Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course
There’s little doubt that the US is headed into a food crisis. Here’s the bottom line. While American farmers are dealing with one natural disaster after another, President Trump has placed tariffs on the two countries from which we import the rest of our food.
A perfect storm, am I right?
Our farms are in real trouble.
Flooding in the midwest has been going on for months (and in some areas, waters are peaking.) Farmers haven’t been able to plant due to the sodden ground. Levees are failing all over the place. Hundreds of tornadoes have swept other farming areas in just the past month. California is unseasonably wet and cold, and they’re also dealing with a labor shortage, as migrant workers aren’t being allowed in as usual.
None of this sounds good for homegrown food in America and could well lead to a famine. And if it’s not a famine, we’re guaranteed to pay higher prices at the grocery store due to these catastrophes, as farmers struggle to recover.
But like a Ginsu knife commercial, there’s more.
We import a LOT of our food.
According to an article on Quartz, a vast amount of our food comes from other places. We’ll discuss two in particular.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. imports billions of dollars worth of seafood from China each year. Farm-raised seafood such as tilapia, shrimp, salmon and catfish is shipped directly from China…
Imports of fresh fruits and nuts steadily increase each year, with Costa Rica and Mexico being the top suppliers to the U.S. This is due in part to their proximity to the U.S. and ability to import fruits closer to their picking time… Chinese pine nuts are a few. Fresh fruit arrives daily into the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru. The list of fruits that are frequently imported from these countries include produce like bananas, pineapples, avocados, apples, honeydew melons, blueberries, cantaloupe, mangoes, nectarines and lemons…
Mexico dominates the supply of imported vegetables, supplying peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, pinto beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions, lettuce, celery, squash and spinach, to name a few. (source)
And don’t forget Mexican avocados and berries or that Big Agri sends American meat to be processed in China who then sends it back.
(QUICK UPDATE: I think some folks are missing the point. I’m not recommending you eat tilapia etc. from China. I’m saying that our grocery stores are filled with imported food from China and when those prices go up, a lot of people will be in real trouble. The fact that the food is crappy quality has nothing to do with the point of the article – which is food shortages and rising prices. ~ DL)
So that sounds good – at least all our food isn’t grown here, leaving us to starve next year. Right? Not so fast.
Now there are tariffs on the two places from which we import the most food.
If the government had a way to make all these natural disasters occur almost simultaneously to keep ups from growing food here, I’d think the scheme was positively Machiavellian. But, no, we are just dealing with really horrible natural disasters topped off by some poorly timed political machinations.
Because President Trump has opted to place tariffs on the two places from which we import the most food.
At the same time that we’re having a lot of trouble growing our own food.
Now, regardless of what you think of tariffs, the reasons behind the tariffs, or illegal immigrants, you need to understand that the cart of groceries you buy now versus the cart of groceries you buy next year is going to be vastly different in price. Even though it sounds like I’m being political and bashing Trump (or not bashing him enough, depending on your views) all I’m trying to point out is the end result of all this. We need to think about how this affects us, the normies who have to budget for groceries.
We’re looking at both food shortages and higher priced food due to tariffs. Both of ’em at the same time.
If that isn’t a perfect economic storm for lower-income-earning Americans, I don’t know what is.
What can we do?
I strongly suggest you prep like there’s no tomorrow. Nearly half of all Americans are already in a position where it’s tough to pay rent and buy food. And we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Buy whatever you can get your sweaty little hands on and store it away carefully. (I’ve got a brand-spankin’ new book coming out on this topic next week – you can pre-order it here. It’s an updated version of The Pantry Primer and it’s got additional content and pictures and everything.)
You need to purchase as inexpensively as possible food that will last a long time, like rice, dried beans, wheat berries, canned goods, peanut butter, and freeze-dried foods. You need to garden if you can and preserve the excess through canning and dehydration. Here’s how to make meals with all this stuff if you generally only cook with fresh ingredients.
What do you think will happen?
Maybe things will dry out and our crops will be bountiful. Maybe the tariffs won’t add too much to the price of our groceries.
