Food Shortages Hit China: There Is “not…enough fresh food to go around”

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Over the past few weeks, I have been writing articles regarding a coming food shortage. I’ve been pointing out that the food shortage is going to hit the United States hard but that it is also going to hit the rest of the world.

A worldwide fit of hysteria over COVID, resulting in the shutdown of the world’s economy, interruption of the supply chain, and the destruction of food products, as well as international trade wars and natural disasters, are going to collide with one another and make this winter one of the toughest on record.

China is publicly acknowledging a coming food shortage.

But while many have dismissed my claims, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that China is now publicly acknowledging a coming food shortage. (And as noted in this article, when they admit there’s a problem, it’s a BIG problem. ) In fact, China even has an anti-food-wasting campaign going on across the country right this minute encouraging people to eat half portions or at least make sure to finish their plates.

In an October 5, article for the New York Times entitled “China’s mealtime appeal amid food supply worries: Don’t take more than you can eat,” Eva Dou writes,

On the surface, China’s campaign to encourage mealtime thrift has been a cheerful affair, with soldiers, factory workers and schoolchildren shown polishing their plates clean of food.

But behind the drive is a harsh reality. China does not have enough fresh food to go around — and neither does much of the world.

The pandemic and extreme weather have disrupted agricultural supply chains, leaving food prices sharply higher in countries as diverse as YemenSudanMexico and South Korea. The United Nations warned in June that the world is on the brink of its worst food crisis in 50 years.

“It’s scary and it’s overwhelming,” Arif Husain, chief economist of the United Nations World Food Program, said in an interview. “I don’t think we have seen anything like this ever.”

Those are strong words, to say the least.

Right now, the food products in China that are facing the toughest situation are corn and pork. China’s pork industry was hit hard by African Swine Fever (at least we are told) and flooding ruined a large portion of China’s corn crops. But it’s not just those two products that are at risk. Fresh food of every kind is in short supply for the same reasons as the United States, i.e. insane shutdown policies.

China is claiming that it is not in a food crisis currently and it is attempting to reassure the population that it has enough wheat in reserve to feed everyone for a year. But the reality is different from the claims, as China’s pork prices rose 135 percent in February, and floods killed so many vegetable crops.

You may wonder how this shortage in China affects us.

Ironically, China is dependent on the United States to bridge its corn shortfall. Despite the fact that we are allegedly in a trade war with China and the fact that Americans will soon be facing a shortage of food of their own, it’s likely that the good ol’ USA will tell its citizens to take one for the team yet again and help stabilize the brutal Communist dictatorship that Americans built by shipping their jobs overseas with Free Trade.

Political unrest goes hand in hand with food insecurity.

And it’s true that China’s government may not view the food crisis as the biggest concern. Instead, it views political unrest as the biggest threat. Political unrest, unfortunately for the Chinese Communist Party, is a direct result, especially in China, of food insecurity.

Both of its major political disruptions – the 1950s and 1980s – came at a time when food was in scarce supply.

But, for now, China is attempting to convince its population to embrace austerity voluntarily and through social shaming (like America’s masks) in order to stave off the crisis a little longer. Dou describes the “Clean Plate’ push in her article by writing,

Beijing’s solution has been a sunny “Clean Plate Campaign” launched in August, with the aim of curbing food use without prompting public alarm. Like the American Victory Gardens of World War II, the campaign is as much about trying to unite the country around a patriotic mission in a time of hardship as it is about securing the food supply.

Restaurants across the nation are dishing out “half-servings” in line with the drive. Some, such as the upscale Peking duck chain Quanjude, have instructed servers to nag diners not to waste. Other restaurants are fining people for leaving too much on their plates.

At one elementary school in southern China, students must send teachers short videos of their dinner each night to verify they are cleaning their plates, according to the state-run People’s Daily. A number of university canteens are giving away fruit and other small gifts to students who finish their lunches.

Even billionaire Jack Ma, founder of the online retail giant Alibaba, has been filmed trying to save food. A recent viral video shows him asking for his unfinished crab and lobster to be boxed up to go.

“Pack it up, pack it up, pack it up!” he says in the video. “I will eat it on the plane.”

Government officials are, of course, forbidden from holding lavish banquets during this period.

This is a global problem.

