The Perfect Storm: Food Shortages Imminent

by | Feb 9, 2009 | Commodities, Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 16 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    drought_cornYou’ve no doubt read the reports and seen the videos all over the web regarding the severity of droughts in major food producing nations. Eric deCarbonnel, of Market Skeptics, wrote an excellent article titled Catastrophic Decline in 2009 Global Food Production where he researched the extent of the problem globally. If you are worried about SHTF, then add food to your growing list of concerns (if you haven’t already!).



    Here is a brief synopsis of Mr. deCarbonnel’s research and the perfect storm that is brewing for coming food shortages:

    • The countries that make up two thirds of the world’s agricultural output are experiencing extreme drought conditions [affecting food crops and livestock] including the United States of America, China, Argentina, Brazil, Australia.
    • Due to the combination of a late plantings, poorer soil conditions, reduced inputs, and light rainfall, Europe’s agricultural output is likely to fall by 10 to 15 percent.
    • A lack of credit for farmers curbed their ability to buy seeds and fertilizers in 2008/2009 and will limit production around the world
    • The low prices at the end of 2008 discouraged the planting of new crops in 2009. In Kansas for example, farmers seeded nine million acres, the smallest planting for half a century. Wheat plantings this year are down about 4 million acres across the US and about 1.1 million acres in Canada. So even discounting drought related losses, the US, Canada, and other food producing nations are facing lower agricultural output in 2009.
    • Low stocks of foodstuff make the world’s falling agriculture output particularly worrisome. [Mac’s comment: I don’t have the source now, but I recently read that global food stocks are at a multi-decade low of 57 days. If the SHTF, we’re going to see this depleted very rapidly]
    • Already rising food prices are headed significantly higher.

    If you are looking for specific numbers, take a look at Mr. deCarbonnel’s article.

    Food shortages, which will ultimately lead to exploding commodity and retail food prices, combined with mounting job losses across the world (est. 50 Million globally) can quickly lead to civil unrest and riots, as has been predicted by Gerald Celente, and more recently, Peter Schiff.

    What can you do?

    The obvious answer is: Get a reserve food supply. While I don’t expect food to be completely unavailable for the masses, it would be in your best interest to have a 60 day reserve food supply. This way, if the SHTF, you’ll at least have 2 months worth of food. And, if food is not completely unavailable, you can supplement the bread and soup you get for your family after waiting in depression-like food lines with a nice side of Bush’s Baked Beans and some Vienna sausages.

    How can you profit?

    If you have some extra money sitting on the side lines you might be wondering how to make a little money from this looming disaster. If this is the case, then you’re in luck!

    Legendary investor Jim Rogers  and well known economic forecaster Marc Faber suggest buying commodity index ETF’s that follow the price of major commodities like wheat, corn, soy, sugar and grains.

    Commodities are near their recent lows as of this writing, so now might be a perfect time to make an investment that could pay off 200% – 300% in the next couple of years.

    I am partial to the Invesco Powershares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA). This ETF holds equal weightings of Corn, Wheat, Soy and Sugar. I like this particular ETF because it has been around longer than most commodity ETF’s and it has a trading volume around 1 million shares per day.

    If you are interested in an all inclusive commodity basket, take a look at Greenhaven Funds Continuous Commodity Index Fund (GCC) which equally distributes its holdings across 17 different commodities, including corn, wheat, grains, livestock, and orange juice.

    And, if you want to leverage your commodities holdings 200% against the Dow Jones—AIG Commodity Index check out the ProShares Ultra Ultra DJ-AIG Commodity ETF (UCD). This ETf, like GCC above, has a basket of commodities that includes 25 holdings. In a commodity price spike, this ETF should theoretically have higher earnings than the above two ETF’s, as this is an ‘ultra’, leveraged ETF. There is some additional downside risk because of this, as well.

    Note – Investments in commodities ETFs are subject to this risk of that sector. This article should be used for informational purposes only and is not investment advice.


    It Took 22 Years to Get to This Point

    Gold has been the right asset with which to save your funds in this millennium that began 23 years ago.

    Free Exclusive Report
    The inevitable Breakout – The two w’s

      Related Articles


      Join the conversation!

      It’s 100% free and your personal information will never be sold or shared online.


      1. My family and close friends have been building up our food stores for about the last year. I believe a collapse of our way of life is coming

      2. Do you people really think it’s going to get this bad? Has anyone here thought that perhaps your fears are a bit overblown?


      3. Wow!  What great information.  My husband has been saying that this exact scenario was going to happen.  I’m glad I listened to him.  We bought a back up food reserve to last our family for 6 months. 

      4. Melvin, you may very well be right – perhaps our fears are unfounded…. but what if you’re wrong?

        Lena , Slayert — definitely a good move!

      5. my good friend susie just stocked up on a ten pack of tuna from sam’s…

      6. Mac, let me ask you a serious question. I’m not sure how to gauge what a 60 day food supply should consist of. I’m not a gloom and doom type, but this could make good sense and I’ve got no idea of “how much food is enough” so I thought I’d run down what I have. Perhaps you can tell me if it’ll stretch for 60 days.

        I’ve got 2 cases of bottled water (well, maybe 1 3/4), 5 pkgs of Ramen noodles, 1 16 oz. package of marshmallows, a KING SIZE Snickers, 3 Hungry-Man fried chicken dinners, a 20 lb. bag of white rice, 6 bananas (better hurry!), a half gallon or so of soy milk, and a fig-newton that probably won’t make it past me clicking “submit comment.”

