Major Food Distributor Sysco: “Immediate Volatile Prices, Expected Limited Availability, and Mediocre Quality at Best”

by | Feb 13, 2011 | Commodities | 72 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Adding to already rising food prices due to monetary inflation and weather related supply problems around the globe, one of the world’s leading food distribution companies, Sysco Corporation, is advising clients and their customers that the recent freeze across North America has significantly impacted growing operations in Mexico (as well as parts of the U.S.) leading to 80% – 100% crop damage:








    Source: Sysco Release/Memo: Mexico Freeze [PDF]

    Now might be a good time to hit the frozen foods (or fresh produce if you’ve got a vacuum sealer) aisle at your local grocery store and stock up on your favorite fruits and veggies, as there may be a severe supply crunch coming in the next couple weeks lasting perhaps several months. Why pay premium prices later when you can prepare yourself today, before the rest of the country gets wind of it.

    The February 8, 2011 memo from Sysco Corporation comes on the heels of a report the day prior suggesting that Sysco will be forced to raise prices on foods ranging from dairy to meats (and probably grains, based on this report and chart) as a result of higher raw material costs and margin compression:

    Higher raw material costs have pressured companies across sectors, and many of them, including Kellogg Co  the world’s largest breakfast cereal company, raised prices to combat rising ingredient costs.

    Sysco shares were down more than 6 percent on Monday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

    On a call with analysts, the company said a double digit price rise in meat, dairy and seafood — categories that account for one-third of its sales — created substantial margin pressures.

    “It is unlikely that these pressures are going to subside near term,” Morning Star analyst Erin Sherin said, “This is in stark contrast to the 3.5 percent deflation Sysco was experiencing in the year-ago quarter.”

    Food inflation is a mounting worry globally. A recent study on global food prices by a U.N. agency showed they hit their highest level on record in January, and are set to worsen after a massive snowstorm in the United States and floods in Australia.

    Sysco CEO Bill DeLaney said, “Recovery and to some extent, (its) financial results may be somewhat choppy due to the economic challenges that consumers continue to face.”

    We previously warned readers (Agflation Goes Retail and Broke and Hungry: This Chart Says It All) to expect this very effect of margin compression to hit consumers in coming weeks and months. Sysco has now essentially confirmed that their prices are going up, which means your prices at local grocery stores are headed north. And you can bet that if their raw material costs are up double digit percentage points, your retail prices will be as well.

    The strategy we outlined in January of 2010 – Buy Commodities at Today’s Lower Prices, Consume at Tomorrow’s Higher Prices – may have sounded a bit doom and gloomish to some, but considering what has transpired in commodity markets and the food production sector, it was and still remains a viable investment strategy. While day traders and stock brokers on Wall Street exchange ETF’s and commodity options, we recommend to those of our readers who could care less about paper financial markets, to buy real food and store it for the longer term. Prices will likely continue to rise, and holding your own food stores gives you peace of mind knowing there is no counter-party risk, as you have the physical asset in your possession, ready for consumption or trade at a time of your choosing.

    For those who care to read up on it, here are some ideas for Wealth Preservation, Investing, and Prepping For Hard Times.

    H/T Doug Ross and Steve Quayle

    Additional Resources:

    Mexico loses 80-100% of crops to freeze, US prices to skyrocket

    Mexico’s biggest freeze since 1957 means US produce price will skyrocket

    Sysco declares force majeure, raises grocery prices


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      1. This is so very very bad on so many levels. This is real doom in real time.

      2. No doubt Annie.

        According to the Sysco memo, it looks like there will be a shortage fairly soon – “immediately,” according to Sysco, but perhaps it won’t last too long… maybe 3 – 4 months.

        Still, that should put additional demand on veggies/fruits that didn’t get destroyed (no word on what those are as of yet), leading to higher prices all around.

        Coupled with meat, dairy, seafood, and grains, most, if not all, food groups should be accounted for in terms of the potential for explosive price increases.

        Then we’ve got the potential for oil to hit above $100 … perhaps back to 2008 highs…? So we can add fuel transportation costs on top of all those direct commodity price increases…

        In a normal economic environment that could be manageable for two to six months – people could handle it financially…. But this is definitely not normal and strain like this on a an already broke, jobless and psychologically battered average working American could really do some damage, like you said, on a number of levels.



      3. -”If you control the food supply, you control the people” – Henry Kissinger.

        Don’t worry about the higher prices or unavailability starting riots though since the Food Stamps will still be in the mail.

      4. Yes it’s bad – but hardly unexpected – this is exactly what has been predicted for at least two years.  Let’s hope that the home gardening advice has been taken, and many people will be able to provide at least some of their fresh vegetables and herbs from home gardens, and that people’s reserves of grains and other non-perishable foods will help in the transition to local, sustainable food systems being developed in the near future, and hold us over till hopefully things with the weather settle down.  This could be a pole shift coming, and if so it could spell lots of disruption and many deaths.  Are you good with god?  How’s your karma?   I met a man who claims he can read your “soul score” and if your score is above 51, you will die during these upcoming times and ascend to the fourth density.  Interesting concept.  The window closes August 3, 2017 according to him.  You can check your score at – i. 

