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Remember Eating? | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

Remember Eating?



Nine meals from anarchy -by Jeff Thomas


Breaking: U.S. WORKER UPRISING, FEDERAL COURT PAUSES MANDATE



REMEMBER EATING?

by William Thomas


Along with such quaint notions as natural immunity, bodily choice and freedom from government oppression, the long-assumed North American privilege of eating what we want, as much as we want, whenever we want is ending.

     While Canadians have yet to face the acreage of bare shelves staring back at their American counterparts, provincial restocking delays for everything from building materials and electronics to myriad spare parts and specific food items could morph into an overall choking sensation as dizzying inflation and alarm over shortages encourages “early shopping” by anyone who understands that buying a case of anything today is a “future’s play” against higher costs and uncertain availability tomorrow.

     For paper futures traders betting on drastically fluctuating growing seasons, every food hike offers another bonanza. But each “put” placed to exploit poor harvests further inflates scarcities. 

     Governments acutely aware they are “nine missed meals from anarchy” are further distorting food distribution by paying more for foreign harvests. Like China buying Brazil’s soybean crop to feed its latest pig flu recovery. 

     Other nations are defending themselves by restricting grain, fertilizer and energy exports, causing more gaps in the worldwide supply chain. For some specifics, let’s take a look:


CLIMATE ROULETTE

American farmers this year produced record and near-record corn and bean yields. But “in much of the eastern cornbelt, it’s too wet to harvest,” worries an online tip sheet called Farm Progress. And with standing water in bare fields, ammonia fertilizer application “could be impossible.” 

     Especially after December 1st, when locked-in prices as low as $700/ton revert to spot prices up to $1,300/ton for the fertilizer needed to force chemically-stripped soils into producing another crop next year.    

     “Obviously, weather has played a large role in many parts of the country – the flooding in the South, the drought in the north and in the Dakotas,” observes Forrest Laws. And with this year’s U.S. wheat harvest on which much of the world depends the smallest in 14 years, bread and pasta lovers are taking a hit after Durum wheat withered under an ongoing megadrought.

     This matters to Canadians because this year’s wheat and canola harvests sucked.“Parched soils and record-hot temperatures in Canada's western crop belt sharply reduced farm yields of one of the world's biggest wheat-exporting countries and largest canola-growing nation,” reported Rod Nickel for Reuters. “Canadian wheat production at a 14-year low, canola at a nine-year low and most other crops also down sharply” after record temperatures and drought more widespread than in 2002 exacerbated soil moisture conditions, which were already low at the start of the year.



SPECULATING ON YOUR DINNER

This is terrific news for speculators who locked in lower prices. On November 3, Farm Progress reported that despite an “easing” in tight global food supplies, ongoing price increases remain “significant” as some harvests are diverted from North America to higher-paying Chinese and European buyers. 

     “We could see further upside,” boasts an agricultural futurist. “The higher the price goes, the more fear there is in the market and the more panic buying.” 

     When fear and panic become an “upside” for speculators, the rest of us are in more trouble than many realize. As climate and policy-disrupted “global supplies continue to shrink” in the Western Hemisphere and Middle East, “tight supplies and strong international wheat demand” will further enrich speculators, divert shipments—and encourage gluten-free diets.

     As long as the rice holds out.    

     But whether intended as staple or substitute, sourcing affordable rice is becoming problematic. When top rice exporters India and Vietnam were crushed by their coronavirus response, prices reached an all-time high. Now, India has halted further exports. And after recovering from a 2019 drought, Thailand—the world’s second-largest rice exporter and provider of personal memories that hardly seem real—cannot find shipping containers for its exports.

     When it’s 10-times more profitable to return those unloaded steel boxes for refills than to lose time fussing with reciprocal trade goods, a dearth of shipping containers means that “Thailand can’t ship its rice, Canada is stuck with peas, and India can’t offload its mountain of sugar,” writes Joelle LB. “And it’s definitely not about to be resolved anytime soon.”



HITTING PAUSE

Not with oceanic conveyor belts clogging ports as yet unable to function without human labour. In mute testimony to government-subsidized consumption and the systemic fragility of interdependent supply networks, on November 2 there were enough 20-foot containers sitting off Los Angeles to “stretch from Southern California to Chicago if laid end to end,” reported the Financial Post. “Before the pandemic, it was rare for a ship to be at anchor at all,” remarks Robert Tuttle.

     By November 3, cargo vessels had been sitting idle for two weeks off LA and Long Beach, as truckers paid by the load gave up on wait times that have slashed their daily earnings from three to just a single unprofitable run. Those 77 ships contain around $24 billion worth of stranded goods

     “Whether the ports are open 24 hours a day or 48 hours a day, you cannot get labor,” MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian would like to inform Sleepy Joe. “If you cannot get labor, you cannot get trucks, you cannot get the merchandise out.”