        Think that’ll get it?

      7. Soz, it’s a start! It can be expensive to build a reserve supply, as you have to buy groceries for current use as well. I’d recommend just picking up 5 – 10 cans of goods each week, and maybe some powdered products like potatoes, or pastas. This ads $10 – $15 to your weekly bill and within a month or two you’ll have about a 2 week supply of reserves.

        Also, and this is important: don’t forget some tobacco and booze (though i think these items, especially booze, will be readily available during a SHTF scenrio).


      8. JJ, that 20 pound bag of white rice will get you and your fam for at least a week. and if the kids eat all their Rama noodles, they can share the fig newton! I wouldn’t be posting about the Hungry Man Chicken dinners because 1) everyone knows where you keep this reserve  2) once everyone knows you have Hungry Man, you could come under attack from wondering street gangs who want those… we’re talking THREE pounds of food right there, including the yummy dessert 🙂


      9. Mac, or shall I say “Big Mac”, if we’re talking food…my question is related to jar’ing.  The Hardline always says, “kids, don’t jar”.  But it seems like jars will preserve.  But I’m not into that type of food.

        I did watch Bear Grylls’ Man vs Wild last night and the preview for next week shows him eating un-jar’d bear food.  I think kids should not jar, but I also think they should always use a rubber.

        I like steak.  I like steak.  I like steak.  I like steak.

      10. i ate turkey the other day.  i think it’s the “new” gateway meat…

      11. I have been onto this for years, I have devised a plan for the simple stockpile of food and material. I call it Noah’s Ark. This is system designed to be kept in your home out of the way and seperate from your normal ways, it also has the potential to go mobile in a bug-out situation. Start with a trunk, fill it with emergency supplies like first-aid, cooking, personal hygene, flashlights, emergency radio (get solar and dynamo) back-up batteries as well as a solar charger for them. Sewing kits/blankets/clothing and other things you feel you may need. This ark has all the basic tools for food prep, information, medical, and warmth that will be good to have at home or on the trail/road (maybe put some wheels on it if on foot, but made for vehicle travel). Aside from this, set up backpacks with similar things, one for each family member incase you need to go on foot. (dont forget protection….weapons) Aside from these, next, have a similar box/trunk that can be easily stored in your basement or garage, but still mobile capable. This will contain food, use food with good shelf life that has nutrition (may need to rotate every now and then based on expiration dates) here are some examples: rice, freeze dried fruits, soups, jerkys, canned foods(though heavy), trail mixes, seeds for planting, bread making supplies (flour, sugar, baking powder, vinegar)-all long lasting if stored in cool dry place-and goes far in producing food. Weapons, ammo, cleaning kits, spare parts, manuals. Good utility knives, multi-tools. First-aid manuals, maps of the area you intend to go to, and of the area you are in. Have a plan! Have a contingency plan incase the plan you have is no longer an option, have fishing rods and tackle. Books on plants and animals in your area you can eat and how to get them. Most important of all, have your head in the right place! If you have a mind for survival all of this stuff is extra because you know how to take care of yourself without a society to take care of you, become self sufficient, practice making your own breads, jerkys, can and preserve foods. Read books on survival. And last and certainly not least, learn who your potential enemies are and how to avoid/deal with them. Tell no one of your preparations as if it gets bad, you will be a target, prepare for the number in your group, encourage your friends and loved ones to prepare. If it never comes to the worst case scenario, nothing to fear, you have a home emergency kit that holds much value even in small emergencies, and, you pass this “ARK” onto your children, and your children’s children. Nothing wrong with being smart about possibilities, all you are doing is refusing to become a defensless, helpless refugee at the mercy of others around you. And if the government comes and says they are here to help……run!

      12. Dont forget water and water purification tablets/filters and a means to boil and additional bleach (make sure you read-up on how to use bleach for purification purposes before you attempt to use it) A box of gallon size spring water, it will last 2 years if kept in cool area and sealed.

      13. In your food storage you will also want to include seeds so you can plant your own crops if necessary.

      14. Some friends of ours went over to a country in Africa where the weather and crops are very unpredictable. They were able to share their knowledge of food storage with the locals and it literally saved their lives the next year. I thought that was pretty cool.

      15. If you are looking for the easy way to prepare, you can purchase emergency food stores for as little as $1.50 a meal per person.  However, you can also stock up on seeds and other canned foods off the shelf.  No matter what, every family must have a survival kit/plan in place…the day is coming.


      1. Australia Proposes Pay-Per-Flush Solution to Drought - [...] I’m no hippie, but the fact is the world is going through a drought that could potentially impact agriculture…
      2. Jim Rogers: Worst Economic Times Since the 1930's - [...] and miners, consider other problems that may contribute to supply problems in commodities like droughts and government [...]

      Commenting Policy:

      Some comments on this web site are automatically moderated through our Spam protection systems. Please be patient if your comment isn’t immediately available. We’re not trying to censor you, the system just wants to make sure you’re not a robot posting random spam.

      This website thrives because of its community. While we support lively debates and understand that people get excited, frustrated or angry at times, we ask that the conversation remain civil. Racism, to include any religious affiliation, will not be tolerated on this site, including the disparagement of people in the comments section.