        There was a big CME today so the day after tomorrow earth will be hit with some radiation so everybody – head’s up on that.

        I’m going to plant some green beans tomorrow…even if the ground is frozen right now you can start some indoor seedlings under lights and have things ready to plant as soon as the ground warms up.

        It’s time to expand your comfort zone…the upcoming new career – subsistence farming!

      5. I’m glad that it’s going to be warm enough to start fishing again…:)

      6. Oh yeah… I almost forgot…

        Crash JP Morgan… buy silver!!!

      7. Comments…..If you haven’t got your seeds you need to do so. If you don’t know how to can veggies you best learn. See to yourselves, but don’t forget the elderly and young-uns.

      8. I hope that regular readers of this column aren’t going to be in the crazed mob who are soon to loot the grocery stores in search of fruits and vegetables!  If you haven’t been prepping slowly and continuously for at least the past year, then you either have no reading comprehension, or you simply deny the mounting evidence all around us.  I hope all the readers of this column are in good shape for the near future.

      9. PO’DPatriot,

        The problem is how to find seeds which can reproduce, for next year’s harvest.
        At least in the Greek market, one can find only the Monsanto crappy seeds.
        We call them mule seeds, since the mule cannot produce offsprings.
        They have thought the game well. It’s like a chess game which is being played more or less after the WWI. Each move is being calculated and the result is known and ensured from the beginning.
        Who knows?
        We must open our eys and brains.


      10. Thanks for keeping us informed.  It’s gives us an edge.

      11. this coming collapse isnt going to be overnight. its going to be slow. what i mean is the prices will rise(everything not just food) but it will be months than overnight and then…..BAM! Everyone is going to be asking the question “what happened? the stock market setting all time highs and the politicians are telling us we are recovering…what happened?” then it will be a mad rush to the stores and uprisings that will make egypt look like a walk in the park.

      12. guess im right on target “Fox News Website(mainstream media) just reported that clothing prices will rise 10% come spring time.

      13. …………like an austerity plan from god instead of goldman-sachs/ j. p. morgan !

        this is no time to be poor !

        good luck,

        /s/ mushroom….

      14. And even when the crops recover ..if even in a year or so..the prices will stay where they elevate to..

        once the price goes will never return to where it once was..never.

      15. YES…why is this? Prices reset on all other goods and services but never food….why? I heard that it is because it is always the last to increase.

      16. What PO’d Patriot said.  Consider indoor gardens too, even if it is only as  seed starters.  Check out the Aero Gardens, see the video on how they work.  I have five and am eating organic greens, cherry tomatoes, herbs, green onions and mini cukes  year round and there is enough greens to give away – it’s like zuchinni. 


        Can heirloom seeds be shipped to you???   After buying the gardens, decided to make them myself.  Make a counter version  can give to seniors so they can have fresh greens year round and not leave their apartment. 

        Desk lamp, grow light, plastic container, aquarium pump, bubble thing, air hose, coconut mat and water.  Cost $20 -$25.  What’s nice about indoor growing it’s organic and no cross pollination with Monsanto.  If you want details on the garden and/or can have seeds shipped let me know.

      17. Billy Ray: No thanks, guys, I already had breakfast this morning.
        Mortimer Duke: This is not a *meal*, Valentine. We are here to TRY to explain to you what is we do here.
        Randolph Duke: We are ‘commodities brokers’, William. Now, what are commodities? Commodities are agricultural products… like coffee that you had for breakfast… wheat, which is used to make bread… pork bellies, which is used to make bacon, which you might find in a ‘bacon and lettuce and tomato’ sandwich.
        [Billy Ray turns and gives a long look at the camera]
        Randolph Duke: Randolph
        Randolph Duke: And then there are other commodities, like frozen orange juice… and GOLD. Though, of course, gold doesn’t grow on trees like oranges.
        Randolph Duke: Clear so far?
        Billy Ray: [nodding, smiling] Yeah.
        Randolph Duke: Good, William! Now, some of our clients are speculating that the price of gold will rise in the future. And we have other clients who are speculating that the price of gold will fall. They place their orders with us, and we buy or sell their gold for them.
        Mortimer Duke: Tell him the good part.
        Randolph Duke: The good part, William, is that, no matter whether our clients make money or lose money, Duke & Duke get the commissions.
        Mortimer Duke: Well? What do you think, Valentine?
        Billy Ray: Sounds to me like you guys a couple of bookies.
        Randolph Duke: [chuckling, patting Billy Ray on the back] I told you he’d understand.

        I smell dollar days cooking for Ag real damn soon! 

      18. Lady Hawk,

        Thanks for your offer. Let me check first with my mom’s relatives in the village. They should have pure seeds of potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and water mellons.
        As for details on how to, sure they would come in handy.
        A small search related to customs, gave me the impression that importing seeds outside E.U. maybe prohibited.
        I’ll keep you informed.