But I really don’t think that’s what we’re going to see happening. What about you? What do you think about all the tariffs and the weather events and their potential effect on our food supply? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. She lives in the mountains of Virginia with her family. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
I don’t think politicians are from a “cast” that cares about the plight of the middle / peasant class. Neither party.
I live in central Florida and I have noticed an abrupt drastic increase in grocery prices. I have noticed at all three of the major stores I shop at that they are out of stock of many staples I buy. The employees tell me that they aren’t getting trucks in on days they are scheduled to deliver and when they do get the trucks in they are missing stock. My local cvs raised prices on everything in the past week per the cashier. It’s not just the price increases that worry me but also the lack of stock especially in the perishable items. I try to stockpile but the prices have increased so much it’s difficult to do. I wonder if this is a nationwide problem or just local?
the Bible says there will be plenty of Money and nothing to buy, Trump is the Antichrist read Revelations, it’s all there you don’t have to be a Christian to know it’s right on!
yeah, yeah, yeah . . . Obama was the antichrist too.
So was HRC.
And so will be the next person who get elected to the WH.
Linda, I’m a big fan of Eschatology and think you could be right. Or he could just be A antichrist but not THE Antichrist. I think regardless only time will tell. We are certainly in those times.
We have no money for border wall monies that come in through tariffs can be put into the general fund and used for whatever purpose found necessary.
Does Congress want to fund the wall or do they want food shortages.
The demise of the world economy has been in the works for years. It’s all about control – especially the humans on this planet.
As Daisy says – stock up Now on dry goods-canned foods. As a side note – figure out how you are going to purify water if there are interruptions in your water supply.
Keep positive and you will survive.
We’re importing billions of dollars of farmed seafood from China? Maybe we should consider farming our own. We could dig ponds to raise the food in but where could we get people willing to do the labor or find the water to fill the ponds with. Hmmmm, guess it’s not viable. I doubt that we could find anyone willing to give up part of their time to come here to live and work.
We have the land for such a scheme, heck we even have ponds. Problem is, hey aren’t deep enough. We would have to drain them, dig them out more, put down some sealent, and then refill them. Refilling them this year would not have been a problem!!! But it’s the expense involved that is our problem. We are certainly not afraid of the work. I think there are many small American farmers that are not afraid of the work, its just the money needed that is the hard thing to come up with. Farmers don’t make much money.
They don’t seem to mind coming here for benefits paid by the US taxpayers. But many are unwilling to work, assimilate or become proficient in English. I am hopeful that the tariffs on Mexico will impact illegal immigration coming over the southern border. Taxpayers foot the bill for very large amounts of money to pay benefits and services for illegal as well as legal immigrants. BUT not enough money to keep Social Security solvent or to feed and house our vets in need.
The costs of the tariffs pales in comparison to the costs of illegals; whether through crimes, welfare, or the environmental problems they cause getting here.
Let me know when you’ve signed on to harvest produce. And when the solid 1/3 of our country (south of the mason-dixon) stop requiring copious amounts of my money to continue to exist.
Canadian here. I dont buy any food identified as coming from China. The country has a deplorable human rights record. They have a bad track record what with contamination of foods like baby formula, melamine in pet food, etc etc. Fortunately canned vegetables and fruit on our grocery shelves are clearly marked with country of origin. Greece, USA, India, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brasil etc are all there. Bins of fresh fruit and vegetables are clearly marked as to country of origin. I have never bought Chinese garlic, who knows what might be in it? Or Mandarin oranges from China. I have no issue with Mexico altho I too figure we will see prices increase to keep pace with US prices.
Years ago Chinese products were just low cost poor quality, low end stuff, and we cud still buy quality, but now the big retailers charge the same price for a Chinese product as they do for items made in other, more-reputable societies. Plus the stuff is typically over-packaged in non-recyclable plastic blister packs. Even the hologram certification i.d.s have been found to be counterfeiters over there, so I never buy anything electrical that’s been manufactured in China. They don’t respect international standards. We recently bought 2 coats from AMAZON that arrived from China by mail. They were marked 5XL & we knew from previous experiences to order larger sizes even tho we wanted 2XL or 3XL. But when they arrived they were clearly just XL. Took 5 weeks to get an email authorizing us to return them, then we found out the cost of mail to China exceeded the value of the products (unlike the USA & many other countries, Canadian postal rates are not subsidized by the government).