     “For the supply chain to recover, it is going to require a certain amount of luck,” suggests Simon Heaney, senior manager for container research in London.

     Luck, like hope, is not a reliable business model. Especially with this winter’s storms trying to play bumper-boats with high-sided, closely-packed behemoths in windy roadsteads.  

     On November 5, 171 vessels swung at anchor off the Port of Vancouver and nearby Gulf Islands. Another 67 were en route.

     On that same day, close to 160 vessels were waiting to enter the Long Beach/Los Angeles port complex. A single seagoing monster like the notorious Ever Given, which demonstrated the effects of windage in tight quarters by plugging the Suez Canal, carries up to half-a-million tons of everything imaginable, from consumer products to factory raw materials. And your import’s replacement parts.


HOLD THIS

Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice trying to sweep a cataract with a broom, where to put it all? With dockworkers and truckers in short supply, and a quarter-million shipping containers jamming the Los Angeles/Long Beach wharves, excess “boxes” are being dumped onto surrounding yards, vacant lots and city streets. November 3 news chopper footage showed thousands of them strewn along Union Pacific rail tracks in LA.

     Some folks are helping themselves. In three months, supply chain thieves made off with more than $5 million worth of high-end gear. CargoNet is “concerned about targeting of computer electronics shipments shipping from California, as well as a breakout of full truckload cargo thefts spreading across the eastern half of the United States.”

     Ditto Brazil, where deliveries of scarce farm products must run a gauntlet of mobile gangs.

     They’d better hurry. Brazil’s world-renowned beef consume prodigious amounts of water. But the lake twice as big as Chicago—created in the 1960s to power a gigundo hydroelectric plant, has turned to dust—taking with it cafes, condos, boats, jet skis, livestock, electrons and dreams.

     Most of America’s and much of the world’s coffee comes from Brazil. This year’s “very, very small” arabica crop will become “a very small production” prophesied a Puerto Rican named Araripe. “The next crop year as well. And if Brazil's drought doesn't end soon…”

     “… the water will run out completely,” supplied NPR’s Philip Reeves.

     “Well, Houston, we have a problem,” Araripe came back. “The world has a problem. It has a very, very big problem.”



Frosty coffee beans in Brazil -Zac Cadwalader July 6, 2021

Frosty coffee beans in Brazil -Zac Cadwalader July 6, 2021 


Compounding Brazil’s water woes, a week-long frost in early July further decimated that country’s coffee, sugarcane, potatoes, corn, beans, and tomato crops.

     But captive pigs may be temporarily better off, as fresh rainforest clearcuts are brought into production for next year’s soybean crop. “Brazil could be looking at 140 million more metric tons of soybeans, Forrest Laws forecast on Oct 29.

     And not just Brazil. Over the past two years, “an additional 57 million acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat across the world have come into production,” exults the Financial Post

     All that’s needed to ensure next year’s bumper harvests is an unlikely return to “normal” weather. 

     And affordable fertilizer. 


GREEN REVOLUTION FAIL

Every nutrient-depleted acre requires ever-stronger applications of pesticides, herbicides and especially fertilizers “to produce profitable yields.” 

     But wouldn’t you know it. Everywhere all at once, natural gas prices are exploding. And huge amounts of LNG are needed to produce fertilizers essential for coaxing another crop after chemically-exhausted fields. Consequently, the price of the potassium fertilizers comprising a third of Brazilian soybean and corn farmers’ annual growing costs has doubled since January.  

     Back in Illinois in late October, nitrogen fertilizer was fetching $1,135/ton, jacking up a farming necessity already at twice last year’s prices— by another third in just two weeks. 

     For all its vaunted success in “feeding millions”, the GMO and petroleum-powered “Green Revolution” that turbocharged wheat, rice and human population growth with massive inputs of agricultural chemotherapy in the ‘Sixties is turning out to be a dangerously unsustainable addiction. With India, Brazil, China, Canada, Russia, the EU and the United States currently competing for remaining fertilizer stocks, next year’s industrial harvests are beginning to look neither abundant nor affordable for most of our space colony’s needs. 

     Even without more weather weirding.

     Or LNG turmoil. 

     China used to be the world’s principle supplier of potassium chloride. Until last month, when energy-challenged Beijing began suspending those exports to assure domestic supplies. As a result, “potassium chloride, the most widely used fertilizer in the world, has seen prices zoom nearly 40% in just one month!” Farm Progress exclaimed.


PROPANE PROBLEMS

Propane used for cooking and heating in millions of Canadian homes is a by-product of natural gas. Though Vancouver Island has so far experienced a 20% price rise from October to October, propane prices in Edmonton are reportedly up 296%

     It turns out that Alberta and America would rather produce propane for export. Over the past decade, North American propane exports have risen more than tenfold, from 100,000 barrels per day to over one-million. 

