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World food crisis hits home!


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#1 Mullenite

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:19 PM

World food crisis hits home

World food crisis hits home
Costco seeing higher demand for staples
P-I STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

As the world faces its first global food crisis since World War II, even American consumers are starting to fret.

Media reports are starting to trickle in about grocers limiting some food purchases, while Costco Wholesale Corp. is seeing higher-than-usual demand for staple foods such as rice and flour as consumers appear to be stocking up.

Costco Chief Executive James Sinegal told Reuters news service in an interview Tuesday that the Issaquah-based wholesale company is managing the situation. "If we run out, we're usually back in stock the next day," he said.

The Reuters story followed a Monday article in The New York Sun, which reported that certain food sellers, including a Costco warehouse in California, were limiting purchases of flour, rice and cooking oil. Sinegal, through an assistant, declined further interviews Tuesday.

Such problems in the U.S. pale in comparison to what is happening in desperate countries.

The World Food Program says that rising food prices -- and a corresponding food shortage -- threaten 20 million of the planet's poorest children.

Food prices have risen 40 percent on average since mid-2007, and have led to riots in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

At a summit in London on Tuesday, the executive director of the World Food Program said that a "silent tsunami" of hunger is sweeping the world's most desperate nations.

"What we are seeing now is affecting more people on every continent," Josette Sheeran told a news conference.

The price of rice has more than doubled in the past five weeks, she said.

The World Bank estimates food prices have risen by 83 percent in three years.

President Bush has released $200 million in urgent aid and Britain pledged an immediate $59.7 million on Tuesday.

The causes are scattered -- rising fuel prices, unpredictable weather, and demand from India and China -- and the solutions are controversial -- ration cards, genetically modified crops, the end of pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap supermarkets.

Many analysts, including Britain's opposition leader David Cameron, claim that people in the West will need to eat less meat -- and consume, or waste, less food in general.

Some expect the shift in attitudes to herald the end of supermarket giveaways and cost-cutting grocery stores that stack goods to the ceiling and sell in bulk.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Tuesday that the spiraling prices threaten to plunge millions back into poverty and reverse progress on alleviating misery in the developing world.

"Tackling hunger is a moral challenge to each of us and it is also a threat to the political and economic stability of nations," Brown said.

Unrest over the food crisis has led to deaths in Cameroon and Haiti, cost Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis his job, and caused hungry textile workers to clash with police in Bangladesh. Malaysia's embattled prime minister is already under pressure over the price increases and has launched a major rice-growing project. Indonesia's government needed to revise its annual budget to respond.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said more protests in other developing nations appear likely. "We are going through a very serious crisis and we are going to see lots of food strikes and demonstrations," Annan told reporters in Geneva. Yet while angry street protesters call for immediate action, long-term solutions are likely to be slow, costly and complicated, experts warn.

And evolving diets among burgeoning middle classes in India and China will help double the demand for food -- particularly grain-intensive meat and dairy products -- by 2030, the World Bank says.

Robert Zoellick, the bank's head, claims as many as 100 million people could be forced deeper into poverty. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said rising food costs threaten to cancel strides made toward the goal of cutting world poverty in half by 2015.

"Now is not too soon to be thinking about the longer-term solutions," said Alex Evans, a former adviser to Britain's Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

He said world leaders must help increase food production, rethink their push on biofuels -- which many blame for pushing up food prices -- and consider anew the once taboo topic of growing genetically modified crops.

The World Food Program's Sheeran believes many already understand the impact.

"Much of the world is waking up to the fact that food does not spontaneously appear on grocery store shelves," she said

#2 PedersenL

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:32 PM

There has been talk of shortages in the Los Angeles area. The Bishop's storehouse is having trouble keeping supplies in especially rice and flour.

#3 amightyfortress

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:32 PM

There has been talk of shortages in the Los Angeles area. The Bishop's storehouse is having trouble keeping supplies in especially rice and flour.


It's sad the wheat is out. I wanted to buy 2009's wheat supply now, but the wheat is gone. I'm glad to have 2008's supply gathered in, but I'm concerned that I'm not prepared enough. What if the crops fail? What if there are pests? What if a vulcano blows up somewhere and blots the sun and nothing grows? This is an uneasy feeling. Since wheat stores so well for so long, once there's enough wheat in stock again, I will expand my wheat (and rice, etc.) to a 7 year supply (just like in The Bible) because this current situation is making me feel skittish and unprepared.

