The Coming Global Food Shortage – Part Two – A Perfect Storm

Vernon Coleman

In my first video about food I explained how the coronavirus scandal had led directly to the closure of farms, warehouses and distribution networks – and had created a massive, global food shortage.

I described how a plague of locusts was eating its way through food crops on at least two continents.

And I promised to discuss other factors which have led to the coming global food shortage. Here they are:

First, there has been recent massive rising demand from emerging economies. The people of China and India can now afford to buy food and so they that's exactly what they are doing. Twenty years ago most people in the world subsisted on 1,600 calories a day. Now they want to eat like the Americans and the British. India produces 70 million tons of wheat a year and is the second largest wheat producer on the planet. But India became a net importer years ago.

The people of China and India want to eat western foods. They want to eat meat. No longer satisfied with a bowl of rice they want to dine on burgers. The consumption of meat in China is increasingly rapidly.

But there are problems. One is that with so much land being used to grow biofuels there is very little land left for growing food for animals. And so the cost of hay has rocketed. Moreover, turning vegetation into meat is grossly inefficient and costly.

Next, the world's population is exploding – particularly in Asia. Just to cope with the population growth the world's food production will need to increase by 50%.

And there are more problems leading to the perfect storm.

As populations grow and people want to live in nice suburban houses with neat little lawns. As this happens, so the amount of land available for arable use falls. Every year for the past decade China has lost fertile land equivalent in size to the area of Scotland. To feed its growing population it needs to be increasing its land area by the equivalent of Scotland. Whoops. Things are the same in India.

And, of course, encouraged by brain dead politicians, vast quantities of the world's crops of corn, soy bean and so on, are being used to make biofuels so that motorists can continue to buy cheap petrol for their motor cars. A while ago a list of 51 things you and I can do to prevent global warming was published. Number 1 on their list was headed `Turn food into fuel'. This, they claimed, would have a `high impact' on the global warming problem. It was suggested that ethanol is the alternative fuel that `could finally wean the US from its expensive oil habit and in turn prevent the millions of tons of carbon emissions that go with it.'

This is dangerous nonsense. When more land is used to grow biofuels, so that green motorists can drive around feeling virtuous, there is less land for growing food and an increase in the number of people starving to death.

The demand for biofuels has been soaring for years (despite the knowledge that, as a result, people are starving) and the increased use of biofuel is a major force behind the rise of food prices.

If greens keep promoting biofuels then there is going to be a global shortage of food and millions are going to die.

Here’s another problem: big American seed companies have been busy patenting the rights to many individual seeds. They have done this so that they can force farmers around the world to buy their products. One result has been that small farmers in India are no longer allowed to grow seeds from crops that their families have been planting for generations. If they do, then lawyers for American multinationals will smother them with writs, injunctions. The incidence of suicide among small farmers in developing countries is terrifyingly high.

Finally, large modern farms are remarkably (and surprisingly) inefficient. When the fuel used to build tractors, make fertilisers and pesticides and so on is taken into account it turns out that the energy cost of a kilogram of corn has actually risen in the last few decades. Soil erosion, the loss of pollinators (such as bees) who have been killed by chemicals, evolving chemical resistance by pests and numerous other environmental problems have also reduced farm crops.

The result of all this is that food is becoming scarce and prices are rising. This is not a cyclical change (with prices falling next year due to better weather and better crops). It is a structural change which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus scandal. I fear it is, in other words, permanent.

As far as food prices are concerned the conditions really are optimum for a `perfect storm'. Things really couldn't get much worse.

Actually, they could. American genetic engineers have been `modifying' food for years to make it more profitable. No one knows what effect their modifications will have on the safety of food for human consumption. No one knows what other horrendous side effects there might be. The risks are unbelievably dangerous.

For those in Europe and America all this is not yet critical.

But for those in many parts of the world this is already an outright disaster. In some countries nearly half of all children are malnourished. And things are getting worse and will continue to get worse. Rising prices and falling quantities of food available for eating (as opposed to filling petrol tanks) will result in massive starvation around the world. The fake coronavirus hoax, and the consequent economic problems which will devastate economies everywhere, will exacerbate the problem and as a result the incidence of global starvation is set to rocket. It’s no good saying that the planet isn’t overcrowded or that there is plenty of food. The inescapable fact is that five million infants and small children die each year – in a good year. That figure is set to rocket in India, Nigeria and the Congo and elsewhere. The number of people in extreme poverty around the world could double to over 160 million. The UNs World Food programme predicts that by the end of 2020 the number of people facing acute hunger will double to 265 million – as a direct result of the economic chaos caused by the lockdowns in the developed world.

Increasing agricultural production enabled the world to grow from 1.7 billion people to nearly 7 billion people in just a century. But when the oil runs out the world will not be able to feed that many people. The oil is needed for farming as well as for transport.

How many people will the planet feed?

Well, it's a safe guess that it will support around as many people as there were before oil changed farming. So we've already got five billion people too many – and the population is growing fast.

If we don't voluntarily reduce the size of the global population (and there are no signs that any nation will choose this route) the answer will be famine, plagues and war.

Welcome to the future.

Is this why governments everywhere are determined to kill off old people as quickly as they possibly can?

Is the coronavirus being exaggerated so that farms and warehouses and distribution centres can be closed down – apparently legitimately, when one worker tests positive for the coronavirus, or shows mild symptoms?

Or could it be that big corporations want to kill off traditional farming so that they can sell us fake foods made in their factories. Controlling the oil used to be the way to control the planet. Controlling the food supply will give big corporations control of everything and everyone.

Maybe the advice here will help those who watch these videos: do a little food stock piling now so that you and your family will have a better chance to be strong and healthy.

Countries look after themselves and we all need to do so. It isn’t selfish. It’s survival.

Remember: if and when your government finally warns you of this problem it will be far too late.

Copyright Vernon Coleman June 2020

Based on a chapter in Vernon Coleman’s book A Bigger Problem than Climate Change which is available on Amazon as a paperback and an eBook.

Vernon Coleman’s book Food for Thought is available as a paperback and an eBook.