What would happen in the event of a food crisis? In 2013, according to World Bank president Robert Zoellick, for the first time in living memory our world is “one poor harvest away from chaos.”
What would that chaos look like?
Well… at the end of World War II, Eastern Europe had front row tickets to a famine of biblical proportions. Starting in 1941, up to 1,000 citizens starved to death every day for three years. Bodies were discarded in the street and reports of cannibalism became a problem less than 12 months into the ordeal. Survivors ate anything they could get their hands on, such as birds, rats, and family pets. However, all those animals soon became hard to find. This led to gangs being formed that attacked and ate people. It became such a problem that the police force created an “anti-cannibal” task force. The food crisis is an immediate threat to humanity. Each city and each grocery store rely on a fleet of trucks to show up each night with the products to keep their shelves stocked. However, in the event of a fuel crisis, we are looking at cities of 10 to 20 million people starving. Our major cities are unprepared for their food supply to be cut off. There are no cities in particular that are more at risk, but they are all equally comparable in their waste of resources. Half the food and water supplies are thrown away or wasted. American citizens are vastly unprepared for events that can happen in a matter of days. Catastrophic events can occur overnight cutting off oil supplies and other necessary consumer products.
Who runs the food market?
Many think that our nation’s farmers are in control of our food supply, but that is incorrect. There are approximately 20 large companies that dominate the world’s food supply. They control what comes to you and at what price. They have a tight grasp on the control of the world’s food source, which makes them the core of the issue. Farmers have little to no say, and for that reason, we are witnessing farmers leaving their land in droves.
So, realistically speaking, in the event of a crisis how long until our supermarkets and grocery stores shelves start to go bare?
Whenever we witness a city get hit by a monstrous storm, we also see the citizens in that area race to their local stores to stock up for “the worst case scenario.” Roads get blocked, which means that maybe trucks will arrive and maybe they won’t. When the trucks stop, the restocking stops, and a grocery stores supply can dwindle significantly within hours when a population panics. Let’s reiterate this fact… food will be scarce within hours. Not weeks, not days… hours! Grocery stores generally run on a 3-day inventory. Think of it this way, when you go to the store you pick up things that you currently need, not what you might need months down the road. Stores run on this theory as well. They do not have a massive stock pile of food in the back “just in case,” they keep their inventory to a 3-day supply.
What can you do to be prepared?
Don’t rely on the hope that your local stores will be able to supply you with food and water in the event of a crisis. Treat your own home as your very own store. FEMA recommends maintaining a two week supply of food and water storage in your home. However, many believe that you should have a bare minimum of a 7 day supply available at all times. Not all food is “storage” worthy. You can buy a 7 day supply of peaches, but come time to dig into that juicy fruit, you’ll be looking at an inedible furry object. However, if you take those peaches and can them, you’ll up their shelf life immensely. Canned and freeze dried foods have a much longer shelf life than fresh produce. There is no guarantee that Mother Nature won’t throw us a disastrous curve ball of epic proportions or we find ourselves in the midst of another war, so keep in mind… being prepared will always be your best bet for survival.