World Food Program economists have already estimated that 270 million people globally are suffering from hunger this year. That’s more than twice last year’s amount. That number does not include China, the United States, and Europe as they are all considered food-secure countries.

Given what everyone can see with their own eyes on American shelves and the recent “clean plate” campaign in China, the term “food secure” is being used liberally these days.

While we may get lucky and dodge the bullet, we strongly encourage you to prep while you can.  Even if no major shortages occur, you’ll be hedging your bet against food prices that will almost certainly increase dramatically over the next few years.

Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several 'Revolutions' they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

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  • “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” -Alfred Henry Lewis

    This one will be interesting to watch…

  • A food shortage could definitely push them closer to going to war which is why their leader has called on them to prepare for war.
    I’ve seen several posts on pumpkin pie filling being almost non existent and I looked on amazon one day and sure enough it was gone. Yesterday at the Super Saver they had a pallet of Libbys pumpkin for $2.03 a can.
    Now I don’t know much bout baking pies but I do know that usually it’s like .68 cents and can and it’s usually in the donated food items stuff because folks have too much or it’s going out of dat etc.
    I put up 50lbs on non iodized salt for meat preservation yesterday and will continue to make small gains when I can.
    Y’all stay safe

    • @Matt in OK,
      Add curing salt #1, aka pink salt, to your non-ionized salt list.
      It inhibits the bacteria that causes botulism. It is used in a very small amount, and as time passes, your meats cure, it breaks down into harmless compounds.
      I have 2, 5lbs slabs of bacon I am curing right now.

      • Yup
        I’ve got a variety of salts for just that. I’ve even got Himalayan and varieties of sea salt for good measure.
        Just an FYI that salt is cheap in bulk folks. It’s like $10 and don’t overlook the Dollar Tree for it either as they have fairly large containers of the specialty salts for $1.

    • Matt,
      Canned pumpkin is in short supply because the crop came in late so it has been scarce. They are now harvesting and we are seeing canned pumpkin arrive at the store as you have. I price watch and have never seen pumpkin for under 99 cents a can. It’s pretty rare to see it for 99 cents now unless it is a very hot sale. It will be interesting what the sale prices for it this year are. Either way – I’m stocking up when it goes on sale so I can make this killer Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread recipe I just got! I think it’s more like cake than bread . . . it will definitely be needed in any emergency scenario to keep up morale! LOL

      • Aldi had canned pumpkin for 85 cents a can. Our Walmart got some Libby’s and it was $2.37 a can, which I thought was pricey. I tried a few other places, like Kroger who didn’t have any at all.
        We love pumpkin bread with golden raisins & pecans!

    • “50lbs on non iodized salt”

      might want to have it checked – heard china sells lots of industrial salt (contaminated with lead chromium etc) as table salt. and that “sea salt” you see everywhere now? that’s from china too, taken from the waters between china and japan that are the most contaminated in the world.

      • At 55 if I’m using this in a SHTF environment to keep my squirrel meat a little longer the metals in salt, the chemicals in plastic, the skin cancer rays of the sun etc. probably aren’t gonna be what kills me lol.
        Not preserving the meat might.
        So for the sake of playing where does Morton salt come from? I haven’t seen any with the MIO Made In Oklahoma brand.

        • Sea Salt comes from
          The Sea
          You can pretend that because it wasn’t between China and Japan that it doesn’t touch Porpoise Pee, Turtle Turds and Mermaid Mucus but whatever makes ya sleep at night.
          It’s like snow if it aint the right color don’t mess with it. I think I’ll be ok gman after all I’ve made it this long without worries.

  • With all the farmland and food processing in the US but owned by China, expect that food to be shipped offshore, creating shortages here.

  • A good news outlet to watch to find out what is really going on in China is the weekly newscast “China in Focus” which can be found on YouTube.
    The newscast did a story a few weeks ago on the impending food shortage in China to support Daisy’s story.

  • Breaking into stored food to check it out. I don’t want to have to eat stored food and find out then that it’s bad. Did that with chili meal,it turned out very badly for me. ???? And don’t forget the animals. Stocking up on chicken feed,cat food,and dog food.

    • My son recently tested a bag of lucky charms he put up in 2012 in Mylar with O2 absorbers. They were just fine much to his surprise.

      • Just a tip, if you do find breakfast cereal has gone stale (but is otherwise ok, with no mold or odors or discoloration), put it in a dehydrator for a little while and it will taste fresh & new again.

