ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hambone, Soupbone.... Anybody Hungry? (republished)

Updated on August 7, 2011

We live in a finite world in many aspects. There are X amount of areas to grow and produce food. (I mean, you can only chop down so many trees, in so many areas, to use those areas to plant crops, or graze stock animals, before there are no more trees to chop. Or so many places to pipe water to for irrigation, before the tap is turned off and the desert goes back to business as usual.) But the complications of infinite possible circumstances effect the growth and production of food, no matter where it is grown or produced. Some of those infinite possibilities are hitting pretty hard this time around.

The flooding in Australia has already begun to cause food prices to rise in that nation.

Droughts in many areas of the world in 2010 has fed the fire of rising food prices, as has the many areas that have seen freezing weather more recently. In Florida, for example, where tons of cucumbers are usually produced for winter consumption throughout the United States, crops have been lost to freezing weather. Also heavy rains in many of the grain belt areas caused poor production in crops such as corn and soy beans in the 2010 growing season. Too much rain washes the nitrogen out of the soil, and plants don't "make" well.

Yesterday, (01/14/11), in the Washington Post, writter Steve Mufson reported: "Faced with rising international food prices, governments around the world are cooking up measures to protect domestic supplies and keep a lid on prices at home". After getting beyond the puns in this lead-in to Mr. Mufson's article I realized the most significant word in it, is the word PROTECT .

Countries are gearing up all over the globe to PROTECT their food. Russia has banned all grain exporting until the end of 2011. I assume their food importing practices remain unchanged. While in South Korea and the Philippines import duties on some food products have been suspended .

Mr. Mufson quoted a source as saying, "If you're looking at next year or a few years out, the trading range has shifted higher on emerging market demand, lower inventories and bio fuel policies that are adding a new layer of demand onto the market".

Hum.... emerging market demand... people who didn't need other people's food before because they had enough need it now because they are running short? Lower inventories... less warehoused or bulk food supplies? Bio fuel adding a new layer of demand... burning our food as fuel?

Lester Brown, who heads the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, said last week "I don’t think this current price rise is temporary. There will, of course, be fluctuations in the grain prices, but they will be around a rising trend. Grain and soybean prices, and food prices more broadly, are moving up. There is not anything in sight to reverse this trend. If the world were to have a poor grain harvest this year, there could well be chaos in world grain markets by late summer".

In 2010 China consumed 70 million tons of soybeans, 56 million of which were imported .

Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, said last week that its world food-price index rose to a record in December, topping a previous all-time high set in June 2008.

Egypt's inflation notched up to 11% in September, that nation's government reported in October 2010, amid complaints about rising food prices in the Arab world's most populous nation.

With the price of corn going up worldwide, the meat from animals who eat the corn will rise accordingly.

But looking strictly at my own country... about 1% of the population of the United States grows pretty much all the food for the other 99%. Some people have gardens and/or chickens that lay eggs. But the simple truth is: Most Americans don't.

Most of the food we eat comes from grain. There's many fruits, and vegetables from California, Arizona, Florida, Oregon and Washington, but that's not the main part of the average American diet. Even half of what a meat animal eats is grain. So when you eat meat, you're eating the result of grain. Not to mention bread for sandwiches, morning bagels, pasta, donuts, or milk and cheese the dairy animals give us, after they have eaten their grain.

Cattle ranchers in Texas get their feed grain from somewhere else. Maybe it comes from Iowa or Missouri. But it's probably not locally grown. And the meat produced may be eaten in New York or San Fransisco. So when the "bread basket" in the USA is effected by severe weather, drought, or other diverse circumstances, the blow can be felt all over the country. (Just an example).

All that grain that's produced in the Midwest... Kansas, Illinois, and so on, is hauled to the coasts, where 70% of the population lives and eats bread, by only TWO railroads.

Nothing is kept in the grocery stores for very long at a time. Wheat leaves the grain mill in Kansas one day, goes to a flour mill in Seattle the next day, is sent to the bakery the next day, where it's turned into bread and other products, and the next day it's sitting on the shelves of the grocery store, where someone comes along and buys it the next day or the day after. All the grain produced in the Midwest has ONE pipeline with TWO railroads. And that's how Americans live.

See... until the 1980s, there was alot of grain stored in grain elevators all around the country. At one point a whole year's harvest was stored in just that way. Paid for buy tax dollars. But certain URBAN politicians engineered moving the money from the food back-up program, to other social welfare programs. So now there's no safety net for the nation. We produce what we eat each year. We eat what we produce each year. And there is NO CONTINGENCY PLAN .

If some kind natural or other disaster occured in the Midwest, causing the grain crops to be seriously damaged, all the apples from Washington, lettus from California, grapefruit from Florida, and peanuts from Georgia won't make up the difference. This past growing season production was down, so look for higher prices.

In the USA people are armed to the teeth, and I'm very glad we own guns. But in LA people burned their own neighborhoods in protest of a court case. What will happen when people get hungry? If you have food and you neighbor and his family are starving, all those weekend BBQ parties, and nights playing cards won't mean squat.

The entire food supply doesn't need to be wiped out for food riots to break out. It just has to be sufficiently threatened. When people wake up to their short term vulnerability, when prices are out of this world, and people have no clue as to what to do... well go figure it out.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)