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Just One Really Bad Year Away From A Horrific World Famine

The shocking announcement by the Russian government of a 12 month extension of its wheat export ban and the outbreak of food riots in Mozambique are stark reminders that the world is just one really bad year away from a horrific world famine.  As you read this, the world is already really, really struggling to feed itself.  Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry each night.  Somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, and 75 percent of those are children under the age of five.  And those are the statistics that we have seen while North America has been producing record harvests.  So what is going to happen when the United States and Canada have really bad harvests for a year or two as world demand for food continues to skyrocket?  That is a very sobering question.

Don’t think that it can’t happen.  Russia was the third largest wheat exporter in the world last year, but because of the massive heatwave and the horrific fires that have devastated that nation, they have banned all wheat exports for over a year.  That’s right.  Russia just announced a 12 month extension of its wheat export ban and authorities around the globe are now scrambling to find a way to avoid the terrible food riots that we saw back in 2008.  The announcement by the Russian government sent wheat prices to close to a two-year high.

With wheat prices soaring, dozens of nations around the globe already living on the very edge of poverty are wondering how in the world they are going to be able to feed their people.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has called an emergency meeting to discuss the burgeoning crisis.  But if there is simply not enough food then there is not enough food. 

Already, food riots in Mozambique this week have left at least seven people dead and at least 280 injured.  The riots in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, broke out over the government’s decision to raise bread prices a whopping 30 percent.  Food warehouses have been looted and police in Maputo actually opened fire on the demonstrators at one point.

But what else can the people there do?  When people lose everything they have and they are starving they tend to lose it.  It is just human nature.

So will all this rioting change anything?  Unfortunately, no.  The government of Mozambique says that the bread price increases are “irreversible”.

Prices around the world have gone up.  The game has changed.  Hundreds of millions around the world who can barely afford to feed themselves are going to find it even harder to buy their daily bread.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that its global food price index shot up 5% between July and August.  That is a huge one month jump.

Of course wheat prices are leading the way.  Wheat prices have surged nearly 70 percent since January of this year.

Food prices have even been going up in the United States.  We live in a truly global economy now, and the U.S. is not immune from what is going on in the rest of the world.  According to recent reports, the price of food is going up significantly at places like Wal-Mart.

And there are signs that things could soon get even worse.

Pakistan just experienced the worst flooding ever recorded in that nation, and needless to say harvests there have been completely obliterated.  At one point, one-fifth of the entire nation of Pakistan was under water.  The chaos the flooding has caused is unimaginable.

Massive swarms of crop-destroying locusts have invaded over 40 villages in the African nation of Guinea-Bissau and there are reports that the locust swarms are heading north toward Senegal.

In Australia, farmers are bracing for what is being called the worst locust plague in a generation.  It is easy to laugh about a “plague of locusts”, but for many farmers in Australia it is a nightmare of unprecedented proportions.

Meanwhile, experts tell us that global demand for food will more than double over the next 50 years.

So where in the world is all of that extra food going to come from?

Up to this point, North America has experienced uncharacteristically good weather for 18 consecutive years and has enjoyed many record harvests during that time.

So what happens when the good weather stops someday?

There is no guarantee that we are always going to have a huge abundance of food in this nation.

A major disaster or emergency combined with a bad harvest season could change things in America very, very quickly.  Many Americans are realizing that if things go really bad the U.S. government is not going to be able to take care of everyone.  Right now, the number of “preppers” in the United States is absolutely exploding.  Storing up food and supplies has suddenly become fashionable again.

And rightly so.  The truth is that “U.S. strategic grain reserves” are at ridiculously low levels.  If a true food crisis hit, those reserves would be gone almost overnight.

Let’s hope that the crisis in Russia is resolved soon and that food shortages don’t start spreading throughout the world.

But someday if the world does experience a horrific famine, are you and your family prepared?

  • Carlos

    No food for a year?
    No problem for the millions of fat slobs in this country, buying cartloads of chips and soda at Walmart.
    They can go at least a year without eating with no ill effects.
    They are Americas secret weapon in the starvation war!

  • Not so Mad Max

    I happen to agree with Carlos (To a point) a little food and gas rationing wouldn’t be a bad thing. It would get people out of their freaking cars and moving meeting new people, forcing people to be polite. On the subject of food riots get a Costco card buy food in bulk at great prices write a date on them squirrel them away most can goods can be stored for 5 years (Cody Lundin suggest a year I think he’s being conservative). I would love to here anybody’s input on storing can goods.

  • concerned Reader

    I just got back from the grocery store and I saw a number of fat people(mostly black, sorry!) who were pushing around two carts packed to the rim with food.

  • http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/ Biblebeliever

    The Bible warns of famine to come in the last days. Seeing the rest of the world face all these problems at the same time, is astounishing. {didn’t know about Australia having the locusts}.
    With America, Americans are “starving” from the lack of “good” unadulterated food, so much is processed with toxins being poured into so much of it [growth hormones, GMO, MSG, sodium benzoate, etc]. Of course out and out famine could come here, too with something like what has happened to Russia.

  • http://ilookchina.net Lloyd Lofthouse

    I’m a vegan. Most of the food I eat comes from family farms in California since I do most of my shopping at farmers markets.

