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RE: [ufodiscussion] Grain Drain: Get Ready For Peak Grain

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  • Jahnets
    Gee if enough people worry about this it will create it... Not for me... ... From: ufodiscussion@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ufodiscussion@yahoogroups.com]On
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 31, 2006
      Gee if enough people worry about this it will create it... Not for me...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: ufodiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:ufodiscussion@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Light Eye
      Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 11:51 AM
      To: global_rumblings@yahoogroups.com; Global_Rumblings@...;
      SpeakIt@...; ufodiscussion@yahoogroups.com;
      changingplanetchat@yahoogroups.com; astrosciences@yahoogroups.com;
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      Subject: [ufodiscussion] Grain Drain: Get Ready For Peak Grain

      Dear Friends,

      Me thinks there's a trend to all of this... ;-)


      Love and Light.


      Grain Drain: Get Ready for Peak Grain by Wayne Roberts

      Now’s the time to brace yourself for major price hikes in food, as peak
      grains join the lineup of lifestyle-changing events along with peak oil and
      peak water.

      Unless this year’s harvest is unexpectedly different from six out of the
      last seven years, the world’s ever-decreasing number of farmers do not
      produce enough staple grains to feed the world’s ever-increasing number of
      people. That’s been a crisis of quiet desperation over the past decade for
      the 15,000 people who die each day from hunger-related causes. It’s about to
      cause a problem for people who assumed that the sheer unavailability of food
      basics, usually seen as a problem of dire poverty, would never cause a
      problem for them.

      Whenever there’s a shortfall in the amount of food produced in any given
      year, it’s possible to dip into an international cupboard or “reserve” of
      grains (wheat, rice and corn, for example) left over from previous years of
      good harvests. Tabs have been kept on the size of that reserve by the U.S.
      Department of Agriculture since the end of World War 11. Few people looked
      at these tables until Lester Brown cried the alarm a few months ago, a short
      while after Darin Qualman, brilliant researcher with Canada’s National
      Farmers Union, one of the few farm organizations which thinks agriculture
      policy should be about feeding people, not finding new ways to raise
      commodity prices by getting rid of farm surplus.

      The world’s grain reserve has been dipped into for six of the last seven
      years, and is now at its lowest point since the early 1970s. There’s enough
      in the cupboard to keep people alive on basic grains for 57 days. Two months
      of survival foods is all that separates mass starvation from drought,
      plagues of locusts and other pests, or wars and violence that disrupt
      farming, all of which are more plentiful than food.

      To put the 57 days into geopolitical perspective, China’s shortfall in
      wheat is greater than the entire wheat production of Canada, one of the
      world’s breadbaskets. Since the World Trade Organization prohibits
      government intervention that keeps any items off the free trade ledger,
      there’s no law that says that Canadians, or any other people, get first dibs
      on their own food production.

      To put the 57 days in historical perspective, the world price for wheat
      went up six-fold in 1973, the last time reserves were this low. Wheat prices
      ricocheted through the food supply chain in many ways, from higher prices
      for cereal and breads eaten directly by humans, to the cost for milk and
      meat produced from livestock fed a grain-based diet. If such a chain
      reaction happens this year, wheat could fetch $21 a bushel, again about six
      times its current price. It might fetch even more, given that there are two
      other pressing demands for grains that were not as forceful during the
      1970s. Those happy days pre-dated modern fads such as using grains as a
      feedstock for ethanol, now touted as an alternative to petroleum fuels for
      cars, and pre-dated factory barns that bring grains to an animal’s stall,
      thereby eliminating farm workers who tended livestock while they grazed in
      fields on pasture grasses.

      Look forward to two new questions at the supermarket cash register: Will
      that be cash or chargex? Will that be for food basics, meat or car fuel?
      University ethics classes and church elders can also ponder the moral
      dilemmas imposed on the wealthy when they choose fuel and meat while others

      Historians will also recall that 1970s food prices went up alongside price
      hikes for oil, contributing to the runaway inflation that defined the decade
      ’s economic challenge. The 1970s experience shows that seemingly small blips
      in food reserves and availability can lead to major shocks in the economy
      and society. Probably because the food marketplace brings together two
      unorganized and relatively desperate forces -- at one end, about two billion
      basically unorganized food producers who don’t want to postpone selling in
      case they get stuck holding a bag of perishable food, and at the other end,
      about six billion unorganized consumers who don’t want to go hungry until
      food prices come down – reactions to changes in food availability and price
      are volatile, and have high impact.

      The 1970s drop in world food reserves was accompanied by many eventful
      trends from which the world has yet to fully recover. Traumatic famines
      across Africa, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the emergence of hard-right
      politics in conventional parties as governments prepared for a crackdown on
      unions that were blamed for the inflationary spiral, and tight money
      policies that doubled unemployment levels are among the legacies of this
      decline of food reserves. The modern international food movement, coming on
      the heels of the world environment movement of the 1960s, also emerged out
      of the food crisis of those years.

      Even modest price changes can carry a big wallop this time too, especially
      in a world that’s already suffering from crisis-overload. For a third of the
      world’s people who subsist on less than two dollars a day, pennies can make
      a life and death difference. There’ll be an echo of that desperation in
      wealthy North America, where about ten per cent of the population – mostly
      single-parent families and recent immigrants – faces some form of food
      insecurity. About half of the people in this group can’t afford today’s food
      prices and rely on friends or foodbanks when they run out of money, which is
      at least once a month. People in this group may start running out of food
      twice a month. People in the second group, who now make ends meet without
      relying on charity by using budget tricks that rely on cheap foods, will
      find they can’t get by without at least one trip to the foodbank. That means
      demand on foodbanks, frequently at the breaking point today, will triple.
      This is the
      stuff of food riots, which were also commonplace during the 1970s.

      If looming food shortages – quite a shift from obsessing about obesity,
      isn’t it – make it on the radar of government officials charged with
      safeguarding public health, a raft of new policy issues will need to be
      addressed. A big question mark has to be put on ethanol fuels, except those
      made from crop wastes.

      Food sovereignty, the right of a people to set their own food policies,
      emerges as a precondition of food security, and should put the world free
      trade agenda on hold. Planning measures that prohibit urban sprawl onto good
      farmland – Ontario’s greenbelt is an excellent example – become axiomatic.
      So do government-guaranteed minimal prices for farmers producing basic
      foods, the same kinds of guarantees now provided all self-regulating
      professions such as doctors and lawyers, as well as apprenticed tradesmen
      and tax-drivers, all of whom would have problems working if they didn’t eat.
      And so do measures that promote food production in cities, not just as a
      healthy hobby but as a public health essential. A garden on top of every
      garage, a veggie stew in every pot… we will see this and more in the years

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