        Best wishes.


      19. This is all grapes of wrath.


      21. I have plenty of dead meat in the freezers, cans of veggies.  Many bags of home made dehydro vacuumed veggies.  Garden is full of composted black gold & worms.  River is ten steps away.  Home is paid for.  Oiled steel projectile lead throwers resting in corner.   

      22. Comments…..Different forums have been talking about the food shortages to come, for the past couple of years.  So, I have been canning up fruits and vegies like mad.  I have enough to get me easily through the next year or year and half.  It still can the good deals in the grocery stores.  Last week I canned up several jars of pickled asperagus.

        Keep on prepping.

      23. 1 to 43 this week Mac? SYY is going down today.

      24. Silver currently trading at 30.60…

      25. Wheat is over $9.10/bu this morning.  Might be time to put some bags of bread flour away, 5 gal buckets of wheat & a good quality grinder.  Hard red last the longest. 

      26. Rev 6:8
        And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

        Last June, Anubis plopped his 7-ton, 26- foot tall arse down and took his seat next to Bluecifer at the totally freaky Denver Airport (DIA). The Exhibit ran from June 29, – January 9, 2011. Lucifer’s steed Bluecifer’s sculptor, Luis Jiménez, died while working on the 32-foot-high sculpture he called ‘Blue Mustang’.

        BLUE = pale, light colored.

        MUSTANG = half-wild horse, animal who strays.

        BLUE MUSTANG = pale horse.

        Just weeks ago, January 31, the Nickelodeon channel started conditioning us with ‘House of Anubis’.

        Anubis = Egyptian god of the underworld; Embalming and Guide and Friend of the Dead.

        (EEEWWWW! pulling brains out through your nose, stuffing you full of herbs and tossing your guts into canopic [cannister] jars. How gross.

        It’s no secret that the goal of the ancient Egyptians was to come back and rule again as the house of bondage.)

        Nickel = demon, goblin, rascal (Nikolaus, cf. English Old Nick “the devil;”.

        Nickelodeon= Moving pictures; portals to underworld, soothsaying, illusion

        The following footage shows a mysterious medieval horse-like figure floating through the crowd during the Egyptian riots. CNN and MSNBC have been promoting it as the ‘4th horseman of the apocalypse.’ Watch for the image at the 1:19 min mark.

        For those of you who know God, keep in mind folks, judgment is for the wicked and stay strong.

        On a side note, this, of course, is bad news for all. My boyfriend works for a Sysco competitor and has been in a frenzy the past couple of days trying to get the word out to his customers. Our tiny Montana town has restaurants going out of business left and right. The weird thing is, the restaurants are still being patronized with higher ticket meals being ordered rather than smaller ones. The average Friday night meal costing $19.00 and on Saturday $21.00 compared to a 5-9 dollar burger. I wonder if it’s denial or comfort; maybe both.

      27. Food addiction in America is an massive epidemic. Salt, Sugar and Fat. Junk food and GMO’s. 70% have a weight issue. 1 out of 2 are overweight and 1 out of 3 are obese.

        On top of that, prescribed and non-prescribed drug use is running rampant as psychotropic drugs are handed out like candy.

        Combine the food addictions with the drugs, add in skyrocketing food prices forcing these people to eat pure salt, sugar and starch and in the short term, these will be the dangerous people. Sad but true. When you hear the term “Zombies” you now know who they are. Look at the body, look at the eating habit. Withdrawals from these veritable kaleidoscope of addictions is going to be massively nasty.

        Unfortunately the vast majority of Americans don’t have a clue of why to eat, what to eat, when to eat, where to eat and HOW to eat.

        In the long run, when the great die off is behind us, those that survive will have no choice but to eat like the Cubans did after the Soviet Union left town, i.e. Organic, wholesome food. It was their Special Period and leaner bodies again became the norm, BUT extremely painful for their culture. Get ready, our Special Period is about to force fed us home grown garden food. Will be the best thing that ever happen to this country.

        Note: In the first month, when the food is gone it will be like Hell, at least for those who weren’t prepared. After that, when starvation sets in, so does lethargy.

        In the meantime, you got the heads up. If you are one of the above, get off the habits now. Exercise. Get rest. Prepare and Prevent.

        A sure way of finding out how you’ll do in the upcoming storm is cold turkey for 36 hours. No food, drugs, alcohol. Just pure water. See how you feel. That’s the litmus test. Look in the mirror. Remember Food Addiction is an epidemic in America. Almost everyone has that dis-ease.

      28. European American….I agree that we all should go without for 36 hours just to prepare. I have not done this but have thought about it deeply. I remember seeing a post by another on this site that stated that he and his family go totally off the grid (food included) monthly. They all get together and the whole family does this one weekend a month to stay prepared.  

        Nothing like trial by fire.

      29. @ Tina

        Every Thursday for the last 4 years I fast. Usually on water, sometimes diluted fruit juices, one part pink grapefruit and 4 parts water. I do it to give my body a rest and I do it to strengthen my mind. I race bicycles for the pleasure and for strengthening my body, so I don’t have an issue with weight. But I’m not immune from issues, I’m human.