    • I’m wondering how a lot of my stored food is . . . some is decades old. But I don’t want to open up the seals. I opened a #10 can of raisins dated 1988 this summer and was shocked that it was perfectly edible although a little dry so I’ve used it in cooked foods with no problems. I was also shocked that granola I put in mason jars with a Food Saver in 2008 tasted just fine. But I’ve told my adult kids my food is old and if they want fresh they had better store their own . . . which they’re now doing. My SIL thinks food automatically goes bad on the “Best Buy” date. I decided the best thing is just to add to my stores to cover food that turns out to be bad. If I have too much then I can share or barter with it. Like Selco has mentioned food might turn out to be the new currency. Some things like wheat, rice, sugar, and the dehydrated & freeze dried #10 cans last decades. The biggest problem I’ve had is with canned goods (especially tomato products & fruit) starting to leak. It makes a nasty mess to clean up.

    • “chicken feed,cat food,and dog food”

      attracts some kind of moth bug. they chew their way in and contaminate it all.

      • Most preppers know about bugs, or other varmints, and keep their supplies in containers preventing exactly that.

  • China might not have enough food but that hardly affects us. We usually sell food to China.
    China does not have the capability to attack us. Though there is much foolish talk about the Chinese doing so. Most of China’s forces are best used as a defensive force. They lack the critical infrastructure to support an extended supply line.

    They might attack other countries in their region, but that would not really solve their food problem, as most of those nations are not much better off, than China is.
    But it is a good propaganda excuse to keep the people in line. If they fear being attacked they are not as likely to revolt.

    As for the US, we do have a bit of a problem due to the Covid 19 infections. It is not the lack of food, but the lack of being able to process that food into all the products we are used to having.
    This is different that a food shortage. This is a shortage of your favorite brand or favorite food.
    Not a shortage of food in general.
    So we might see some out of stock scenarios, you might even have to change your diet somewhat and eat different things. But as for a true food shortage, no we won’t have one.

    Even during the height of the Covid 19 crisis the “shortages” were short lived.
    Basically this is just more fear mongering.

    Now it is always possible that a big enough crisis might occur, to create real food shortages in the USA. But that will require a gigantic collapse of our infrastructure or society as a whole (basically a real SHTF scenario).
    But in that case, food will be the least of our worries.

    • The only thing China lacks is logistics to move troops and equipment this way. They do not have “rights” as we do so commercial sources can be used easily when told. Even we used commercial flights to move soldiers into Kuwait as did Russia when they tried to take over Afghanistan. There are a lot of ships to be had as well.

        • eckbach the Interstate highway system was DESIGNED to become emergency airstrips in case of war with the USSR. Still can be used by aircraft carrying troops and equipment.

          So 50 states worth of airstrips eh?

    • Does anyone recall when Obama passed the ethanol fuel mandate?
      Corn prices rose. Might sound like much, but Mexico saw corn prices skyrocket, causing social distress.

      Fact is, when talking about a global market place, the price of a commodity (corn, soybeans, pork bellies, etc.) can have a global effect.

      TOP has posted articles about food shortages (canned goods, meat sections/cases empty or low, store enforced limits), and price increases. After months, prices have come back down to what I would call normal.

      The belief this cannot happen, or more to the point, your average myopic American cannot recall what just happened a few months ago, is telling.

      • Recent polls (yeah, I know, unreliable) indicate that 62% of Americans think there will soon be a civil war and 52% are preparing. Indeed, there are many childish idiots out there. But last year, fewer than 3% were preparing and the average American had 3 days available food in their homes.

        Only half of us are responsible adults–but that is way up and it means our nation has a chance.

    • Mic-

      You have drastically underestimated the force projection capabilities of the Chinese. First and foremost, the status you describe above, as mostly “defensive forces” hasn’t been true since the mid-2000s. The capacity that China enjoys is not in invasion- they are a nuclear powered regional hegemon who has no need to invade the US- that’s what they made ICBMs for. Destruction does not require invasion, occupation, or logistics. It takes a trigger.