    As food sources become scarce, meat and cheese eaters and milk drinkers may have to change their lifestyles unless they start eating each other.

    All that land and water that goes into raising cows, sheep, hogs and chickens could be used to grow vegetables, fruits and nuts for human consumption instead.

    We’d have a lot more food but this constant growth in global population has to stop or even the increased production in crops from using farm land once used to grow feed for animals cannot keep up with the demand forever.

    I suspect that there are going to be some horrible wars first before meat eaters give up their favorite artery clogging food.

    That way, if the meat eaters kill off about two billion people, that will allow them to keep raising cows and eating steaks.

    Since I converted from meat to plant foods, I eat less too so less consumption. My family could stock up on organic dry beans and brown rice and survive for years while most of the world starves. That stuff keeps a long time. I like steel-cut oatmeal too and that also keeps.

    Gobble! Gobble!

  • Al

    I’m not worried about a famine because I’ll just eat popcorn! I love popcorn.

  • concerned Reader

    The worst cases scenario will be something similar to the holodomor, but on a global scale. However, with the world’s population becoming more urbanized, we do not have to worry as much about famine as the amount of diseases or plauges that will emerge and spread because of it. Right now, for example, TB kills about two million per year. Estimates are now projecting that as the amount of starvation grows, TB deaths will reach ten million per year and this is just for one illness. A twenty-first century super plauge is most likely going to emerge within the next decade.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1260329/Worlds-largest-cities-morphing-overcrowded-mega-regions-defined-poverty-pollution-UN-report-warns.html

    The biggest question I have is that if the Earth is so big, why are we worrying about farm land? It seems like there is an abundance of land, right? I do not know that much about the weather or farming, but I do have a sense that some parts of the world’s soil is better suited for farming than other places. It is not so much the ability to grow food itself, but to grow it fast enough to feed the growing the population and have enough to go around.

  • concerned Reader

    In the Bible it says that during the end times the four horsemen will be unleashed upon the world. On particular horsemen, the black horse, represents famine and he is growing restless in his stable. Such things as the green revolution in the mid twentieth century helped keep the black horse in his stable, but as the world’s graineries begin to dry up, the latch on the paddock of the stable will open up and the horse man will be unleashed onto the world.

    Since the industrial revolution in the mid 1800s, the human population has nearly doubled thanks to petrochemical based agriculture. A farmer went from being able to feed ten people(his family) to be able to feed 1,000 people and then eventually tens of millions of people. World food supplies are strictly dependant on abundant oil and we all now that oil is going to scarcer as well. Unless a miracle happens and we manage to pull of another green revolution, it is only going to get worse.

    Food scarcity is going to be the driving force behind the conflicts of the coming decades. If one country is starving and their neighbor had food, they will invade and capture their food supplies.

    A good example here at is a personal experience that I have witnessed. A resturant that I eat at regulalry has good food, but their food prices have went up to the point that it cost me nearly nine dollars for a hamburger, french fries, Dr. Pepper and a bowl of chili. When I was growing up in the mid 90s, a meal such as this only cost four dollars.

    The world’s total population is nearing seven billion people.

  • Dandy

    There is no famine. There is no population problem needing to be dealt with. We have enough food to feed the entire world population and then some. No one needs to ration anything be it gas, food or water. What you do need to worry about is Government rationing, Government sanctions, agribusiness monopolies, World Health Organization, the UN, Codex Alimentarius; basically anyone who controls the manufacturing, trading and selling of our food supply. Oh yes, they can say raw milk is bad for you and take it away but please feel free to eat all you want at BK or McD’s. It’s not even food by human standards! I say storing food is actually a BAD thing. Think about it. In a crisis if the Government finds out you hoard food they…take…it…away! Also you have to be willing to protect it from those who know you do have it be it neighbors-look at Russia. They’ll kill you for food, what makes you think your neighbor won’t? It is best to have only what you need and only what you could possibly carry if you had to be mobile at any point. Also you would really reverse any food shortages by buying locally rather than food produced halfway around the world after it’s been pasteurized, nuked and god knows what else, providing you with half the nutrients you would have gotten by fresh food locally produced. You would stimulate your local economy encouraging local business and show the big G where to stuff it. It may cost you a few dollars more to eat better but that saves in health and less doctor visits down the road. You won’t have to wait in line for a loaf of bread shipped in from wherever. Get it from your neighbor, or better yet, start producing your own stuff. Stop being so fearful of the world outside and make your local place a safe place in times of crisis. What else you got to lose?

  • Dandy

    Hey-Lofthouse-your Eugenics is showing!

  • bro43

    Not a bad idea to store/cycle/use a revolving 90 day food supply. If TSHTF, in 90 days things will stabilize or you’ll need to bug out anyway. Not a bad idea to re-connect with all those country folks you know so you got a place to bug out to when/if the time comes.
    From what I’ve read lately the earth could easily sustain trillions of humans, and that’s based on land mass only. Sure it would take incredible cooperation seeing right now we only have 6.5 billion and can’t seem to take care of all humans. But it’s good food for thought, especially in light of the eugenics movement that have captured many normally thoughtful people.