A Precarious Position Indeed

 

 

I confess that it is doubtful I will make any friends with this particular posting.  It is inconvenient information that I share with you today.  While I happily provide you with a yummy recipe at the end of this blog, one in which you can make from your food storage supplies, I realize that what I am about to share is an unpleasant thought.

 

Wheat-farmerLess than one percent of our population claims farming as their occupation--down from 10% in 1997.  Over 40% of those farmers are north of the age 55.  The farmers of our nation are dwindling significantly.  Many of those farmers refused to grow wheat in past years due to an eagerness to earn a better living by jumping on the ethanol train, and thus grew corn and soy.

 

On average, one farmer only produces enough food for 96 people.  In total there are 2 million farms in the U.S. (including livestock, etc).  We have a total estimated population of over 303 million citizens.  You do the math.  The number of farms has been decreasing about 6 percent per year and yet our population has been increasing by just under 1% each year and is expected to increase by nearly 49% by the year 2050.  A famine would overtake this nation in a matter of weeks if ANY violence or fluke of nature interrupted the operation of this highly interdependent system of food production and distribution.  On a much smaller scale, look at what ripple affect one hurricane had on our entire nation, let alone what it did to Louisiana and other areas.  Food, water, safety and freedoms were scarce.

 

surplus-wheat-khouzestan2For you additional consideration, know that our government has shipped all of our surplus wheat to foreign nations due to the famines as of late. There is none to replace it because there are so few farmers who have been growing wheat.  In other words, there is no longer any wheat or other public stores to fight famine in our own nation.

 

Indeed we are in a precarious position.

 

Perhaps there is not a people in the history of this nation who have been as vulnerable to starvation as we are today.  Although we are highly specialized in our labor, we are relying almost completely upon electric power and labor-saving machinery.  We have largely forgotten the meaning of physical labor and the art of feeding and clothing ourselves.  If we had an interruption of our power supply, our production machinery, or our transportation, grocery markets would empty within hours and we would all be left to our own knowledge and skills to provide ourselves with the sustenance of life.

 

This is an overwhelming though to contemplate. But it is more clear to me, in consideration of this additional information, why we have been advised for eons to have emergency preparedness supplies on hand.  Such supplies should address not just food and water, but shelter, clothing, medical, financial, mental, spiritual, and physical needs for protecting and providing for ourselves.

 

I understand that I may sound ludicrous. After all, it was probably just this past weekend that you roamed the aisle in the grocery stores and saw plenty.  Have you never been in a grocery store on a Monday though, when so many of their supplies have been depleted over the weekend?  I have and certainly feel inconvenienced by this simple anomaly.   Now picture this scenario a hundred fold as the result of a REAL food shortage and a failing currency in our nation.  It is as ugly as anything out of Hollywood has ever portrayed it.  If our currency fails then all of the foods we import into our nation cease.  If our food fails then all of the currency which we bring into our nation ceases as well.  It’s a no win situation and you don’t have to look far to notice that both commodities are under serious threat!

 

9mm-gun-casing1Mark my words, the time will come when ammunition is worth more than any currency we can wave; when a bucket of wheat is held more dear than a bucket of gold; and when life skills such as shoemaking and iron works, and masonry will have a greater value than an irrelevant retirement account.

 

We are naïve if we somehow believe that this type of forecast is reserved for the future generations in light of all that is blatantly going on around us. We are naïve if we believe that the government will protect us or that anyone else is responsible for our well-being in this matter.

 

While you may bristle at this wake up call, nonetheless, wake up.  I’m not exactly a “morning person” either, but I know enough to realize just how important this preparation is for you, your family, and anyone you love.  And I tell you solemnly right now that the more complacent you choose to be in your lifestyle, the more hatred you will have for yourself later when you realize you could have done something to stop the suffering of those you love.

 

 

 

blueberry-dump-cake-butter

Blueberry Dump Cake

The name says it all. This is easy!

 

2 cans of blueberry pie filling

1 box of yellow cake mix (18.25 ounces)

12 tablespoons of butter or margarine

 

Simply dump the blueberry pie filling in your baking dish or Dutch oven. Top it with the box of yellow cake mix.  Top that with the butter or margarine (melted or in cold pieces)

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until light golden brown on top.