Tools made in China are very poor quality but their wholesale prices have undercut the manufacturers in Pakistan, India, Hungary, UK, USA etc so that many quality products from other countries are no longer in business.
You can buy very good parts in China all the big brands do like snap on,walter, hilt, Dewalt.
The thing is you have to ask for it and pay for it. If you want cheap then you get cheap but you get what you pay for. Just like made in usa or canada.
Food from China is a non starter if you have ever been there is so contaminated everything they produce is toxic laced because of enviroment.
I don’t buy any food, knowingly at least, from China as it is heavily contaminated. I’d rather go without the meat and seafood. I try to buy American grown foods and use local farm markets when in season.
Daisy, I just published an article on the likelihood of rising food prices in Volume 51 of my Dying Time Newsletter that was based on the USDA May Crop Progress report which showed how flooding, excess rainfall and generally nasty spring weather in the Mid West have delayed or prevented planting of several crops. China, which bought Smithfield Foods in 2013 (our largest pork producer) is facing an outbreak of African Swine Flu which has, according to reports by CNBC, led to them losing up to 200 million pigs. That’s more pigs than the US produces in a year. Also, if corn doesn’t get planted many farmers won’t be able to feed their cattle and will be forced to sell them this fall–so as pork and corn prices go up, beef prices may actually fall.
Aside from stocking up on food, here’s another prep to consider. Investing in Soybean futures. I’ve thought about investing in both soybeans and corn but corn and wheat have both rallied off their lows on 5/13/19 with corn up 21.5% since then. Soybeans, not so much, though they are up 8.2% since their May low. As a rule Futures markets are so hard to predict I stay away as I simply don’t know that much about them. Still, with the trade war and bad weather, and recent bad USDA May report, it’s hard not to see prices rising. The main question I have is has that price rise already been priced in to the bean market?
On June 11, the USDA will release its June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report. That report should look a lot different than the May report I based my article on as it should incorporate all the recent flooding and excess soil moisture levels as well as trade war impacts. I think the picture will be grim. As a rule the USDA wears rose colored glasses when doing these reports but it looks to me like reality is setting in and those glasses are coming off. It’s about time.
On June 28 President Trump is meeting again with Chinese President Xi (at the G20 conference in Japan) and that meeting will likely add volatility to the bean market, but whether up of down will depend on what they say then. Historically price variance for the three main grains (wheat, corn and soybeans) peaks in July anyhow and that meeting can’t help but add to the fluctuations in my opinion.
While as a rule I support Trump’s efforts to level the playing field regarding our balance of trade his rhetoric has pummeled my small stock portfolio. I was up more than 10% for the year until he started tweeting increased sanctions in May and as a result I’m only up 3% now. And though I’m usually a very conservative investor (I only have about 10% of our net worth in stocks and most of those pay high dividends) I’m sorely tempted to jump on Bean Futures.
Also, aside from the WASDE report and Trump/Xi meeting the weather will be the key factor in determining yields and therefore futures prices. If, after all the flooding and excess rain that has delayed planting we get an early hot, dry shift in the weather it will hit tender young crops hard and further reduce yields. If that happens the prices will turn the current laggard in the grain market (Beans) into a rocket ship.
Part of me wants to see what the June USDA report reveals, but by then it would probably be too late to make much as those results will already be priced into the market by those with access to such information before we get it. Part of my wants to wait until after Trump and Xi talk and see how it shakes out. And part of me wants to see how the weather unfolds, or at least get long range forecasts from the National Weather Service. But fortune favors the bold so I’ll probably swallow my angst and put a couple thousand into Bean Futures before any of that happens.
Last Friday all grain futures followed oil futures down so maybe now is a good time to buy. But don’t think I’m offering investment advice, amigo. I’ve made plenty of bad calls in the past and this could easily be another.
