The Era of Cheap Food is Over

Food Costs RisingThere are only a few people who get it: the era of cheap food is over.

Demographers estimate that there are 7 billion people on the planet. It’s safe to say that most of them probably don’t share your values.

For proof of concept, one need only browse a sample of Black Friday shopping mall videos where, each year, precisely one day after giving thanks for all that they have, residents of the richest country in the world tear each other to pieces over cheap electronics and boxer briefs.

It certainly begs the question–how are these people going to react when it’s food that’s in short supply instead of discount knick knacks?

Think about it—

World population, on a NET basis, grows by more than 200,000 people EACH DAY. That’s over 200,000 new mouths to feed every single day! Most of them are born in rapidly developing economies where increasing wealth is adjusting people’s dietary habits towards more resource intensive foods.

Then there’s the supply side of the equation, which indicates peak production yields, flat output, and declining cropland due to weather changes, development, and loss of topsoil. On top of this are insane government policy decisions to contend with…like paying farmers to NOT grow crops, or diverting valuable grains to inefficient biofuels for automobiles.

And of course, the mother of all stupid policies is corrupt central banking that conjures trillions of dollars out of thin air, much of which has led to substantial inflation of agriculture commodities prices.

The BEST we have to hope for over the medium term is rising food prices. The worst case is all out shortages.

Black FridayAgain, consider that residents of the richest country in the world are willing to tear each other to pieces for useless trinkets and that many ‘civilized’ western nations these days are nothing more than police states dominated by unmanned aerial drones, jack-booted thugs, and military detention authority.

These don’t exactly strike me as the most optimal conditions for riding out potential disruptions in the food system.

Certainly you can take steps at home– plant a garden or join an agricultural co-op. But that’s only part of the issue. Because when you see your ‘fellow countrymen’ rioting over deep discount iPhones, one has to ask the question, “How much do I really have in common with these people?” and “How long will it be before a mob shows up to take my crops (and possibly everything else!)?”

These fundamentals overwhelmingly point to a simple trend: food prices will continue rising. And that’s the best case. The worst case is severe shortages.

This is a trend that thinking, creative people ought to be aware of and do something about.  That, by definition, leaves out Congress.

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