naturalnews | Simply put, when nature deviates from its normal cycles, it throws food production into chaos. A one-night drop below freezing, for example, can wipe out the entire citrus crop in Florida. A Midwest drought recently collapsed corn production there, and almost two years ago, a severe drought in Texas caused a collapse in grazing grasses, resulting in a mass slaughter of starving cows that could no longer be fed. The upshot of that was plummeting beef prices, followed by a spike the next year as herds had been thinned out far beyond normal.
Here's what you need to remember and weather and food prices:
Stable weather = cheap food
Radical weather = expensive food (or no food at all)
The "latency" between the radical weather and resulting food prices is anywhere from one month (for fresh produce) to a full year (for processed, manufactured foods). This means that crazy weather patterns today might not spike food prices until next year, depending on the crops in question.
Because the weather is becoming more radical, food prices are trending sharply higher. The USDA, which downplays food inflation for political reasons, admits that food prices rose 3.7% in 2011, 2.6% in 2012 and are currently rising at 3% in 2013.
These numbers are artificially low, of course, as is readily evident at the grocery store right now. But even when kept low, they still portray an alarming scenario when you consider these food price increases are compounded annually. That means they pile on top of previous year's increases, causing the resulting price spikes to rise faster than might be expected by intuition alone.
For example, if food prices increase at just 3.5% per year, they will double every 20 years.
But the actual food inflation we seem to be experiencing when you consider the real products that people buy is closer to 6%. And at 6%, food prices double every 12 years!
Food production is extremely resource intensive
For food prices to drop, food production inputs must fall in price at the same time weather patterns become more predictable. This is extremely unlikely to occur any time in the foreseeable future, especially with fresh water, topsoil and fuel all becoming increasingly scarce and therefore more expensive.
For those who don't know, farming is extremely resource intensive, using enormous quantities of water and fossil fuels to produce food. For example, it takes 1,000 liters of water to make 1 liter of milk.
Similarly, it takes 15,400 liters of water to produce just 1kg of beef.
A very informative website that explains all this is:
Also check out:
This report shows that the "water footprint" of a typical U.S. citizen is a remarkable 2,842 cubic meters per year.
That's three quarters of a million gallons of water PER PERSON, per year.
Once you understand this relationship, you'll understand why rainfall and weather patterns are so crucial to the food supply. Just one inch of rainfall on just one acre of land delivers 6.2 million cubic inches of water to the land (and whatever is growing there). That's 27,000 gallons of water per acre with just a one-inch rain.
In a drought, large pieces of land are subjected to huge water deficits running in the billions of gallons. Under such conditions, edible plants simply cannot grow, and even grazing animals like cows are unable to even maintain current weight.