage by recreational users, home users and farms down stream and lets not forget migrating birds. Also salinity from the Ocean which the Delta is also hooked to at points. Complicated system.

There are about 2.2 million farms in the U.S. A farm is counted as being so if the farm sells $1000 or more dollars of product according to the U.S. Of the 2.2 Census Bureau. Of the 2.2 million farm's they assert that 87% is owned by the farmers, not big AG, this was a surprise to me. Farmers are aging as well, quite another issue America has to deal with. Many of their kids go off and take up different occupations. Its a mess waiting to bite us big time. Exports add another part to the equation. However the intertwining of Nations economies, the WHO , WTO, IMF and other can not be dismissed because the goal is a one world population with all equal, sorta you are your brothers keeper thing. Of course while this is sold to the bleeding heart who accept it seemingly without question the whole enchilada makes dollars for a few and the supply chain can be used to control internal politics of a nation. It in no small way supports the existence of UN entities.  

We can blame the EPA, they deserve some blame, but we should also recognize its quite complex. Even companies that complain about regulations are the first to look to gov't and international institutions to fix disputes. If changes are created I guarantee it is big companies that win, consumers be damned.

Of the farms a small percentage owned by big ag accounted for the biggest part of dollars that was derived. Big ag will get bigger.

Processing plants -- well for products like tomatoes made in to canned tomatoes some of these plants still in CA and located near producers. Not uncommon to see huge truck  loads of tomatoes when they deemed ripe enough headed to these processing plants. But many plants follow where products are produced and many are in Mexico now.

Other countries for sure are not as strict on pesticide usage. Companies such as Monsanto, one I think of as evil, due in part to GMO. This corps goal it seems is to own seed markets world wide. Farmers use to keep seed to plant the next year but companies like Monsanto has sterilized seeds meaning they must purchase more seeds from Monsanto.

Many go glass e-eyed when I mention over population in the world. It none-the-less adds to the problems. Managing the population increase becomes a high priority. This we see in our country of more imports of peoples from around the world or just more illegal migration. Standard of living decreases of Americans it follows may continue.

World food shortages will get worse and the U.S. will take the hit as well.

Comment by Rich Knoch on February 3, 2014 at 3:29pm

"According to President Barack Obama, the food shortages are being artificially induced by the Republicans.  He claims they form part of wider plan concocted by the TEA Party to destabilize his government, sabotage the oil industry and trigger power cuts".

Actually . . . this is an initiative of President Jarrett and her Fund-Raising-Hand-Puppet to "Fundamentally Change" our Republic into their own fiefdom.

Comment by Norma J. Sears on February 3, 2014 at 2:18pm

Patriot,  I have farms not far from me.  A few that the "booming" expansion" of homes and condos have taken over in what was a very small community.  Need to make some connections with them and try to find something to barter with that they need.  I know.  Good luck with that. LOL

Comment by Patriot Eagle on February 3, 2014 at 2:05pm

gotta keep growing/making our own and trading.  the tyrant in DC will see that we are hungry and then he will send the armed guarded food supplies trucks to give us minimum.  grovel, beg, whatever.  glad I live in the boonies and can grow or trade for our needs.  part if the plan that I set forth in 1975.

Comment by Norma J. Sears on February 3, 2014 at 2:02pm

Yep.  And the U.S will follow Venezuela when citizens balk at BO's policies.  He will have the conglomerates that own the big farms stop producing. The small farmer has been abused and sold out over the years.

I stopped gardening and canning in 1985 for many reasons.  Today I'm too old and too sick to do it.

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