        I’ve got panels and a turbine. Garden, tools, seeds, weapons, gold and silver. But my big concern is what I wrote above. It’s big. No, it’s massive. The masses are in denial regarding their relationship with food. It’s a Food Stress.  Needing the calories to race mt. bikes at a high level is essential. I have to pour it in. When the shelves are bare of the nutritious foods, we will have to burn calories to provide for our own calories. In a way, it will be a vicious cycle. That’s why the fasting, the overcoming of our mental addictions to food will be mandatory. Again, I suggest one day a week FAST. That’s 52 days a year. Think of the food you save. Lay low the day you fast to conserve energy.

        Somedays while fasting I can literally taste something like french toast with butter and syrup. It’s interesting, when fasting, the foods that you are addicted to, the ones that are detrimental to your health, are generally the ones you crave most. FYI.

      30.    dont forget plantings of shoots and cuttings as well as seeds, as ways to get larger and larger yields, and specialize in one that does best where you are, as well as diversitys,  a backwards we go……to all the things we forgot from grammar schools or go too smart for that which keeps us from starving…revolting?!

      31. @  Cave Man….. go ahead rub it in… LOL 🙂

      32. I think I will Sirena!  LOL 

        EA:  While your at it beat yourself with whips/chains & drink nothing but mineral water which is the essence of deep thinking.  Last time I fasted I was probed up the kazoo which I refused to play.  That bear never did like music in the cave.

      33. @ Caveman

        Did I see you in that movie “Deliverance”? You know, the country folk type (living in the holler) with the overalls big enough for two good sized hogs to fit in each pant leg?

        Yeehaaw, I’ll take another shot of mineral water!

      34. @ Caveman

        Did I see you in that movie “Deliverance”? You know, the country folk type (living in the holler) with the overalls big enough for two good sized hogs to fit in each pant leg? You can have your moonshine, dead meat, dead veggies and red wigglers (yum, yum).

        Yeehaaw, gimme another shot of mineral water!

      35. Yes, I am a mountain man.  Dominos don’t deliver up here in big sky country.  Which part of the Euro haven’t you let go of?  First generation?

      36. Manos,
        I’m very interested in your indoor gardening idea.  Please be as explicit as possible on what to use (like where do you get the coconut mat????).  Thanks for speaking up!  And I so-o-o-o-o agree with the Monsanto deception. 
        Very sad.  Very sad.

      37. 12th generation American, Mr. Mountain Man.
        1632 left the tyranny of England.
        Brigadier General E. L. fought along side George Washington Valley Forge.

        An you, Mr. MAN of the MOUNTAIN? Why are you in a cave? Not hiding now, are you?

      38. Does anyone know a good place to go to learn about all the greek language abover about seeds, and growing things inside and gardening in general?
        We live in Michigan, are unemployed, poor and unprepared…we didn’t know about all this until here just recently. We have just had our eyes opened to what’s really going on in our country and the world…….so please watch some of the insults to those that are unprepared…you can’t just paint everyone with a broad brush like that. I am a 39 year old man, and as I type I am listening to and watching my twin 4 year old girls play on the floor in the same room as me….I am almost scared stiff, with teary eyes wondering “Lord help me prepapre and please give me the wisdom, resources and time to do so”

      39. Digging my claim EA.  I have more Euro in my jeans.

      40. BJ,

        Hello.  I would suggest visiting your library.  Check out several gardening books and start reading.  I’m sure there are plenty of gardening websites as well.  I would also suggest stocking up on rice and beans (very inexpensive, and makes a complete and healthy protein).  Do what you can every day.

        Keep coming back here to this website.  The other posters share so much good information, and it makes a great support system.  Stay strong.

      41. @ BJ

         There’s a book called Four Season Harvest sold at  that might help you get started with some backyard gardening. My grandpa could grow just about anything when he was farming. Now that he’s gone that talent went with him as I simply have a difficult time growing anything myself. I’m leaning towards building a chicken coop and raising laying hens for food and barter. Hope to get started with that this year.
        Also check out for some ideas to help you get started.
        Don’t let being unemployed get you down BJ. Many of us are walking that road.Good luck to you.

      42. Comments…..whoops!!! hey annynonnomus? you crack me up!! how much time did it take you to transcribe that ? i love that movie.and your right to some extent, gross manipulation!!! however thats where it ends. this is not a  joke,this is only a prelude of whats to come!!

      43. Comments…..spaz!!! i saw that on my cable listing?and said?  what the hell? only a small few would understand the significance of this.glad to see your one of them. stay tuned for more programing.

      44. You should probably go to and see who you are.

      45. @BJ – since you have access to internet, search for information on seeds, and growing a garden. You will be shocked at how much information is available. Even if you aren’t able to do a full garden, you can grow lots of veggies in containers, and maybe even start some things now inside.  Don’t panic – there are still some things you can do now. But panic will freeze you up. There are any number of blogs that regularly write about their gardens and what they plant.

