By Kelley Herring
This article is the most urgent and one of the most important I’ve ever written.
And while I do not intend to scare you… I do strongly encourage you to be prepared for the next phase of this grand experiment. If you are prepared for what I discuss below and it does NOT happen… then you will still be better off.
On the other hand, if what I describe does happen – and you are not prepared for it – you and your family could face even greater hardship in the months ahead.
There is a lot of debate about the seriousness of the global pandemic…
Some say it is a deadly and easily-transmissible disease that would have killed tens of millions if we had not retreated to our homes. Others say it’s no more deadly than the common flu. They believe the numbers have been grossly inflated by relabeling other causes of death. That quarantine was unjustified. And that we should all just “get back to work”.
We’ll save this debate for another day…
Because there is one aspect of this mess that is NOT up for debate.
The grand global experiment of shutting down nearly the entire world economy will have repercussions that last for years.
When an earthquake strikes, the initial shaking may last for only a few seconds. And while those few seconds can be deadly, it is often the aftershocks that take more lives. It is these aftershocks that can bring down buildings that were damaged during the initial wave – often burying the rescue workers searching for survivors.
While the boredom of quarantine was no fun – and the financial difficulties of being out of work have taken a toll on millions of people – the “Aftershock” of this global event could be even worse!
I won’t discuss the potential societal breakdowns that can occur as millions of people are forced out of work. And what could happen in major cities as growing numbers of people go hungry and become more depressed… angrier… and more desperate.
What I would like to discuss is something that is already happening, which could make these problems infinitely worse…
The Global Food Supply Chain is Breaking
The modern food distribution system is more interconnected than ever. When everything is running smoothly, we can deliver huge amounts of fresh food from producers to consumers. But this system relies on people, predictability and rigid schedules.
It is called a supply “chain” for a reason. There can be as many as 100 touch points before a food item gets from the place of production to the point of consumption. If any one of those links in the chain are broken, it can cause delays. If multiple links are broken – as they have been in recent weeks – the food may never reach the consumer at all.
Even worse, food may have to be destroyed.
And that is exactly what is already happening.
While the demand for food from grocery stores has gone up over the last two months. The demand for food from restaurants, schools, hotels, airports, cafeterias and other businesses has all but dried up. The increase in home demand is not enough to offset the decrease in institutional demand for the latter.
What’s more, the supply chain is not geared to divert institutional supply to retail. Nor are the factories that produce and package food in bulk for institutions set up to package food for individual and home consumption.
The result is that MILLIONS of pounds of fresh food are now being destroyed daily!
And while food banks are seeing record donations, there is only so much perishable food that charities with limited cold storage can absorb.
Commenting on what he sees across the supply chain, Brett Stuart, President, Global AgriTrends says:
“It is absolutely unprecedented. It is a lose-lose situation where we have producers at the risk of losing everything and consumers at the risk of paying higher prices.”
The situation is heartbreaking for farmers across the country who are literally having to destroy their crops as there is no way to sell or store what they have produced. Here is just a snapshot of what is happening, pulled from headlines written in the last week:
Dairy farmers dumping millions of gallons of milk into lagoons
Chicken farmers are smashing millions of unhatched eggs
Millions of pounds of onions and potatoes are rotting in ditches
Tractors are plowing perfectly ripe vegetables back into the soil.
In an article on the subject, The Chicago Tribune writes:
“The widespread destruction of fresh food — at a time when many Americans are hurting financially and millions are suddenly out of work — is an especially dystopian turn of events.”
It does not take a degree in economics to predict what is going to happen. Food shortages are likely to get worse. Panic buying will increase as the public becomes aware. And prices are going up.
So, how do you protect yourself from a food crisis?
Don’t Be Scared… Be Prepared!
Of course, the worst-case scenario can still be averted. And with quarantine ending and businesses getting back to work, there is a chance that this could be a blip that ripples through the chain. Normalcy may soon return.
On the other hand, the events we’re seeing today could have repercussions that last for months and perhaps even years. There is still time to protect yourself and your family, but you must take this seriously. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
Here are four ways to prepare for potential food shortages and severe economic turmoil:
1. Store One to Three Month’s Supply of Food
We live in a land of plenty. And when grocery stores are stocked full of food, it’s easy to assume it will always be that way. But we have all just seen how quickly store shelves can be emptied. In a true panic – it can happen in a matter of hours!
If you do not have at least a one-month supply of food on hand, make that your immediate goal. Then go from there, depending on your space and financial resources. If you do not have the resources to purchase everything at once – or you’re faced with rationing and item limits – then pick up a few extra packages each time you visit the store. Buy a little more than you need and put the extra into storage. Buy in bulk to save money. Keep track of what you have. And resupply as you run out.
2. Buy a Generator & Enough Gas to Power it for a Few Days
If you are going to invest money to store food – especially meat – you better have a means to protect it in case the power goes out. I am not suggesting that we are going to see widespread power outages as a result of economic disruption.
But all it takes is a bad storm or a small earthquake to knock out power to your local area for a few days. And that’s long enough for a freezer full of meat to spoil. You probably don’t need a generator large enough to power your whole house. But it would be wise to purchase one large enough to power a few appliances.
3. Save Your Money & Put Off any Major Decisions
If you are not already financially secure – with an “emergency fund” large enough to carry all your expenses for six months to a year – then it would be wise to put off any major purchases. Food prices will almost certainly rise. Job losses could continue to mount. Economic disruption will be the norm. Sometimes the best “decision” you can make is to make no major decisions at all. This is one of those times.
4. Grow a Garden
Even if you only have a small space, start a garden. You can grow herbs and tomatoes on a tiny balcony. If you have more space, plant fruit trees and grow some vegetables. Participate in a community garden if there is one nearby. A small garden is not going to supply all the food you need. And it’s quite unlikely that things will get so bad your garden is what saves you – but it will certainly save you some money.
More importantly, it will get you outside in the fresh air and sunlight. It provides a sense of direction and something to look forward to. There are few things better for mental and physical health than having a sense of purpose… and a bit of digging in the dirt. And who knows, perhaps you can share your bounty with others!
What is in store for America and the global economy?
We are still in a critical period and nobody knows when or how this will end.
But what is not up for debate is that smart planning and wise preparation can make all the difference.
Don’t expect government to solve these issues. They are incapable of protecting you from this crisis. And in fact, the more government is involved, the worse the outcome will be. Even temporary solutions – like paying millions of people to stay home – can have disastrous long-term consequences.
Save yourself. Be prepared.
Read more of Kelley Herring’s health & wellness articles on our Discover Blog.
Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Keto Breads – which includes more information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Keto Breads…