Continuing the discussion on the current happenings within the American food supply chain, we have a series of strange events that have taken place over the course of the past week or two that you may want to catch up on.
Perdue Farms catches fire in Chesapeake, Virginia.
April 30 at 8:30 PM, a fire was reported at the Perdue Farms grain processing and storage facility in Chesapeake, Virginia. When firemen reported to the scene, they found a large soybean processing tank that was on fire. Crews were able to get the fire under control within an hour, and no injuries to employees of the facility were reported.
According to the plant manager, the damage from the fire will have a “minimal impact” on the facility’s production or operation capacities.
Spokane Seed Co catches fire in Spokane, Washington
Early on April 29, the Spokane Seed Co in Spokane, Washington, reported a fire just after midnight. The fire was in a multi-story seed storage silo. The company is known for its processing of chickpeas, peas, and lentils. Firemen responded to the scene and were able to contain the fire in two hours but apparently had a difficult time in doing so.
According to the fire department, “The difficulty involving the fire was that it was located in multiple locations as the origin was the auger unit that moved material from ground level and delivers it to the top of the silo; therefore, there was smoldering material located at the bottom of the auger and burning material that had been delivered to the top of the silo.”
(For the record, Powder Bulk and Solids published two pieces of late on April 26 and April 28 claiming that the uptick in fires at food processing facilities was a myth. They then reported the Spokane Fire on April 29 and the Chesapeake fire on May 2. They appear to have largely used Snopes to determine that the uptick in food processing fires was a myth and declared that “the continued spread of the rumor in the news media and on social media is perhaps attributable to a lack of awareness of industrial fire safety issues among the general public.”)
Oklahoma reports highly pathogenic avian influenza and will now monitor backyard chicken flocks.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, as well as the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a case of HPAI was found in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, at a commercially run chicken farm.
As of this past Sunday, all chicken swaps, sales, and exhibits have now been declared by these two agencies to be illegal in the state of Oklahoma until July 30. Oklahoma says that it is “working diligently with federal partners to prevent further spread of the virus.”
Both state and federal officials will now begin to conduct surveillance of all poultry flocks in the area around the Sequoyah County case – both commercial and backyard flocks.
Officials are asking chicken owners to alert them if their birds produce strange eggs, don’t produce eggs, have diarrhea, cough, sneeze, have low energy, die, or show signs of respiratory distress.
(The time is now to start putting food away in a larder if you haven’t already. Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide for more information on building a 3-layer food storage system.)
A Colorado inmate has been diagnosed with a human case of H5N1.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza strain talked about at the moment is H5N1. A Colorado inmate was recently diagnosed as the first case of H5N1 in a human in recent times. The man was in a pre-release program and had been involved in moving chickens from an infected farm prior to his diagnosis.
Lisa Wiley, the spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections, said, “When bird flu was detected at the farm in Montrose County, the inmates were asked to help in the process of killing and removing the birds.”
To be infected with H5N1, one needs close contact with infected birds. The man reported fatigue for a few days before recovering. According to the CDC, “it was possible the man only had the virus present in his nose but that his body was not infected.” In other words, the man may have just been fatigued.
What will we see next?
Food is likely to become more scarce in the very near future. Numerous voices are openly stating that outright global famine is on the way, and it would be prudent to take these warnings seriously. Food is only going to grow more expensive six months from now. Do you have the ability to feed your family for an extended period of time? Do you have the ability to grow your own food? Have you figured out ways to boost your current food production?
If you haven’t accomplished or thought of any of these of late, it is now high time.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Jeff Thompson is an avid fisherman who likes to spend time sailing on his boat and reading while at sea.