The SOYB ETF might be a safer way to invest in Bean Futures as that ETF does a pretty good job of tracking Bean market prices. The best money would be made in Options contracts via the Chicago Board of Trade but Options are very risky if you don’t know what you’re doing (risk commensurate with reward, you know).
It’s interesting to note that today is “prevent-planting” day for a lot of corn acreages. With corn prices currently almost as high as they’ve been since 2013, those high prices will undoubtedly influence farmer’s decisions about whether or not to risk putting in a crop they may not get OR planting soybeans instead in hopes of bringing in a crop and getting a payday. Many may elect not to plant and take their prevent-planting insurance coverage to simply ride it out this year. Man, you have to be a gambler at heart to be a farmer. If they plant after the Prevent-Planting date they take the risk of not getting a crop or of having that crop fail and getting badly reduced payments from the crop insurance. Planting before the Prevent-Planting date for a particular crop (those dates set by the Risk Management Agency of the USDA) is the only way to receive the full percentage they elected when they bought the insurance.
The Prevent-Planting date for most Soybeans is June 19, but as with all other crops that date depends upon your location (Norther Minnesota has earlier prevent-planting dates than Kansas for example).
Another consideration in favor of rising soybean prices is our dollar is weakening. A falling dollar spurs inflation which raises commodities prices.
I have a TD Ameritrade brokerage account so Monday I’ll call my broker and ask him about trading soybean futures—how much reserve I have to put down, what my total risk is, etc.
If you don’t have a brokerage account you’ll have to open one that will allow you to trade options and commodities futures. That takes several days so If you’re going to do it you need to start prepping your account.
Rising food prices are a virtual given, considering all the above bad news.
Ray, thank you very much for your incisive comments regarding the food chain disruption in the USA. This problem coupled with the Grand Solar Minimum weather /radiation damage to plants means it is not limited to the USA, The pork shortage in China is greatly beginning to affect SE Asia. The ASF is now spreading to Vietnam (over 1 million pigs destroyed), and other border areas. Thailand is slowly seeing changes in the pork market as their bosom relationship with the PRC means that they freely trade with them- a one way flow as TL produces many exported crops. It could become critical throughout Asia as the margin of living wages is quite tight throughout the region already.
An additional issue few know is that the USA’s main supplier of antibiotics is China. The last antibiotic made in the USA was 2004.
2008 Senate hearings with the FDA revealed at that time over 80% of all USA sold drugs were either wholly or partially made out of country. Inspections of these goods is far and few between at the docks or even at the manufacturing plants. Attempts have been made, but as GAO admits, over 46% of the FDA inspection positions overseas were vacant in 2016.. A lack of antibiotics could seriously affect medical care. Hopefully, both European and Indian manufacturers will be able to take up the slack.
Trump has been handed an almost impossible position by previous trade agreements. I think the hard landing was due- either through the financial ruin from trade deficit, or by imposing tariffs, and enduring the rise in prices. It is a devil’s bargain either way. The weather decimated our AG segment for at least three years before production can resume. The financial pressures may end many farmers. Infrastructure and disaster relief for citizens should be the priority. Perhaps the grandstanding fools in Congress could stop for a moment, and realize that they are about to kill the golden goose. Difficult to fund your nest eggs, and familial dynasties if the peasants cannot be further extorted for taxes.
Buy seafood farm raised in China? I’d rather go hungry. I avoid anything from China, like so many others. Here in the Palouse area the farming is as good as it always is. Hope we can take up some of the slack. Also recently read an article about how the Chinese own so much of our farm land over here. Also mentioned in that article is how the Chinese are just waiting to buy up the farm land from the distressed farmers as the waters recede. Why 0 why do we sell our farm land to foreigners?
I never buy anything labeled from China. Never buy ANY tilapia as most of that comes from China.
I support the tariffs generally. I know prices will go up and am hopefully prepared for that. I will concede that I’m not trying to feed a growing family. That situation will no doubt cause some families to suffer.
Glad you are sending out a warning for people to prepare.
I wonder if our “stable genius ” is anticipating a world famine and is keeping food here for for “WE THE PEOPLE”.
