Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Food prices are rising in America; researchers predict food shortages followed by mass riots

By J. D. Heyes via Natural News, 23 June 2014

The social contract of peace and compliance only exists in any country so long as society is civil enough to permit it, government policies notwithstanding. So it is with some apprehension that sociologists and demographers are watching vulnerable populations in the United States for any signs of unrest as food prices -- and in particular, meat prices -- continue to rise.

A recent blog post in the Scientific American discusses the trend of increasing social unrest in countries around the world, noting that, in 2014 alone, riots in the countries of both Venezuela and Thailand have been tied to the issue of increasing food prices. In the former, for example, prices have been rising steadily for years as the country's

"According to Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam and fellow researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), events such as these may be anticipated by a mathematical model that examines rising food costs," the Scientific American (SA) reported.

Historically, unrest has been tied to hunger

The events this year are not without precedent; hunger is a huge destabilizing factor for any society. In Imperial Rome, for instance, Emperor Augustus introduced grain subsidies to placate hunger-induced unrest.

In more recent years, the Middle East has been affected in particular by the rising cost of grain. Hundreds of years after the Egyptians developed bread as we now know it, the country experienced a sort of "bread intifada," as the SA reports: "the country rioted for two days in January 1977 following Anwar Sadat's decision to drastically decrease food subsidies."

Even more recently, under now-deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, grain prices climbed 30 percent between 2010 and 2011. On Jan. 25, 2011, the "Arab Spring" revolution began in Egypt.

Back home in America, the "land of plenty" so to speak, millions of our own citizens are going without enough food to eat (even as we subsidize food and send food to nations around the world).

As reported by USA Today, a new report from a hunger-relief charity, Feeding America, notes that "based on 2012 federal survey data on 44,000 households, says 49 million Americans are 'food insecure' -- people who sometimes eat less, go hungry or eat less nutritious meals because they can't afford to eat better. Almost a third of them are children," the paper said.

According to the Economic Collapse Blog, "in 1854, Henry David Thoreau observed that 'the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation'. The same could be said of our time."

Something fundamentally unnerving about hunger

Every day, the blog notes, tens of millions of Americans eke out an existence, "quietly scratching and clawing their way from month to month." And why wouldn't they be? According to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vast majority of workers in private-sector employment make $35,000 a year or less, and that's before all of the taxes Americans are forced to pay.

But there are other factors besides rising food costs that experts and historians agree can lead to instability within a country. Unemployment (or in the case of the United State, chronic underemployment), political oppression (which has gotten worse and worse in the U.S. over the past 50 years especially), economic instability (think of another economic collapse like the one which triggered the recent "Great Recession") and political corruption (think of the various and growing scandals within the current administration).

That said, experts note, there is something fundamentally unnerving about a lack of food -- the inability to either obtain it or gain access to it.

As Bar-Yam explains, "The analysis suggests the doubling of food prices we have seen since 2005 pushed many in the greatest poverty across the line from bare subsistence into desperation and starvation. When people are not able to feed their families, they have little to lose and become willing to take strong actions."


Posted with permission from Natural News


Unknown said...

Food prices are a real problem, especially when you consider that real wages haven't increased in this country in 40 years. I myself am living with my brother because I was forced to choose between being homeless or not having enough to eat; my brother is only charging me $200 a month for rent, and even at that reduced rate, my 32 hour a week job is just barely enough to pay for food and gas for the truck he lets me use (I ride my bike to work most days, but it's an old bike and hasn't gotten the regular maintenance I used to be able to afford, so it is breaking down more).

Years ago, when I had money saved, I bought a year's supply of emergency food because I thought our shaky economy was going to collapse long ago. Most of it isn't too bad and non-GMO, but hey, you still have to get fruit and veggies to supplement this powdered stuff if you want to have any kind of energy to work with. While the article mentions meat going through the roof (especially beef, in my experience) fruit has also become very expensive, too, and is usually more expensive than chicken. High quality greens, especially organic which is what I prefer, have also gone up a lot, too. Still, eating lower quality ersatz food is better than going hungry, so my heart goes out to the children going hungry.

DBlog said...

This scares me more than most other things. Growing some things here, and have 2 pear trees and an apple tree that produce, but with the nasty fallout and chemtrails garbage I don't even like to grow outside. I make pretty good money as a psychotherapist, but I struggle to pay my bills and eat well. Since I had cancer organic food is not negotiable. We went out for our anniversary and I was shocked at the price of a steak! $32 - $51 for a 12-16 ounce steak....