      The other thing to keep in mind, and this is more to the point RE the food “problem”- everyone needs to remember that is a regime that has zero issues allowing their people to starve. They just tend to prefer that it doesn’t happen publicly, or in key areas of the country. Mao led the world in economic devastation and population decimation. The challenge the Chinese face is the realization of capitalist/western systems that provide for ownership and wealth. Blame Deng all you want, but Xi isn’t an idiot- turn the food situation into an opportunity to prove you are a good Communist, or face the gulag if you don’t. They don’t have to solve food- they have to control people.

      • It’s estimated that under Mao 50 million Chinese died from starvation. The people didn’t rebel or revolt, and if they did they were massacred. 50 Million is a number so large it beggars belief, it simply seems unrealistic, or unreal, but it was, as GhostViking said population devastation.

        On a side note, Australia’s grain harvest looks like it will reach record levels this year in some areas. It’s a traded grain mostly, not domestically consumed, so that’s good news for the coming famine.

      • “has no need to invade the US- that’s what they made ICBMs for”

        ? the problem with using nukes is they’ll get a return strike. that really wouldn’t solve any of their problems.

        unless of course biden is president. “sir, we’re under attack! what are your orders!” “I want a hot fudge sundae ….”

    • “China does not have the capability to attack us”

      conventionally, no. but 1) they’re getting better every year, and they have the money and industrial capacity eventually to do so and win, and 2) there are lots of asymmetrical approaches they could use to make great progress against us. based on their culture and history they’ll try multiple asymmetrical attacks simultaneously as soon as they think their conventional forces can handle what american forces remain afterwards.

  • I think this is fake news.
    I can still go to my local grocery store in the US and buy produce that is imported from China.

    • Yes, our international trade is still functioning–but it is not functioning as well as it was.

      Reality–it COULD get drastically worse and one should stock up and prepare. It could also get much BETTER again. In such circumstances, the sane thing to do is to stock up to protect oneself and also live in a way that will allow you to capitalize on good times, if those happen.

      Example–don’t just stock up on beans and 6 years worth of toilet paper. Hit the sales, be all-around stocked up and only buy stuff that will also be used in normal times. Do it right, and you win either way.

    • “buy produce that is imported from China”

      but why would you? they have no problem selling poisoned food to their own people, you can’t expect the food they sell us is any better.

  • I work at a small local food bank,I handle almost all the ordering &paperwork,our client list has quadrupled,and our ability to purchase items thru our normal channels (Food Bank Network) has been “trying” to say the least.At least we now can get rice,which we couldn’t for months(although,now we’re getting 1 pound bags & paying the 2 pound price) pancake mix,biscuit mix & cornbread mix.But oatmeal,corn, & most other canned vegetables,along with dried & canned beans are almost impossible to get our hands on,and almost as expensive as buying it in the store and add to that,say you order 5 cases of juice,and they send you 1.When you combine the amount of clients coming thru,and the cost,and add that to not being able to get some of the staples……….our clients are not getting a well rounded food box,as hard as we try,we just can’t find or afford it

  • This could affect us in a different way.
    Will the US companies choose to sell their products to China instead of US if they think they can get a better price from them?
    I really wouldn’t put it past some companies, unfortunately.

    • Not So Free
      That’s not even a question it’s a given.
      “It’s just business”
      They will fly the American flag, do a charity event for vets and make a feel good commercial and all is forgotten.
      It’s been that way since I’ve been an adult and started paying attention. (1980s)

    • “Will the US companies choose to sell their products to China instead of US if they think they can get a better price from them?”

      yes. though the federal reserve can always “print and loan” more dollars than the chinese can earn and spend.

  • Looks like Xi Jinping will have to get his Wuhan labs to launch another virus to knock off a few hundred thousand or millions Chinese. Apparently the last epidemic didn’t lower the hungry population enough.

  • Straight from Honeyville’s website:Notice on product stock status at Honeyville View

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    COVID-19 & Product Stock Status at Honeyville
    Q: I see that a lot of your 50# bags and bulk items are out of stock. When are you planning to get those in?

    A: We are getting more 50# bags (oats, wheat, flour, etc.) every Friday but have been selling out a few days after we get them in. We are hoping to have stable stock again within the next few months.

    Q: A lot of your freeze dried items are also out of stock. When are you planning on those coming back in?

    A: For the canned items, we are about 4 months out from getting more in stock. We are doing everything we can to shorten that time frame.

    Q: How can I be notified of when something comes back in stock and/or when you have stable stock again?

