Food supplies are getting very tight worldwide. Food riots started last week (Jan 5, 2011) in Algeria after there was a sudden price hike for many staples such as flour, sugar, and oil. The violence quickly spread to Tunisia where the death toll continues to rise. The food shortage problem isn’t just localized to Northern Africa though, it is global in scope.
Worldwide supplies of many staple foods are presently very low and are expected to get lower. Because of the bad weather around the world (flooding in Australia, blizzards in the Northern Hemisphere, very dry weather in South America) the next two harvests are expected to have low yields. This convergence of factors has many worldwide leaders very concerned.
The World Economic Forum just put out the Global Risks 2011 report and in it they state that the “demand for water, food, and energy is expected to rise by 30-50% in the next two decades”. Experts at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA) are also warning about the global food crisis, which they believe will be close to the scale of the food crisis of 2007-2008.
So what can you do that will help you personally through this crisis?
1. You can grow some food. It doesn’t matter if you live on a several acres of good land in the country or if you live in an apartment in the city; you can grow something to eat. For those of you who have little room you can just grow in elevated boxes. There is a method called Square Foot Gardening that works very well in areas with poor soil and when space is a premium (such as on a balcony).
2. You can stock up on food while you still can. It doesn’t have to be strictly survival food. You can stock up on some staples like rice, beans, wheat, canned meat, nuts, dried milk, dried whole eggs, and dried fruit if you can afford to. They can take years to spoil and they are probably not ever going to be cheaper than they are right now. If you get at least 3 months of food stored for every family member you will be way ahead of most people. A good book that teaches you food storage is “How to Develop a Low-Cost Family Food-Storage System” by Anita Evangelista.
3. You can purchase a couple of edible wild plant books for your area. Many wild plants are very nutritious and eating them is much better than going hungry. Try collecting the plants as far away from buildings and roads as you can. If you do collect them near buildings or roads they might have pesticides on them so wash them thoroughly before you eat them.
The key to surviving this food crisis is to take action now. Follow one or all of these steps to help secure a future supply of food for you and your family. Your stomach will thank you later.
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