 

If you have a way to make ice cream, this is a yummy dish served warm with some vanilla ice cream on top.

 

blueberry-dump-cake

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Comments

I can relate to the half empty shelves at the store on Monday, that is a strange feeling. I try to avoid the weekend crowd, but Monday is not the day to go either. That recipe sounds delicious. Definitely a food for thought post.

I did not know this about the statistics for farmers, although I have always admired them for the hard work that they do. The actual numbers are kind of frightening, and definitely reinforce the idea that everyone should try to have a garden of some sort, even if it's just a bag of potting soil with some seeds in it...
I hope that more people will get some food in storage after reading your post, even if it's just little by little, if they have the means. Sobering post, but important.

You shouldn't be defensive about this post. Americans need a SEVERE slap in the face to see what's going on in our country!

This is a GREAT post! Keep it up!

Bruce
http://www.internet-grocer.net

Bruce and Marie, thank you for your comments on this post. As you know, many teenagers don't like to be awakened from a dead sleep. They tend to get grumpy. This particular bit of information tends to wake people up from a sound sleep...thus making them grumpy. On the other hand, I'm sure the person whose house is on fire is grateful that an alert neighbor woke them up to warn them of such. This country has a whole lot of teenagers in it, if you know what I mean.

Excellent article! I have been trying to tell my family about the need to prepare for just such a disaster. I finally realized I was getting through just a bit when my oldest daughter commented on how convenient our food storage is. She has now decided to start one of her own.

We learned just how important it is to prepare ahead when my husband was out of a job for 5 months. Our food storage was literally a life saver for us then!! I'm sure a time is coming in the not too distant future when it will be even more of a necessity. Scary thought, but true.

Kellene, great food for thought. As anyone living on the gulf coast can tell you, it doesn't take an actual disaster to clear the shelves. Even the HINT of a hurricane produces a buying frenzy and empty shelves. Whether or not the disaster happens, it takes the stores at least a week to recover to a reasonably well-stocked position. After Ike, I shook my head in disbelief as my neighbors waited TWO HOURS in a drive thru line just to get some burgers and fries.

Kellene,

Glad you like my recipes. Your blueberry dump cake would do really well in one of my dutch ovens. I have already been tinkering with it to make it wheat free (so I can actually eat it). If I find something that works, I'll probably post it & let you know.

Cheers,

Mark

I am new to your group, but not to this recipe..I have been making dump cakes for years. My favorite is cherry. Just substitute cherry pie filling for blueberry. You can also use any fresh or rehydrated fruit that is thickened to make your own filling. Either tapioca or corn starch works for the thickener. Can anyone give me the name of a really good cookbook specifically for freeze dried and/or dry bean recipes?

Ultra maxi gel, or regular gelatin works great as a thickener too. I haven't found any cookbooks that I love quite yet. I'm still picking through all of mine. :-)

Kellene,
I am totally new to your site, and feel a bit overwhelmed right now. I did like your blog "the Magic Number 12." THAT is something I can sink my teeth into! I am fortunate enough to have a basement, and kind of practice my own form of preparedness just because we live 15 miles from any grocery store.

My husband and I farm with his parents. We farm about 7000 acres north of Joplin, MO. I think that there IS a problem with farm ground going out of production closer to the cities, but mostly the number of farms are dropping because farmers are getting bigger. As my in-laws have aged, my husband has taken on more responsiblities. We store our own grain until we sell it. And we have our own trucks to haul it. We even buy poultry litter from the corporate egg producing company that buys our corn to apply to our fields as a cheaper form of fertilizer. It all goes full circle!

But, back to the reason I write this. Farming is all about making money. No one in this family works off the farm. (I taught school for 10 years, but now I help on the farm.) We hire 4 full time men, in addition to the family who works here. We haven't raised wheat in forever because the money just isn't there. With ever increasing fertilizer, machinery, fuel, and labor costs, the bottom dollar requires that we raise corn and soybeans. The markets are not driven by supply and demand. We sell our grain when it is above the break even price, hopefully. I do hope that we can grow some wheat in the future, and that my DH will allow me to hoard some of it.

Now, I just have to get one of those hand driven grain mills!

Keep on keeping us informed!
Michelle

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