Food prices impact each of us and all of us. When food prices rise there is social unrest, and in poor countries with high birth rates, there are, frequently, riots.
People no longer grow their own food. We have evolved to a state of hyper-specialization, almost like ants or bees, where each area of production is under the control of small groups.
Basic foods, now called commodities, are grown in certain countries, with such land and water resources that the production of these commodities is easy and inexpensive.
These commodities, such as corn, wheat and soybean, are then sold on the world markets for world prices, and then filter down through refining and manufacturing plants until they ultimately reach the individual consumer in the form of “breakfast cereals” or “tortillas.”
No longer does a family produce its own food. This makes the human population dependent on weather conditions in countries such as Argentina, Australia and Canada. If there is drought or flood in these nations, the price of fundamental foods will go higher.
Since the production of food commodities is almost totally mechanized, the cost of energy in the form of petroleum is fundamental to the price of the finished product.
The quantity of petroleum on this planet is finite. We have passed the point where the demand for petroleum is less than the supply.
As each day passes, two processes are constantly occurring:
1. The population on the planet is growing larger.
2. The use of energy by each individual is also growing larger.
(The reason for increased use of energy is because purchasing power is moving from Europe and the U.S. to Asia. More Asians are driving cars and using energy in their homes.)
The result of these two growing demands for energy is the upward price trend of oil. We are now seeing oil within striking range of USD $100.00 per barrel. We will pass this landmark price of USD $100.00 per barrel of oil within six months. As this is occurring, the cost of producing basic foods continues to rise.
MEATS AND FISH
All food is not grains, such as the common commodities. Humans consume meat and fish as a large part of their diet.
Meat and fish, at one time in history, were plentiful in the forests and waterways of the world. Today, of course, meat is grown as a commodity and the fish have been extracted from the waters in such quantities that it will be inefficient to spend resources to search for them in the oceans of the world.
Within two decades humans will no longer eat fish.
We have seen, over and over, that the human population cannot control its desire for seafood. Every country in the world, legally or illegally, depletes its fish supplies to the point that fish species are becoming extinct. What is left are shell fish living in waters that are so polluted the shell fish are inedible.
Apart from the meat of mammals, such as cattle and sheep, humans also eat birds.
Today, birds are raised in “bird factories.” The “factories” are so gruesome and filthy that many people do not want to eat the eggs or meat of the birds that are produced in them.
Here, again, costs are rising. Energy and grain are the primary costs. We have seen that these costs are trending upwards. As a consequence, bird meat, such as chicken, will rise in price.
The human population is increasing and purchasing power is being redistributed across the globe in a more equitable fashion. Thus, more people can buy more goods.
Because the planet’s atmosphere is heating, we are seeing droughts and floods, the consequence of an expanded quantity of air. Water goes extended periods without precipitating as rain (drought) and when it does precipitate, because of the long time period of water accumulation, it leaves the atmosphere in enormous quantities (flood).
This changing climate, droughts followed by floods, destroys plant life.
The destruction of plants in those specialized areas of the world devoted to the production of food grains results in higher prices for these grains. Since these grains are the source of food for the mammals and birds which are cultivated for meat consumption the price of meat is also rising. The basic causes for food prices rising are the same for the rising price of energy.
This is all happening today. We will all be skinny within two years.