Because our food is in the hands of global megacorporations, we are at the mercy of global economic crashes even if we have money to buy food. Just in Time food deliveries means no back stock of food. It means that in ordinary times, there is one day of food on grocery shelves. In stress, the food will be gone in a few hours.
This sounds extreme, and it is. Our fragile food system is extreme.
Greece is still in economic distress, but as early as last summer, their grocery stores emptied of food. Food was sitting out in the harbor spoiling because harbor services would not unload them without getting paid. The banks were closed. People will not deliver food to you, if they don’t get paid. People don’t make a living, or survive themselves, if they do not get paid. Make a Living is such a common phrase we gloss over the fact that many people barely Live on their income and will not work without the means to Live. Whether you starve or not means nothing if they think they will starve first.
Don’t discount Greece’s problems. In a matter of days people were dumpster diving for food. A new career arose, standing in long lines for food for others. Sound familiar? It was.
Only months before, the same happened in Venezuela.
Our own Puerto Rico will fall soon. Our government says it will not help them out, but is setting up to take in Syrians and support them. Really? The US government plans to feed and shelter Syrians but not our own citizens? Empty grocery shelves are in our future.
China is in crisis. Their government is trying to stem the tidal wave but cannot stop what is to come. One advantage China’s peasants have is that most of them still live on the land.
The US has never climbed out of the pit called 2008. One disadvantage USA’s peasants have is that they live in cities. Land is owned and held by the middle class and the megarich.
Side lite: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has millions of acres of farmland all over the United States and an evacuation plan for members. If you live on their farms you will be in same sex dormitories and be required to do brute labor on the farm. Members store food, it is true, but are expected to go to their ward and hand over all food to the Church in a crisis. The Bishop will disburse food as he sees fit. The Bishop may request that you to take in and feed and shelter other families.
The Baltic Dry Index is at record lows. Shipping should be cheap and picking up because of the glut of low priced petroleum, right? Not the case, shipping is grinding down to a halt. But your food needs to be shipped in. Who knows how long that will last. If you have internal food producers, more power to you. If you have a garden, it is manna from heaven.
Whose economy is impervious to financial shocks? Not the US. Not China. Not Russia. Not Saudi Arabia. Is your country impervious? Will your country feed you? How?