If the Democrats would just stop acting like little children who didn’t get their way
get off their butts and help our President solve the emergency at our Southern Border with a Wall, more Personnel, etc., then we wouldn’t need to tariff anyone…but something HAS TO BE DONE!!!
I try to avoid food imported from China and the rest of the countries, we should never allowed our food to be outsourced – reason we are in this trouble. I do not know why we can’t grow our food here and including Chickens, Beef, etc. This is the reason there are so many food recalls — China does not have any regulations they can do as they please, same with other foreign countries. I just do not trust them. I believe America should start producing right here in the USA — also drugs are manufactured in foreign countries which is so sad!!! I do not want anything from CHINA – when I shop I shop for USA made goods and fresh fish caught in the wild, etc.
Picking my jaw up off the floor after reading the organic prepper worrying about the lack of farm raised fish from China, which no organically inclined person would ever consider letting past their lips.
How about viewing it as an opportunity to learn to avoid such toxic fare, and eat cleaner?
Hey, Tom –
I don’t eat that stuff either. But a lot of folks do. And when there is less food to go around it hurts everyone. No, I’m not suggesting we eat tilapia that’s fed its own poop. I’m looking at a broader problem – a shortage of food in our grocery stores.
I am in PA and I can tell you that many people have not gotten a garden in. I start in mid April and by June 1st, you should have it in or you lack sufficient days to harvest before fall frost. It is June 1st and I am pushing to get the last in (I started warm season in the greenhouse to be sure I would have enough days). It is wet and with the humidity, no drying out. I will add, when I am super busy, I sometimes grab a can of cinnamon rolls. I don’t know when it happened, but it went from 9 rolls to 8 and they are noticeably smaller. I want to mention here, that we also farm and hay season was awful last year. It was wet just like we are now. We are hoping we can get better hay this year. We were down to 8 bales before the herd went out to pasture. Also piglet went from $50 to $75 and some are even getting $100! That is for a little piggy that weighs under 50 pounds.
How could so many people have not seen trump’s behavior coming. (his con man character was well documented.) This man is a disaster in so many ways. The nicest thing that can be said for him is that he is incompetent! I am genuinely concerned for our farmers and their losses and how that will impact our food supply. I don’t know. I have stepped up my preps and am trying to understand what is coming next. It is also important to increase manifold our survival skills–we may yet need them!
First of all, there is no such thing as “natural weather” any more. It is all manipulated. And before I get labeled paranoid, anyone hear of “Disaster Capitalism”? Look it up! Midwest agribusiness IS being targeted.
Secondly, agribusiness in this country does not grow food for people any longer. They grow what’s necessary to produce plastics and animal feed. And 30% of agribusiness in the USA is foreign owned.
Thirdly, grocery stores carry very little real food. Any real prepper knows that. So start prepping! Grow your own! That ‘s the whole point of this web site isn’t it? Locate any Amish or Mennonite communities in your area that sell dairy and meat. Most of them do.
I believe that what Trump is doing is good. The Corporations have had a field day shipping our jobs overseas to the lowest bidders and then importing the goods back – at no cost – and selling them to us at a premium. Enough! Stop the whining and dig in for the long haul. No one said it would be easy, but someone has to do it – and Trump is at least trying.
I live in Mennonite area, they don’t shy away from mass agriculture farming practices. Out here when you see a clear cut mess for logging you know it’s done by Mennonite, anyone else would be jailed.
They use standard feeds (gmo) injections and other things just as big ag does…Basically everyone does it is when and how often you use and if it enters the food you sell.
Raw milk sales check your local laws. Its a mess of laws don’t want to have an issue.
Best of all either know your farmer or raise it your self. Good raised farm food like your grandparents had is expensive because it takes time.
Cow average kill is 18 month to raise full grow is 3 years. Chicken at store 7 wèeks old, raised from egg 100 plus days to maturity.
Farmed fish is toxic from the fish oil in the feed massive amounts of heavy metals and food dyes used to colour the fish meat. Wonder why no heads are shown and mainly filets? Guess what they are hiding. .. deformities, sea lice , growths… yummy
Ps if you love bananas start eating like mad they kind at store are about to go extinct from a fungus.