I never thought I could feel this way with having a two year supply of food on hand (one year worth of wheat and another year worth of corn, rice, oats, spelt, etc.) but with the current economic climate, I feel a pressing urgency to be even more prepared.

p.s. I also have water, canned goods, meats, milk, honey, 72 hour kit, other stuff, etc, etc, too :)

#4 Mullenite

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 10:00 AM

I don't think the supply is down. The media is creating an artificial shortage because suddenly people are out there buying and hoarding. This would create an imbalance in availability of the food. That is why it is important to have been quietly storing over the years and not suddenly go into a panic mode. After all, we have had over 100 years of warnings during the good years to get the job done. One day our time is bound to run out. The sad thing is that we have more faith in the news than the Lord's prophet.

#5 Jaquelina

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 06:59 AM

I think it is. Russia and Australia have had low wheat yields due to drought and floods. And with the low dollar, foreigners are coming in and buying up what we have. The other thing that no one is discussing is the collapse of the domestic commerial honeybee population. They are dying. This year they have lost another 1/3 and the almond growers may not have enough bees to pollinate next year's crop. Also bumblebees are disappearing.

#6 Jaquelina

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:01 AM

One more thing I have heard is that this next year is supposed to be a jubilee year of the Jews, where the fields are to be left fallow once every 50 years.

#7 pam

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:05 AM

I think it is. Russia and Australia have had low wheat yields due to drought and floods. And with the low dollar, foreigners are coming in and buying up what we have.

The other thing that no one is discussing is the collapse of the domestic commerial honeybee population. They are dying. This year they have lost another 1/3 and the almond growers may not have enough bees to pollinate next year's crop. Also bumblebees are disappearing.


It is true about the honeybees. I was reading about that I'd say about a month ago.

#8 amightyfortress

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 05:19 AM

I don't think the supply is down. The media is creating an artificial shortage because suddenly people are out there buying and hoarding. This would create an imbalance in availability of the food. That is why it is important to have been quietly storing over the years and not suddenly go into a panic mode. After all, we have had over 100 years of warnings during the good years to get the job done. One day our time is bound to run out. The sad thing is that we have more faith in the news than the Lord's prophet.


I only consider it to be "hoarding" if you're buying up particular items in a willy-nilly fashion and don't usually eat the items or know what to do with them. If I buy 104 cans of tuna (1 can per week for 2 years = 104 cans) I don't consider that hoarding. Same with rice, I do eat rice so I was down to 50 pounds and purchased another 100 pounds last week. It just happened to coincide with the recent surge in rice purchases. I actually use my wheat on a daily basis and my grainmill is always attached to my kitchen table. So, in times of trouble, I could be accused of "hoarding" because I have so much on hand, but I don't consider what I do to be hoarding. I just like being prepared and food storage is part of my lifestyle.

#9 skalenfehl

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 06:25 AM

All the "rice shortage" to me sounds like a nice gimmick to stimulate the economy or at least the revenues of some businesses. I'm not saying that other countries aren't suffering or that there is a situation going on, but give me a break. What if they had said, "There's a brussel sprout shortage!" Would everyone go out and start stockpiling on brussel sprouts? Who in the U.S. eats that much rice anyway?

#10 Jenamarie

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 07:48 AM

Who in the U.S. eats that much rice anyway?


Asian immigrants. ;) That's why the shortages are worse in the Pacific states. Rice is practically their bread. They eat it with nearly every meal.

#11 amightyfortress

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 08:55 AM

All the "rice shortage" to me sounds like a nice gimmick to stimulate the economy or at least the revenues of some businesses. I'm not saying that other countries aren't suffering or that there is a situation going on, but give me a break. What if they had said, "There's a brussel sprout shortage!" Would everyone go out and start stockpiling on brussel sprouts? Who in the U.S. eats that much rice anyway?


I'm not an Asian immigrant, but I do eat rice almost every day. Usually 1/2 cup dry per day (which is about 1-1/2 cups once it's cooked). If more Americans ate rice everyday (and beans, wheat, oats, etc.), they might not be having as many financial difficulties.

Rice is cheap and easy to work into meals. Same with wholewheat. My grinder is always attached to the table and ready to go. Need some flour to thicken gravy? A few spins of the handcrank and I've got my couple tablespoons of flour. Feel like yummy pancakes? One minute of vigorous spinning makes the flour.

