End of the American Dream, by Michael Snyder: I was going to write about something completely different today, but I felt that I needed to issue this warning instead. Even before COVID-19 came along, crazy global weather patterns were playing havoc with harvests all over the globe, the African Swine Fever plague had already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the world, and giant armies of locusts the size of major cities were devouring crops at a staggering rate on the other side of the planet. And now this coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented worldwide economic shutdown, and this has put an enormous amount of stress on global food supplies.
On the official UN website, the United Nations is openly using the term “biblical proportion” to describe the famines that are coming. Even if COVID-19 miraculously disappeared tomorrow, a lot of people on the other side of the world would still starve to death, but of course COVID-19 is not going anywhere any time soon.
Here in the United States, our stores still have plenty of food. But empty shelves have started to appear, and food prices are starting to go up aggressively.
In fact, we just witnessed the largest one month increase in food prices that we have seen since 1974.
For a long time I have been warning my readers that eventually a loaf of bread in the U.S. will cost five dollars and one of my readers in Hawaii just told me that “my wife came home with a ½ loaf of bread for $2.99”.
So it appears that the day I have been warning about has already arrived for some people.
Of course the price of meat is going up even faster than the price of bread.
Ultimately, it is all about supply and demand. Meat processing facilities have been shut down all over America due to COVID-19, and this is starting to create some really annoying shortages:
“If you go to Wendy’s this week, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to get a hamburger. Go to the supermarket, and you’ll probably see some empty shelves in the meat section. You may also be restricted to buying one or two packs of whatever’s available. Try not to look at the prices. They’re almost definitely higher than what you’re used to.
“This is the new reality: an America where beef, chicken, and pork are not quite as abundant or affordable as they were even a month ago.”
But as I keep reminding my readers, the only reason these meat shortages are so severe is because many farmers are unable to make their normal sales to the processing plants that have closed down.
As a result, a lot of these farmers have been forced to gas or shoot thousands of their animals:
“For farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, and other Midwestern states, they have had little choice but to euthanize the backlog of animals, which means gassing or shooting thousands of pigs in a day, according to The New York Times.
“The financial and emotional repercussions on the farmers are profound. Some farmers lose as much as $390,000 in a day, said the report. So far 90,000 pigs have been killed in Minnesota alone.”
In the end, a lot of farmers may have to go out of business after being financially ruined during this crisis, and we will seriously miss that lost capacity in the days ahead.
Because the truth is that global food supplies are only going to get tighter and tighter. As I have discussed previously, UN World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley has warned that we are facing “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two,” and he insists that we could soon see 300,000 people literally starve to death every single day:
“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period,” he upheld. “This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19”.
And did you catch that last part?
He specifically excluded the effects of COVID-19 from his very ominous projection.
So the truth is that the number of people starving to death each day could ultimately end up being far, far higher.
In wealthy western countries, starvation is not an imminent threat. But what we are seeing is an explosion of hunger that is absolutely unprecedented. All over America, people have been lining up “for hours” at America’s food banks so that they can be sure to get something before the supplies run out
In the past month, America’s food banks have been completely overwhelmed by demand. In cities like Pittsburgh, San Antonio, and Phoenix, residents have lined up for hours as food banks attempt to address a massive influx of need. Some organizations have been forced to turn people away while others are struggling to maintain the supplies necessary to keep up.
Images of the lines at food pickup points underscore how devastating the economic fallout from the pandemic has been.
This week, vehicles started lining up at 2 AM in the morning at a food bank in the Dallas area, and one woman said that the reason why she lined up so early was because she didn’t get anything at all on her first two attempts.
In the short-term, let us hope that food processing plants will start to reopen and some of the temporary shortages that we are now witnessing will be alleviated.
But over time global food supplies are going to continue to get tighter and tighter, and much worse shortages will eventually happen here in the United States.
So use the window of opportunity that you have now to get prepared, because food prices are never again going to be as low as they are right now.
No wonder God has instructed His people to live in the country and grow gardens!
“If the land is cultivated, it will, with the blessing of God, supply our necessities. We are not to be discouraged about temporal things because of apparent failures, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work the soil cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich stores for the faithful worker to garner, stores richer than gold or silver. …With proper, intelligent cultivation the earth will yield its treasures for the benefit of man. The mountains and hills are changing; the earth is waxing old like a garment; but the blessing of God, which spreads a table for His people in the wilderness, will never cease.” Country Living, page 17.