I don’t eat anything from China. You probably shouldn’t either..
I agree with Jeff Baker. It’s all about controlling us. I really don’t have faith in any of our government. We need to trust in God!!!! Some say our weather is being controlled also. Read Agenda 21 from our government and other sources of control.
I think the importance of figuring out how to grow and find your own food cannot be overstated. Yes, by all means, stockpile as well, that is also important. But if there is anything this century so far has proven, it is that rules and laws (in any country, anywhere, regardless of placement on the political spectrum) cannot be predicted. In even the most apparently stable and ‘free’ countries, I do not think it is safe to assume that stocking up food guarantees you will be able to keep all of it for yourself when you really need it. The factors that affect our farmers also affect those of us trying to grown food in our back yards or balconies – here in southern Ontario, we have not had a long enough stretch without rain for me even to get raised beds built this spring, and it’s getting kinda late for this year. On the other hand, all that rain has meant an abundance of ‘weeds’ such as dandelion and nettle in our local parks, meaning abundant foraging of greens for dinner and flowers for jelly. I would urge us all to become experts at identifying edible plants, both in our own back yards and in the wilds, as well as figuring out how to produce what food we can indoors without having to rely on weather conditions to grow a back yard garden. By all means garden as well, but things like tabletop sprouters, windowsill gardens, etc. are a great hedge against conditions that interfere with both large scale and individual food production. You know those Ikea rails with tin cans hanging from them that people use for kitchen utensils? Put a full spectrum light underneath your upper kitchen cupboards, and those can be great for growing herbs and salad greens. I believe that as climate change worsens and nations continue the current trend of not playing nicely in the sandbox, the ability to find and produce our own food will become increasingly critical.
Trump is as much a part of the globalist, Deep State, agenda as were the Bushes, Clintons, and 0bama. Many are too asleep or filled with so much deity worship for Trump, that they refuse to see how he is betraying us in the same ways as the aforementioned. He is just slicker about doing it. I see where he is appointing Chuck Canterbury as head of BATF. Chuck was formerly President of Fraternal Order Of Police, a very much anti-gun, anti-citizen, and anti-Constitution, organization. The betrayals continue and the Trump faithful continue making lame excuses for him.
we have to get him out of Office he’s nuts
No argument from me.
This is inaccurate. There are plenty of countries that we import food from that do not have tariffs on them. The tariffs are in response to bigger issues and America has no food shortage, but a food surplus with government warehouses full to the bursting point.
Regardless of the tariffs, (which are just one more thing for big business to use as an excuse for increasing prices on all and sundry items from Froot Loops to antifreeze, IMHO), we won’t be to plant in the flood zones for several years AFTER the waters recede because of chemical contamination in many areas. I would posit the theory that we will be seeing shortages and rising prices for a minimum of five years just here in the US.
Adding in the global issues with livestock epidemics, wars, abnormally cool weather, droughts, wildfires, etc. I think we are looking at at least five to ten years before prices stabilize and food availability returns to anything approaching normal. That’s ONLY if growers adapt to the cooler weather patterns that are part of the solar minimum we have now entered.
We should try to stockpile what we can as far as food goes, but we also need to learn how to stretch our income to compensate for the other items that will be increasing in price. Paying off credit cards, paying down student and other loans, etc. will help free up that income to pay for medications, clothing, etc.
Good luck, everyone.
As William S. Lind said on Traditional Right https://www.traditionalright.com/
Video Blog Episode 15 (at 39 minutes into the video), it’s Big Agriculture GMO crops for animal feed and ethanol that might be effected.
On the other hand, small farms probably will be o.k..
The lesson is grow your own food or buy locally at the farmer’s market. But remember there’s a learning curve to growing your food.
What do I think…. I think the powers that be on this earth have lost control and are faking everything as much as they can. They’re at a loss for what to do about any of it and no one has the guts to admit it. I think only those who are strong willed and minded will make it through.
I’m beginning to wonder of the tariffs are part of a larger scam against the American population, in the overall effort to deindustrialize and weaken the United States. It’s just so convenient.