I would not stock up on brussel sprouts, I hate them. But I do stockpile wheat and when the wheat ran out (as well as the bulk spelt, oat groats, etc.), I upped the amount of rice I keep on hand. Normally, I'll keep 75 pounds or so of rice on hand, but I upped it to 150 pounds now that the wheat and other items are hard to get.

#12 skalenfehl

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 03:06 PM

That makes sense, I guess. My staples are whole wheat carb products, though my consumption of dense carb foods is limited to what I need to maintain normal energy (currently no more than about 2-3 servings daily) and the rest of my diet is fresh fruits and veggies or lots of V8 and a ton of protein from fish, supplements, three eggs per day (breakfast) and lean meats. Oh, and omega 3 fatty acids for my daily fat (olives, nuts or fish oil tablets) I stay away from rice especially if it's bleached and any other processed food or bleached flour products. I love getting my wheat bread from the local "Old Grist Mill" bakery and I buy the cheapo bag of bread "ends" of all varieties. Nobody likes 'em for some reason, but it's still the best stuff with the same nutrients as the rest of the bread. All the ends that come in the grab bag cost about 75 cents for the entire bag and that lasts me a couple weeks or until they start to mold.

#13 amightyfortress

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 03:21 PM

That makes sense, I guess. My staples are whole wheat carb products, though my consumption of dense carb foods is limited to what I need to maintain normal energy (currently no more than about 2-3 servings daily) and the rest of my diet is fresh fruits and veggies or lots of V8 and a ton of protein from fish, supplements, three eggs per day (breakfast) and lean meats. Oh, and omega 3 fatty acids for my daily fat (olives, nuts or fish oil tablets) I stay away from rice especially if it's bleached and any other processed food or bleached flour products.

I love getting my wheat bread from the local "Old Grist Mill" bakery and I buy the cheapo bag of bread "ends" of all varieties. Nobody likes 'em for some reason, but it's still the best stuff with the same nutrients as the rest of the bread. All the ends that come in the grab bag cost about 75 cents for the entire bag and that lasts me a couple weeks or until they start to mold.


You're eating really healthy, but what if we have bad economic times, famine, or some upheaval of our government? How many of those foods you enjoy would still be available for purchase? It's something to think about.

#14 skalenfehl

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 03:27 PM

Well we're going through that right now. There will likely always be the basics. But to answer your question: Food storage and a garden. I also have cans of staples and non perishables. All I need now is a fishing license and to clean out my grill. It's entirely possible to keep eating healthy with bare store shelves.

#15 JohnBirchSociety

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:39 PM

When the store shelves are bare, and people find out you're LDS (or already know it) your shelves will be bare as well... There is no way to prepare for the ultimate collapse of our nation / economy, other than finding a place to live where you are so isolated, nobody would bother you (and there won't be a whole lot of those places around)... I think the admonition to prepare is a matter of obedience and intelligence...I don't think the Lord is trying to get us to have enough resources to get through the final tribulation period (mainly because it isn't really feasable)
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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:22 PM

There won't be just stores with bare store shelves, the stores will be shut down ! We need to have the storage quietly all ready, so we will not get caught up in it when people start trying to hoard all at once.

#17 MorningStar

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:31 PM

All the "rice shortage" to me sounds like a nice gimmick to stimulate the economy or at least the revenues of some businesses. I'm not saying that other countries aren't suffering or that there is a situation going on, but give me a break. What if they had said, "There's a brussel sprout shortage!" Would everyone go out and start stockpiling on brussel sprouts? Who in the U.S. eats that much rice anyway?


Ew! Who wants brussel sprouts?

#18 MorningStar

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:33 PM

When the store shelves are bare, and people find out you're LDS (or already know it) your shelves will be bare as well...

There is no way to prepare for the ultimate collapse of our nation / economy, other than finding a place to live where you are so isolated, nobody would bother you (and there won't be a whole lot of those places around)...

I think the admonition to prepare is a matter of obedience and intelligence...I don't think the Lord is trying to get us to have enough resources to get through the final tribulation period (mainly because it isn't really feasable)


I like to tell everyone I'm LDS when I have the opportunity and share ideas about food storage with them. Even if they don't believe the same, they might find it useful. People are extra receptive about it after a disaster of some sort.




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