        This whole time is scary for most of us – just because it’s going to be such a change for all of us.  google for “survival” or “prepping” and do as much research as possible, because you will find many different things you can do to begin to prepare. Even mentally.

        You and yours will be in my prayers.

      46. Comments….to BJ    I am a great painter… and I do paint with a broad brush.Q??  why would lead off with an inquiry  about the greek language.  READ!! READ !!! READ!! THE GOOD BOOK, AND THE STORY OF JOB. THINGS WILL LOOK A LOT BETTER.YOU STILL HAVE A INTERNET CONN.

      47. Thanks to SHIF and other sites, We know what is ahead and we all should prepare best we can. Food, water, arms, yes.
        Egypt is having a revolution with out arms, and it looks like it’s working…
        We are armed,

      48. BJ,

        I would be more than happy to offer you some info about how to prepare. My family has about 4 years saved up, that started one can at a time. I’m also a hobby gardner, and may be able to help with some info on indoor gardening. I’m not sure how best to coordinate an in depth chat or talk, but I can refer you to some resources, and answer any questions you may have. Just let me know, maybe one of us can set up a dummy e-mail so that we can exchange real e-mail.


        P.S. I don’t post often on the site because I don’t have much to say, but I ussually check it several times a day. And try and click on the banners, for Mac. 🙂

      49. BJ,

        Start slowly and put away rice and beans whenever you can.  You will be surprised at how much you will be able to do.  Add canned veges when you find them on sale, add some canned fruit, and some Dial soap which can be used for detergent if necessary.  Think outside the box and be creative for you and your family.  Check this web site whenever you can.  You will find ideas that you can use.  Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

      50. @BJ – Praying for you and your family.  God loves you and will not leave your side.  If you truly mean that prayer, He will guide you and help you prepare.  He can send you stuff to stockpile.  You do your part and trust Him – He will do His.  I am preparing the best I can on very limited budget.  The God I serve fed the Israelites with manna.  He will provide.  I am big on coupons.  You can get rice coupons for example, them take them to a store that doubles.  I bought a 1 lb. bag a few days ago for 16 cents.  Pasta is cheap and so are beans.   Think about ways you can make do with less – such as most people don’t even know you can reuse aluminum foil as long as it hasn’t had meat on it.  You can even wash it in dish water and hang to dry.  I use coffee filters to strain my oil and save for later use.  If it looks “dirty” after straining, you can fry a piece of potato in it and “clean” it.  I store it in a glass jar with a lid.

      51. WOW……thank you all for your support, encouragement and advice….it is greatly appreciated?

      52. Congrats on silver bear again.


        When I started my adventuring in a motor home, I knew I needed two things to be happy. A garden and a wood burning stove. The wood burning stove was easy. Got one used from a boat salvage yard that burned wood, coal and/or diesel. This was twenty five years ago, before internet access to remote locations and WiFi.

        I had experience raising veggies in dirt, but this proposed different challenges. At the time I was boon docking – living off grid in remote locations for three to four months at a time. Went into “town” once a month, so missed having fresh salads and vegetables. So, the Salad Tree was invented using vermiculite. [Vermiculite – efficient lightweight soil conditioner. Provides aeration, retains water, and did I say lightweight.]

        The vermiculite was poured into a five foot 3″ PVC pipe I had drilled additional holes (staggered between the pre drilled holes) and stuck the PVC pipe into a plastic multi holder two foot planter base with quick drying concrete cement. From a nursery, brought a bunch of the seedling containers of loose leaf lettuce, (red leaf turned out to be the hardest and richest in vitamins) peppers, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. Before “planting” wetted the vermiculite using Miracle Grow and with a chop stick made an indentation in each hole and gently pushed the root of a lettuce seedling in and packed the vermiculite around it. The others were planted in the multi compartments of the base.

        The next couple of days, disappointment, looked like they were dying, but I added more water and was looking at Plan B. Then it happened. They perked up, started growing completely surrounding and covering the tube. The same for the base.  I used a spray bottle of water and Ivory or Dawn dish soap (the color ones burn the leaves) for pest control. Cut the lettuce leaves for the day and if you didn’t pull the root, the leaves grew back.  When I got ready to travel or relocate, would let it dry out a day or so to lighten the weight, lift it into the doorway and bungee it beside the door.

        People who saw them wanted one or two – for their motor home, apartment, balcony, kitchen. Dubbed them the Salad Tree.  I did think dollar signs for awhile – then I remembered what path I wanted to be on – not about the $$$ or giving away fish, for they will still be hungry the next day but the teaching of how to thing. The Trees would last a year, easy. When nights got cold, I’d cover them with a blanket. Winters temp would bring an end if you didn’t bring them in doors.

        I found cleaning out the roots from the PVC tubes easier if I cut them into two pieces ((tough-woody-easier to pull out) and reused by putting end caps with drain holes and refilled and planted with herbs, strawberries etc. and hung with heavy string. I used five foot lengths as that would go through the RV door without tilting and spilling.  I expanded this technique using tote containers for cabbage, squash, zucchini and the like.  Mobile gardening.