     Now, with winter coming on and spot LNG prices clobbering European consumers after four countries tore up their longterm Gazprom contracts, North American liquid natural gas is being diverted to those higher-paying overseas markets. With Canadian and U.S. storage falling to 42% below the five-year average, Americans dependent on propane are facing an “Armageddon” of shortages this winter. 

     “We’re in a situation where prices for the arbitrage opportunity are so wide that you’re going to keep exporting as much as you can,” explains Toronto market economist, Rory Johnston.

     Screw Canadians, eh? 


THE FALLING FOOD TIDE

Looking around, the high-water marks of 2020-2021 food production “appear to have come to an inglorious end,” Farm Progress laments. Translation: Unaffordable or unavailable pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer supplies for 2022 plantings spell low yields next fall.

     Bellwether Brazilian farmers are already reporting “a shortage of all types of herbicides, especially glyphosate.” What might be good news for some who prefer not being poisoned, could become catastrophic for the many who prefer to eat. 

     “Lack of those products is now a matter of national alarm,” reports the possibly misnamed Farm Progress. “Without the products to stop weed growth in the early-stages of soybean and corn, farmers will see control issues on second crop”—even as reduced applications of fertilizers priced at historic highs further impact yields, rendering many farms unprofitable. 

     Before they return to plough horses. 


Farmageddon? Without new farming equipment and microchips for repairs, food production will further decline.

Farmageddon? Without new farming equipment and microchips for repairs, food production will further decline.


Manuel Schoenfeld placed an order for transmission chips in May 2021. He’s now being told that they will “probably” be delivered in May 2022

     With John Deere workers still out on strike, and failed electronics starting to ground farm equipment, older farm tractors are selling at a premium. At a recent auction in Iowa, a 2009 John Deere tractor bought new for $109,000, sold for $143,000.

     If all this isn’t enough to spoil your lunch, an industrial poultry shortage across the U.S. is worsening as a replacement breed of roosters ignores the hens crammed into all those huge, cruel warehouses. Talk about my body, my choice! As one meat section manager gripes, “I ordered 150 pounds of lunch meat this week, only to get 20 of them! And I’ve been told it’s going to get a lot worse.”

     Scarily, the microchip shortage is leading to a potato chip shortfall. Tortilla chips, warns Yone Dewberry, are also disappearing. 

     So are Rice Krispie Treats.

     “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Axios protests. 

     Good luck with reality-averse magical thinking, says Jim Dudlicek for the National Grocers Association. Even with good harvests, there simply aren’t enough people to “make the goods, move the goods and sell the goods.”


VAERS to Oct. 1,, 2021 (multiply by up to 100x)


eudravigilance-Oct 19, 2021

These severly injurerd and permanently dead workers will not be back


     Not when they’re paid to stay home. Or being fired for not taking unlicensed shots. Or disabled or dead after taking the jabs. And that’s not counting the multitudes murdered  Remdesivir. Worker shortage indeed!


CANNED

Anyone who’s recently bought some extra canned food, “just in case”, has already discovered what a worldwide aluminum shortage is doing to the cost of cans. So are soda addicts. The UK is currently running dangerously short of Coca-Cola. Not to mention about 100,000 lorry drivers disqualified by Brexit.

     Just about everything we purchase is delivered by truckers. But in an industry short of fresh applicants, where 95% of new drivers do not last more than a year, the U.S. trucking industry is currently short 80,000 drivers

     And that’s before the biggest carriers experience a “vaxx” revolt. Nearly half their drivers are not jabbed. And most of them vow never to participate in those clinical trials after passing vehicles like the pickup that crashed in Lynn, Massachusetts while its dazed driver “was headed home from getting his COVID vaccination.” 

     Three cheers for non-GMO’d semi drivers! (And pilots.)


-Xinhua

TRUCK YOU

Most food on North American plates comes from hundreds or thousands of miles away. But that’s about to change as the U.S. currently faces the loss of up to 37% of its trucking companies to retirements, attrition to smaller, jab-free carriers (with less than 100 employees)—or conversion to independent owner-operator contractors staying away from gridlocked ports.

     Canada is currently short 23,00 truck drivers. And CTV News is reporting “an increase in older truckers retiring with not enough new drivers to replace them.”

     After irradiating us with swarms of 5G satellites, can Elon Musk save us some more with his autonomous electric semi-tractors? Sure. If he can build, test, license and power one-million of those rolling robots over the next 10 years. And if Tesla’s auto-piloted cars stop crashing.

     For now, Amazon says “its entire fourth-quarter profit could be wiped out by a surge in the cost of labour and fulfillment.”  Apple has already lost $6 billion in sales. Do you suppose this will add to their prices?


Continued:

FUTURE EATING: Summary & ’22-’23 Outlook 



See also:

How To Grow Stuff You Can Eat



TRUCK ON HOME

uywnr WE DO NOT CONSENT   发件人     William Thomas 2022