- Recently, I said "we'll be fighting in the
streets for food long before we're buried in ice."
- I say the same thing in my book Not by Fire but
- I just received an email from a reader that sums it up
better than I did...
- "I spent about thirty years working in commercial
agribusiness. My main job was to purchase ingredients, mainly grain, for
flour mills and animal feed mills. As a part of my job, I was forced to
understand the US food supply system, its strengths and weaknesses. Over
the years, I became aware of some things that nearly all Americans are
completely unaware of. I am going to make a list of statements and then
you will see where I'm going.
- -- 1% of the US population grows all of the
food for all Americans.
- -- Nearly all Americans know essentially
nothing about where the food they eat every day comes from. How it
gets from the ground to them. And they don't want to know about it.
It's cheap, as close as their local store, and of high quality. So no
- -- The bulk of the food we eat comes from
grain. Although they raise a lot of fruits and vegetables in California,
Arizona, Florida, Oregon and Washington, those things don't compose the
main part of the average diet. Half of what a meat animal is raised
on is grain so when you eat meat you are really eating grain. And,
of course, we eat grain directly as bread, bagels, doughnuts, pasta,
etc. Milk (and milk products like cheese) comes from cows that eat
grain. A lot of grain. And the grain they eat is not produced where
the cows are located.
- -- The lion's share of grain produced in
the US is done in a concentrated part of the US Midwest (Illinois,
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri is the center of this area). The grain is moved
to the coasts (where 70% of the population live) by only TWO (2) railroads.
- -- Nothing is stored for very long in a supermarket.
One day grain travels (by rail) from Kansas to Seattle to a flour
mill. The next day the flour mill makes the flour and sends it to
a bakery. The next day the bakery makes it into bread (and other
baked things) and the next day it is at the store where it is purchased
that day. Nobody stores anything. The grain is produced and stored
in the Midwest and shipped daily in a single railroad pipeline to
the rest of America where the people live.
- -- Up until the 1980s there was a system
that stored a lot of grain in elevators around the country. At one
time, a whole year's harvest of grain was stored that way. But since
taxpayers were paying to store it, certain urban politicians engineered
the movement of that money from providing a safety net or backup for
their own food supply in order to give the money to various other
social welfare things. So now, nothing is stored. We produce what
we consume each year and store practically none of it. There is no
- Now for my take on what this means for us and what it
has to do with the topic you are publicizing.
- -- If a drought such as has lingered over
other parts of the US where little grain is grown were to move over
the grain-producing states in the Midwest where few people live, it
- would seriously damage the food supply of the country
and the apples of Washington, the lettuce of California, the grapefruit
of Florida and the peanuts of Georgia won't make up the difference
because grain is the staff of life and most of it is grown in the
- -- Americans are armed to the teeth. In LA
people burned down their own neighborhoods to protest a court case.
- -- In order for riots to break out the whole
food supply doesn't have to be wiped out. It just has to be threatened
sufficiently. When people realize their vulnerability and the fact
that there is no short term solution to a severe enough drought in
the Midwest they will have no clue as to what they should do. Other
nations can't make up the difference because no other nation has a
surplus of grain in good times let alone in times when they are having
droughts and floods also. It takes two or three months to raise grain,
yet people have to eat usually at least once a day, usually more than
- --So, basically, we have in place a recipe
for a disaster that will dwarf any other localized disasters imaginable.
The important thing to note is that there is no solution for this
event. There is no contingency plan for this. People living in certain
parts of the US will fare better than others (which is another story) but
those who live in big cities, where most of the US population live,
are done for.
- Anyway, I have no agenda of my own concerning this. I
just thought I'd share it with someone who appears to have an idea of what
might likely cause this scenario to occur. The only people who know about
this are those who are involved in the production and distribution of the
food supply and there are very, very few of them number-wise. And most
of them haven't put two and two together yet, either.
* * *
- When I asked the reader for permission to
- I received this reply:
- I'm not interested in notoriety about this. It's just
something I know about.
- It's likely too late for the government to do anything
to prepare for such an event, so it probably won't do any good to try to
lobby them for a solution. I guess if they hopped right on it they could
store up enough grain to be ready but they won't. They're more concerned
with urban political issues and helping (or invading -ed) other countries
than they are about preserving the security of their own food supply. I
guess the people who could make it happen have bunkers or something they
can hide in when the 's' hits the fan.