        “…Desk lamp, grow light, plastic container, aquarium pump, bubble thing, air hose, coconut mat and water.  Cost $20 -$25.  What’s nice about indoor growing it’s organic and no cross pollination with Monsanto…”

        Writing details on how to put this one together. Will post later in the day. If interested in gardening with water on your counter top or larger crops in basement or garage, please take the time to look at the 12 second video on how quickly crops grow and the products used including what the units of the Aero Garden look like. (internet search)  A picture is worth…. So, when I say check the thrift stores for desk lamps, you know it is the one with the elongated hood type, so the grow bulb would be the same.

      54. Comments…..Organization beats Chaos every day.

      55. BJ-
        Don’t worry about being insulted, as you’ve come to the right place for help.  Most all of the folks on here are sincere, helpful & very positive (regarding problem solving).  
        And don’t worry about just learning about the true state of affairs of our country/world…The Holy Spirit is on (has been on) a mission of mercy clamoring to every soul the same message of PREPARE…For whatever reason, you just now heard him…Good!

        Regarding food preparation, when I began prepping 3 years ago, I categorized this project into 3 distinct timelines.
        1) Immediate need.  No cook prep required.
        2) Medium term.  Requiring boiling water/energy/kitchen supplies
        3) Long term.  Self-sustaining.

        During the early stages of collapse, you CANNOT be reliant solely on food derived from #3 above.  It takes too long to harvest, the weather may not be cooperative, you may not have the land/resources to care for.
        So, I set out on a plan to cover all 3 of these timelines.

        For #1, Immediate Need:
         I purchased a bunch of High-Energy bars that are air-seal packed, and have a shelf-life of 7-10 years.  Each 3600 bar contains 9- 400 calorie sections (a “normal” meal portion) and can easily be broken off and distributed to your kids.  Like you, I have kids…Except I have 4 of them.  Knowing I can immediately keep their hunger pangs at bay during a crisis is a HUGE load off my shoulders.  I don’t need water to boil, a pot to boil it in, fuel to start a fire, utensils or bowls.  Just break off a small section of a bar and I’ve arrested the hunger pang for the next 4-5 hours.  I bought 3 varieties/flavors.  Datrex, Mayday & Mainstay.  Datrex is like a Lorna Dorne cookie, Mayday is Apple Cinnamon & Mainstay is Lemon-tart. 
        For #2 Medium Term Need: 
        I purchased a year’s supply of #10 Mountain House freeze dried food.  This food requires boiling water and basic kitchen accessories.  This will become the staple of your diet and has a wide variety of entrees, veggies, fruits, desserts.  With an adequate supply of #1 & #2, you won’t have to be so dependent on #3 (which is very unnatural to many of us “city slickers”).

        #3 Long Term Need:
        Having no idea how long or how deep the coming collapse will be, it is prudent to have a smattering of Heirloom seeds.  I have done much research on crop rotation, soil sampling, irrigation, composting etc etc and with all of that, it is still only “book knowledge.”  I’m not fully confident that I could provide for my family with my cache of seeds and my limited, internet education.  However, I do have the seeds, and with a little bit of bartering skill, I could hope to give those seeds to someone who knows what to do with them for a small percentage of the yield…Either way, best to have them while possessing items for both #1 & #2.
        As of today, Mountain House cannot meet demand for their #10 cans, and expects this situation to remain for the next couple of months (see blurb on their site  Seems many like BJ are having the scales removed from their eyes simultaneously and putting a run on the market..Good!
        There are other dealers that still have inventory, maybe this one:

        With all of that said, I’m also cognizant of the fact you mentioned you are currently without work and not in a strong, financial situation. While this advice is nice, it is no substitute for what you truly need…A helping hand from a neighbor (albeit an anonymous one from Houston).  I’ve been a strong advocate, for sometime on this site, for all of us to “reach out to those around us” when the SHTF , and now I get to put my money where my mouth/keyboard is…

        If you’ll send me your name, mailing address & contact information, I will purchase and ship to you an adequate amount of food covering all 3 categories above.  In exchange for this I expect nothing in return.
        The Lord has blessed me & my family; and while none of us here ever thinks we “have enough” regarding our preps, I’d rather divert some excess funds to you & your family this month.  

        Just as the Lord freely offers each of us his GRACE, this gift is yours free of charge…All you have to do is ask.  Send to: [email protected]

        Did you ever in a million years think he’d answer your prayer in this way?  May you always trust in God’s providential care & protection from this day forward.  
        In Him,

      56. WOW!  Didn’t see that coming.  Great advice and may God bless and protect you and yours.  I really needed one of those up lifting moments and you put a great big ole smile on my face and tears in my eyes!

      57. @YOURDADDY,
        Wow…..wife and I are speechless and want to thank you for the blessing you are to our family….we are truly lost for words.
        Thanks for the phone call it was great talking to you.

