Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Prepare your family for food shortages

Julie Reeder

Publisher

President Biden has warned more than once in his speeches, both here and abroad, that food shortages are going “to be real.”

Farmers warn of a perfect storm with supply chain issues, bad weather, a rise in the cost of grain and inflation. One farmer said with the rising cost of fertilizer alone, any hope of profit went out the door.

India, which exports 10% of the world’s wheat reserves, has banned the exports of wheat to avoid food instability in their own country.

According to Barron Seger, CEO and president of the World Food Program USA, Ukraine and Russia export 12% of the world’s food calories, 30% of global wheat exports, 17% of corn and barley and more than 80% of the world's supply of sunflower oil, which has surged 50% in price.

Farmers in Ukraine can’t export what they already have. He says they have 14 metric tons of wheat and 16 metric tons of corn sitting, ready to be exported, but the seaports are closed for exports.

As far as U.S. farming, it never made sense to me that in the U.S. some farmers were paid to not plant or some dairy farmers were paid not to sell their milk. What I’ve recently learned is that since the government collects taxes and tariffs on exports and imports of food, that is an incentive to not keep food grown here at home. I’m clearly not an economist, so maybe someone can shed some light on that situation.

Some of the world’s biggest billionaires are buying up farmland. Landowners, such as Ted Turner, own 2 million acres, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos has amassed 420,000 acres and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates owns 270,000 acres.

Maybe it’s time to figure out a way to better support our farmers nationwide, so they can afford to keep their land and create food here at home to feed more of our families like India is doing.

Farmers are saying there are billions of dollars in aid that’s being held up that would help them to pay for higher prices in fertilizer, grain, etc. Maybe the government could loosen those funds to move things along.

The rising price of corn affects not only the price of food, but also feed for animals we use for food.

Meat is getting more expensive. In Albertson’s last week bacon was $9.95 a pound.

Farmers and ranchers are saying they need to scale back. Next we will hear that there just isn’t that much produced. Naturally, as the supply tightens, the prices will go up.

It’s not helpful that nearly 100 food, fertilizer, egg and meat production plants have been reported as destroyed, burned down and closed across the nation.

Some of our other issues are clearly government regulatory issues, as with gas. We were energy independent, not needing any foreign oil two years ago, and now we are dependent again and paying twice as much for gas. We have a shortage of baby formula. The root of that problem was a plant shut down and the company said it had government regulatory issues.

The global absolute poverty rate has fallen from 42% in 1981 to 8.6% in 2016, according to the book Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know. In the last two years, we have tens of millions more on the brink of starvation and famine again.

In response, the G7 leaders are earmarking up to $5 billion in funds to help address global food shortages. Biden promised that the U.S. will foot almost $3 billion of the bill.

Henry Kissenger said, “Control oil and you control the nations. Control food and you control the people.”

In Fallbrook, we are blessed that we aren’t living in L.A., because even if policies and situations changed and everything started getting back to the normal of two years ago, it’s likely it will take two more years.

So there’s a lot going on. While we are hearing that we are at doom’s doorstep with food and there are security threats and possible social unrest again, let’s be prepared. Let’s keep our cool and continue to strengthen ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our community. Then we can work to help parts of our country that are hurting and then the rest of the world.

So what can you do?

First I would say it’s smart to always have at least 3 to 6 months of food and supplies, including medicines in your pantry. Given instability worldwide, maybe it would be good to stock up even more, especially if you want to fight inflation. Whatever you buy today is likely to be more expensive six months from now. But buy things your family likes to eat. I’ve learned that I need to rotate food in and out because some canned goods only last a year or two.

We are also being warned of rolling blackouts for electricity, so a gas or solar generator would be useful to keep your frozen/refrigerated foods safe.

Remember that if there are food shortages, you need to be mindful of getting enough calories, fat and proteins. I heard a doctor say that many Americans could actually live off the fat stores in their body by fasting for three or four weeks without a problem, but do we want to be in that position?

If you haven’t ever put together storage of items in case of emergency, you can use the list on this page to start.

After we take responsibility for ourselves and our families, what else can we do?

1. Support our local farmers first. Participate in our Farmer’s Market. Buy produce locally. Some farmer’s market sellers buy produce from L.A. and drive it down here. They need to be supported too, but let’s support our local farmers and give them the business they need to thrive, despite the cost of grain and fertilizer. We also have the advantage of minimal transportation cost when we buy local.

2. Support our local grocery stores, see if they will support local food and flower farmers.

3. Support the Fallbrook Food Pantry where 94 cents of every dollar goes directly to food for our community and currently they already feed 1500 families a month and distribute over 1 million pounds of food annually. Their fundraisers are crucial and their income is down post COVID. Watch Village News for the next fundraiser.

4. Plant a garden. If you don’t have any land, you can plant a vertical garden. We will have instructions on how to do that in next week’s paper. Maybe you can plant enough to share with friends, neighbors and the food pantry.

5. Support your Village News. Communication keeps our community connected.

The bottom line is that, especially for people of faith, we are told to be salt and light, not stingy and fearful. We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are told to feed the hungry. Let’s let our actions speak louder than words.

If the President, the farmers, the economists and the preppers are even partly correct, it would be a good time to start planning. At least buy a few extra things every time you go to the store. When you believe you have enough stored up for your family, maybe store a little extra to share with your extended family or neighbors. You may even use it to barter.

I am starting a database for people who would like to barter goods and services. If you would like to be added onto that list for the future, send just your name, contact information and what you would like to offer for trade to [email protected] with “Barter” in the subject line, because we may need more than food, and wouldn't it be great if we could help each other out?

We’ve faced fires, floods, quarantines, pandemics and recessions. We can do this. Let’s be ready.

Extra food and supplies

If you haven’t ever actually gotten around to storing up extra items in case of an earthquake or natural disaster, pandemic, govt. shutdown or food shortages, here is a list from which to start.

Supplies

● Medicines

● First aid kit

● Soaps, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, clothes detergent, dish soap

● bleach

● Alcohol, povidone iodine (antiseptic)

● Antiseptic wipes

● Candles

● Battery operated or hand cranked radio

● Flashlight

● Batteries

● Matches

● Lighter

● Trash bags, gallon plastic bags

● Feminine and personal products

Food

● Water - a gallon for each person per day

● Flours you use to bake and cook with (wheat, almond, rice, etc.) May need to store in the freezer to prolong shelf life.

● Oatmeal

● Quinoa

● Rice - different varieties if you eat rice

● Dry Beans - I like pinto, black and kidney

● Canned beans

● Salt

● Spices that you use most often

● Sugar and sweeteners (I have cane sugar and monk fruit, honey, maple syrup)

● Yeast

● Unless you have chickens, you can buy powdered eggs

● Powdered milk, powdered butter and powdered cheese

● Pancake mix

● Dry potatoes

● Canned meats (tuna, mackerel, sardines, chicken, etc.)

● Frozen meats (turkey, beef, chicken, fish)

● Peanut butter

● Jams and jellies

● Sugar free or regular pudding and jello mixes

● Cereals if your family eats them

● White vinegar and apple cider vinegar

● Canned vegetables

● Canned fruit and maybe dried fruit

● Canned tomatoes, paste, and other sauces

● Mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, sauces, salad dressings, relish, pickles

● Soup base, bouillons, chicken and beef broth

● Noodles of all kinds - again, what your family already enjoys especially

● Oils for baking and cooking (Can start saving bacon grease in the refrigerator)

● A variety of nuts and seeds

These are obviously just the basics. But we need to be wise and think ahead, first for our family, then for our neighbors and then the community.

 

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