    A: If a product is out of stock you will see a message at the top of the page which you can click to be subscribed to a stock alert. You need to be logged in to subscribe to the alert and once subscribed you will receive an email when the product comes back in stock. To be notified of when we reach stable stock in general, you can signup for our email list. To do that, scroll down to the bottom of this page and enter your email in the newsletter signup.

  • I shopped at a Walmart yesterday & their stock seemed pretty normal compared to the smaller grocery store in town. They didn’t have any whole, frozen, raw turkeys. I did see whole, frozen, fully-cooked turkeys. I don’t remember ever seeing those before and I found it quite odd.

    My daughter needed canning jars & I found some for her at a small mom & pop hardware store. They were normal prices too. There were no lid-only packages though. I would like to re-stock my supply of those. I have never tried Tattlers but maybe I should.

    • JB, I ordered some Tattler lids over a month ago and haven’t received them yet. They sent a generic email saying ” Don’t email us asking about your order”. I’m starting to wonder if I will get them?! I have a friend who has used them in the past and likes them.
      Absolutely no canning supplies anywhere to be found in my area.

      • Very frustrating, I know. If you read the reviews on some sale sites, you find that so many shady folks are on there trying to take everyone’s money. (My husband wants to order a new freezer online but I don’t trust those sites’ estimated delivery dates.)

        However, I do have faith in the entrepreneurial spirit that so many people have. There is a lot of ingenuity out there that will get REAL production going again.

  • This is a good and a bad thing. Good so as to let the chinks starve to death. bad because they will nuke the world if it comes to that. Eventually we will need to decide if we want to be nuked, or if we want to nuke the chinks first. One way or the other, it’s coming.

  • a confluence of issues bodes danger. what does a country do with, what, maybe 100 million surplus males (thanks to previous one child policy which culturally favored males) combined with a food shortage except go to war to reduce surplus population.

    • “what does a country do with, what, maybe 100 million surplus males”

      send them overseas as an occupation force. they’ll have no motivation to come home, they’ll angrily dominate any country they’re in, they’ll aggressively recast it demographically displacing the original population, and they’ll remain loyal to china. win/win/win.

  • I bought some canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce in June or July because I didn’t want my family to do without those favorite foods this holiday season. There are a few bare spots in the canned food isle, but overall stores seem to be stocked well, for now anyways. We went to Costco this weekend and it was packed full of food as usual. They did have limits on a few items, but overall seemed normal. We spent way too much money there!

  • How does the little mentioned windstorm (verecho?) play into this? I read that is going to contribute to grain shortages in the United States. does anyone have the newest info on that?

  • Having lived in China over 7 years now, I can tell you that there is no food shortage. Pork prices are temporarily high, but this happens about every other year. There are a lot of other choices. I shop for groceries in the local shops and the large Chinese supermarkets. There are no empty shelves or shortages as you find in the US. The author is believing third hand rumors started by people with agendas to promote.

    • “Pork prices are temporarily high, but this happens about every other year”

      they’ve recovered from pig-mageddon?

      • It happens about every two years. Housewives whine, but still buy. There are lots of alternatives. The article is alarmist and just plain wrong.

  • Those poor masses should try the Buffalo Bat Wings. They’re delicious and filling too! The Xi government will probably process all of those Muslims into a food substitute. Think solent green.

  • This article is not very honest. The concept of “food insecurity” is designed to avoid any reference to global population growth. Earth has close to nine billion people, while it should have only two billion. But the girls who work in the United Nations building don’t want to talk about that. Here’s their position:

    Females can have as many children as they want; with total disregard to the outcome.

    America has no moral obligation to feed an increasing number of hungry foreign people. Our food is grown on our land, to feed our people. It is not available for sale to any foreign country. American cattle ranchers would love to sell all of their beef overseas, because they get a better price. So American consumers are forced to compete with the whole world for American food. That must be stopped immediately. No more grain or meat exports. We have to face the grim truth: Overpopulated countries like India, and Bangladesh, and China, and Nigeria are going to run out of food very soon. But it’s their own fault, and there’s nothing that we can do about. Destroying our oceans and farmland to feed an infinite number of people is not a solution. The only real solution is to reduce global population back down to two billion people. That means no more ocean fishing, and no more farmland destruction.

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