        The James Gang

        An RV???? wow how interesting, you sound like someone that would be fun to sit down to a cup of coffee with and listen to some stories. I tried picturing your salad tree in my mind, but got a little fuzzy once you started explaining the base. Anyway the mobile wouldn’t be needed for us…sure would of liked to see one of those though. I am eagerly awaiting your indoor thing. If possible I would love to give a try to growing in our basement….as long as grow lights didn’t kill us with the electric bill.

        Silver bear????

      58. @LADYHAWK,
        You should of seen my eyes when I opened my email and got this SHTF alert and read it, I couldn’t hardly read. Wife got hoome and read it and bawled too…we had to explain to our 4 year old girls that tears are truly a language only God understands and that sometimes they are for being over joyed and happy….I think it went over their heads, cause they went right abck to the Lincoln Logs with there little brother…whatchyathink??   LoL   🙂

      59. @DAVEYBOY,
        I posted an email I set up just for the purpose to contact people in here last week for Bill. Here it is again
        [email protected]

      60. BJ

        I’m so excited for you and the family –

        I still have this stupid grin on my face. :-)  🙂 🙂

        yourdaddy didn’t just bless you, he sure made my day too.

        Re the base- you know those pottery planters for strawberries that have the main pot with the big opening and then all around the outside are those like pockets you put dirt and seedlings into?  Well something like that only bigger.  That’s where the peppers, onions and stuff went.

        Have pictures, in 4 x6 type.  Don’t know how to get on computer. If there is interest, may do a cut and paste with directions and use snail mail. 

      61. Yourdaddy – that is truly one of the coolest things I have ever seen – on the internet and off it. I sincerely appreciate your regular contributions here at SHTFplan. Always great advice, always kind, always willing to help. You’re good people!

        BJ – I am really happy that you were able to find someone understanding of your situation and willing and able to assist. There are some great people that hang out here, and it’s always good to see some of them get to know each other outside of the comments section.

        Great comments all! Thank you for taking the time to read and share your own thoughts.

        Best wishes, Mac

        p.s. — working on a forum integration to make it easier for people to private message each other and start their own discussions… hopefully this will add to the community spirit that really makes this web site go ’round.

      62. MAC,
        Thank you and yes we have been blessed like never before, this truly is just an awesome thing…still searching for the right words?
        Thank you for your articles and this place…I can’t remember how I found it, or as I told Yourdaddy on the phone, how I got my eyes opened and started this journey a few weeks ago….the last few weeks seem a blur to me……I remember now, believe it or not….it was my cousins prompting to listen to Alex Jones show…I finally agreed after not really liking him personally much…that led me to Bob Chapmans blog and then to here among other sites i.e.,

        Anyway like your work and this site, most of the people here are awesome people…..wish I lived in a neighborhood with nothing but people like the majority of those here.

        Thanks Mac Slavo

        The James Gang

      63. Thanks Dad, I needed that today.

      64. Teach a man to  fish.  Cool!

      65. Manos,

        Regarding your use of the word “mule” in describing seeds that won’t grow, I think there some confusion.

        Hybrid seeds are not the same thing at all as a mule.  A mule is a cross between different species, a horse and a donkey (as a side note, mules are most usually not fertile, but occasionally female mules are and have reproduced…google a mule mare named Blue Moon). 

        Hybrid seeds, on the other hand, are a cross between different varieties of the same family, such as one variety of corn being crossed with another variety of corn.   The seeds are fertile and will reproduce, but they don’t breed true to their parent lines, as open-pollinated (heirloom) seeds do.  

        The open-pollinated heirloom seeds have been bred over many generations and anything that didn’t reproduce true to type was removed from the breeding program, so over years the plants reliably produce offspring that is the same as them.  (However, variations do occur, which can be the source of new, different features, such as how the sugar snap pea was developed). 

        So when you save seed from open-pollinated plants, you know what to expect in your harvest, the offspring will be like the parents.  But with hybrid seeds you can get offspring that resemble one or the other parent, or something different.  You’ll still get food from them, you just won’t know exactly what traits they will have.

        Think of breeding dogs.   Purebred dogs, like Labrador retrievers, are akin to the open-pollinated heirloom seeds.  They have been bred and raised for a long time and so you know what to expect from a litter of Labrador puppies.  

        But if you breed, for example, a black Labrador retriever to a white poodle, the offspring are going to have mixed traits from both parents.  Some will have long hair, some will have short hair, some will have curly hair, some will have straight hair.  Some might be black, some might be white, some might be even be chocolate or other recessive colors.  You could have curly short haired brown dogs or straight short haired white dogs.  You could have some that look just like a Labrador or some that look just like a poodle, or some a mix of both types. 

        And when those mixed Lab-poodle puppies have puppies of their own, again you could get any sort of mix in their offspring of coat hair and colors.  Hybrid seed offspring are just like this… their offspring could be a wide variety of types. 

        This variety is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it is how new desirable traits can be discovered and then through careful select breeding you can establish those traits by removing the plants with traits you don’t want until you have a true-breeding type, which then is an open-pollinated variety that can become an heirloom. 

