article is in response to a recent article I shared about Crops rotting in the
field because farmers lacked the labor force to complete their harvest. There are many reasons for the lack of labor
force but we'll stick to the FOOD issues for now.
would happen if there were no more fancy colored lettuce in plastic bags and
boxes on store shelves? What would you
do if they were then but you could no longer afford them?
to the USDA, food insecurity decline in 2015 by 1.3% from 2014. That sounds great but when you look at the
staggering about of people around you that struggle every day to feed
themselves and their family it isn't very comforting.
for Food Insecurities include
failure due to Weather or Water Shortage
in transportation of food
keep it simple, this article refers to 2 types of food security. The first is the supply chain of food and the
second is consumer access based on affordability.
homesteader, we grow quite a bit of our own food but we understand that not
everyone shares our passion for self-sufficiency. Even though we grow, there are still plenty
of food items that are sourced locally or thru grocery stores. Those items don't just magically appear in
the store. Someone has to grow them,
care for them, harvest them and then transport.
One "blip" in the supply chain can be devastating.
seen the evidence of food shortages in recent years. Venezuela is an example. Some argue the food is there but the government
has control. Some argue that the food is
there but it's too expensive and others that there is a true food
shortage. Whichever theory you choose to
follow, the fact is that the people of Venezuela are in trouble.
some instances, it's not the lack of food that can be the issue but rather
wasting food. Every day perfectly good
produces is thrown out because it isn't "pretty" enough to sell.
takeover of Seed supplies
three corporations control 53 percent of the global commercial seed market.
that sentence again and let that sink in...3 corporations OWN over half of the
global commercial seed market!"
statistics are WORSE now with the mergers of Syngenta & ChemChina as well
as Bayer and Monsanto
2006, USDA introduced new language to describe ranges of severity of food
insecurity. Let's start with the clear
definitions from the USDA
food security (old label=Food security): no
reported indications of food-access problems or limitations.
food security (old label=Food security): one
or two reported indications—typically of anxiety over food sufficiency or
shortage of food in the house. Little or no indication of changes in diets or
food security (old label=Food insecurity without
hunger): reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet.
Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
low food security (old label=Food insecurity with
hunger): Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns
and reduced food intake.
we need these definitions? Well, to
better understand their statistics!
secure—These households had access, at all times, to enough food
for an active, healthy life for all household members.
percent (109.3 million) of U.S. households were food secure throughout 2015.
increase from 86.0 percent in 2014.
insecure—At times during the year, these households were uncertain
of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their
members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.
Food-insecure households include those with low food security and very
low food security.
percent (15.8 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time
from 14.0 percent in 2014.
low food security—In these food-insecure households,
normal eating patterns of one or more household members were disrupted and food
intake was reduced at times during the year because they had insufficient money
or other resources for food.
percent (6.3 million) of U.S. households had very low food security at some
time during 2015.
from 5.6 percent in 2014.
Over the past two decades, food prices have risen 2.6 percent a year on
average. But recent factors have slowed food price inflation. The change is
only temporary, though. Once those downward pressures abate, food prices will
resume their normal upward trend.
Let's do the math. In the last 20 years, food prices have increased
Shortages from the Farm
"UK summer fruit and salad growers are having difficulty recruiting
pickers, with more than half saying they don't know if they will have
enough migrant workers to harvest their crops." source
"Volatile prices can be blamed on a dismal California harvest, which started in February."
"She said trees were stressed after five years of drought. Extreme heat in July 2016 also hurt this year’s crop. Global supplies also are down." source
"Lettuce Shortage sends prices soaring" source
"Eggplant shortage disrupts supplies to local eateries, groceries" source
MOST of your store-bought food is Imported!
"It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate." source
"Today, the typical American prepared meal contains, on average, ingredients from at least five countries outside the United States." source
We are fortunate in the US to have access to grocery stores and sophisticated transportation methods. I've given you a good idea with the sources above of the different forms of food insecurities we face. I've also shown that even with our current technology and infrastructure, food insecurities do exist.
What can we do?
As a homesteader, I can tell you what we are doing. Plant a garden and GROW. Every season we expand our gardens to be able to produce more fruits, veggies and herbs. What we do not eat, we preserve for future use or share our abundance.
We barter fresh produce with one neighbor in exchange for her horse poop. We use the aged horse poop in the garden to produce healthy, abundant crops.
|Garden goodies I dropped of for my Mom|
Backyard chickens are a newer adventure for us and so far we're thrilled. It took 5 months growing these tiny chicks into hens but they are now rewarding us with eggs every day.
Stock your pantry. For items that you are unable to grow, but in bulk and store for later. We do this as well and it has saved quite a bit of money in the process. Just be sure to rotate your "back-ups."
|Organic eggs from our Hens|
I hope you have enjoyed another educational article. if you have additional questions, please leave a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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