        The hybrid seeds also can be valuable in a way that is different from the open-pollinated varieties in that they have what is called hybrid vigor, the offspring are strong and hearty and grow well, which is why hybrid corn crops, for example, can outproduce heirloom varietys in terms of overall yield.  Hybrid plants also have been selected to be more resistant to various diseases, which sometimes heirloom plans can be more susceptible to.

        So with open-pollinated, non-hybrid seeds, you know what you’re going to get in terms of what the plant’s characteristics are.  With hybrid seeds, you’ll get a good reliable crop from the original seeds, but any seed saved from them will have a variety in characteristics, some of which could potentially be very useful.

        Another thing that may have been on your mind when you mentioned Monsanto mule seeds that won’t grow might be their infamous “Terminator” seeds.  These seeds were designed to produce plants that were sterile, thus forcing farmers to have to buy their seed every year because they would have no seeds for replanting.   But due to the huge public protest against this insane, greed-driven plan, Monsanto back in 1999 or thereabouts said they would not commercialize these seeds.   On their web site it’s interesting to note they say they had never developed such a thing as sterile seed technology (I don’t know the details, perhaps they only bought the technology from another corporation they sucked up and thus can technically say they didn’t develop it).   There was also a great deal of concern that this Terminator technology could escape and spread to other plants… just like they said GMO groups couldn’t do, and did.  So I guess for now we don’t have to worry overly about the Terminator sterile seeds, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past them to not want to give up on that money-making idea.

        Sorry this is so long, but I hope the information is helpful, especially since I think there are going to be a lot of new gardens and gardeners this year.  You can and will get good crops from hybrid seeds, but if you save their seed it’s simply not going to breed true… which isn’t to say that the food they produce won’t be good and nutritious, but it could be different in color, size, hardiness, storage qualities, etc.

      66. If you viewed the video and products, this will be simple – you are just replacing the different parts you see there with things from the thrift store and around the house and making it a basic unit without all the bells and whistles.  As previously stated, for the counter tops, I use desk lamps I get from the thrift stores and yard sales. Pay $5-$8 bucks. (some have two lights) make sure they are working.

        For the big grows, Home Depot carries the 4 ft 2 lite fluorescent  work shop fixtures- last year was the last time I bought and they were $10 each (no bulbs). They have fancier, more expensive with switches for on/off – instead of pulling plug in or out.

        Aero bulbs are special to their units. They are 26 watts each.  The thrift store units are usually the screw in bulb type, 60 watts at $5 and can be found at places like Home Depot or a grow store.  Don’t want to to get too complicated, so for our purposes any full spectrum or grow light will work. It may take longer for the seeds to sprout because there is only one bulb and the sprouting light spectrum may not be as intense, but plant growth, replenishing and maintenance will be fine.

        The 4 foot 15 watt grow lite bulbs T8 are $8 each. Again, a grow store will have more intense lites at more cost, but you do get multi grows out of all of them. If your going to grow mega, go internet. That’s the top of the unit, fixture and lighting.

        For the counter tops, I use the Dollar store’s clear plastic shoe box with lid-$1.  Set it under the desk lamp. In the fish department of Wally World buy a 5 gallon aquarium air pump $6, some standard airline tubing $1.50 and a 5 -6 inch bubble stone $2 to fit in the container. Connect all.  There is your working lower base ready for water.

        For the big grow, I’ve brought some of the long shallow plastic wrapping containers approx 35x 16x 6.  In it will go a 20-60 gallon aquarium air pump $9, airline tubing and a 14 inch bubble stone $2.50.  Got seeds?

        Then all there is left to discuss is growing medium and fertilizer. Need to do some chores and will post by AM.

      67. West of walden….just for the record,monsanto AND USDA are co-owners of “Terminator” seed technology and( they work hard to keep that quiet),at present it is used outside the USA(according to them) they tried to “donate” some of this trash to Haiti after the quake and the haitians refused to allow it in(smarter than we are?)
        Any way my point is that our govt and a evil corporation like it are in possession of such a horrible weapon that they fully intend to use to control others (and us) simpy by making sure the seed is dead,sort of flys in Gods face when he commanded the seed to reproduce after its own kind eh?
        Personally I have been saving seeds of different things for decades,might be a good thing to invest some effort in.Thanks!

      68. BJ,

        When I read your first post yesterday, it brought tears to my eyes.  I stopped reading and said a prayer for you and your family.  I knew the other posters here would add helpful comments, but I had no idea the turn this thread was about to take! 


        Your actions have surely affected BJ’s life directly, but I hope you realize how much it has affected the rest of us in other ways.  Thanks for that.

        This is how we will survive what is in front of us.  I have been very focused on prepping lately and have slacked off from giving.  This thread is a great reminder to remember others, now more than ever.

      69. Sysco is too expensive anyway. You can get the same things at Restaurant Depot for A LOT cheaper. Just use restaurant depot if you can.  Dont even bother with Sysco.

      70. Thanking you ALL for your comments and diligence in getting the word out.  May God Bless You and Help Us All.

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