Henry Kissinger once famously said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control people.” While those words were spoken in the 1970’s, they seem to be one of the more accurate statements for today.
We have all seen empty shelves and difficulty acquiring certain items or brands at our local grocery stores. “Supply chain issues” are blamed and, certainly, that is an issue. Everything from labor shortages at food processors and manufacturers to trucking and transportation issues at ports and hubs are issues. Of course, when work is de-incentivized via government stimulus checks and programs that reward lack of effort; labor issues can be expected. We’ve also seen backlogs and inventory issues caused by Covid shutdowns of plants here in the US and across the world, which affects our food supply. Those issues are still occurring in China.
Something more seems to be at play at the origin of our food supply. Currently, two of the biggest investors and purchasers of American farmland are the Chinese and Bill Gates. That can’t be good now or for the long haul. Government interference in how farmers are able to do their jobs are also causing issues. The USDA and other government agencies at the state and federal level continue to produce mandates and regulations that prohibit or impede farmers from what doing what they know and are able to do best. Farmers are asked to monitor and report everything including the amount of manure their livestock produces (climate change…we all know that hurricanes are largely produced by cow manure and farts, right?). Many of the regulations imposed by farmers are written by government officials who have never stepped foot on a farm! There has been a shift directly because of the policies. One example is the Amish in the Lancaster area. The Amish usually pay about $100 an acre to farm someone’s land, yet, the Department of Agriculture is paying $700 an acre not to farm that land. Interesting policy during a plandemic where not all food was available.
Throughout history, many mass famines and starvation of people have occurred because of government direction. Hitler, Stalin, Mao – all dictators who controlled their populations and murdered millions through famine and food. Sure, draught and weather issues dramatically affect food production, but no good dictator has ever let something like a draught go to waste. The great famine that occurred in China in the 50’s and early 60’s that resulted in the starvation of millions was largely the result of government interference. The Communist government wanted to control the people, so they pushed to move farmers into collectives and urban centers versus rural areas. As the food supply was impacted, the Communist government got further involved. They told the farmers to kill the birds, who ate too much of the crops. With no birds, the insect population increased, eating more of the crops! They then told the farmers to plant crops more densely, thinking that if the farmers just put more seeds in the ground, there would be more food. However, the reverse happened because farmers know that to produce more, you actually have to sow, thin and prune. But bureaucrats knew better!
The same things regarding government interference with agriculture are happening in the US today. President Biden recently said that the government will soon be able to tell farmers what to plant and when. Sound like 1950’s China? In Lancaster County PA, an Amish farmer who grew and supplied food for more than 4,000 happy customers was recently shut down for supposed violations and/or unwillingness to comply with government mandates. Good, fresh, organic food isn’t in the government playbook. The USDA recently issued a statement asking all those with backyard gardens to register their gardens with the federal government. Why in the world does the government need to know nor why should they know about the tomatoes and lettuce I grow in my back yard? A hard no – none of their business. And even worse, we continue to hear reports about farmers being paid to intentionally stop growing crops or to destroy crops in the field (see above paragraph).
Along with government interference, increasing inflation is affecting farmers and the people who eat food (that would be all of us). Food prices increased 13% in August, 8% in September and show no signs of slowing. At a recent community meeting, a farmer shared that the main reasons US farmers are the most productive farmers in the world are equipment powered by diesel and fertilizers. Shortages and exponential price increases of both are making it difficult, if not impossible for farmers to earn a profit to maintain their work and feed their own families. Various agriculture groups have shared that a bigger concern is that if farmers are unable to earn a living, they will stop farming altogether, creating bigger issues in relation to food prices and availability – because there will be even less food produced. Of course, Bill Gates and the Chinese are looking for more farm land to purchase…but I digress.
While costs of food and other basic needs represent a disproportionate share of household budgets for low-income families, households at all income levels are beginning to feel the pinch. Consider these statistics from “US Consumer Spending Report,” Morning Consult, April 2022: Housing, groceries and gas alone accounted for 52% of total household spending in March. Surveys of all US adults expressingconcerns over food affordability set a new “series high” in March, with 16.5% of respondents saying they are not confident in their ability to pay their monthly grocery bill. This was across all household income levels.
Food pantries are reporting an average 25% increase in clients seeking food assistance. In some cases, pantries are seeing more people than they did at the height of the pandemic. But our charitable food system is yet another example of government control. Did you know that the majority of charitable food is distributed through a national system that is largely bankrolled by the federal government? Did you know that if your local church pantry accepts food from those nationally affiliated food banks they are often paying for that food – and those prices from the “food banks” are increasing, impacting the local pantries and feeding programs’ ability to serve the underserved? There are also strings attached to acceptance of that food – like prohibitions on faith and the expression of faith. Something as simple as a church food pantry praying for their clients and/or sharing Bibles and the Gospel can exclude their participation in the charitable food program. It happens regularly and quietly. Thankfully some independent food banks still exist, and we would be advised to support those who are providing food free of charge to our local pantries and without attached strings vs. the larger, federally funded and controlled programs (i.e., Midwest Food Bank).
A lot is happening with our current food supply! Maybe coincidences? Or maybe an orchestrated effort to control the populace by controlling the food. It’s happened many times throughout history. Who’s to say it can’t happen or isn’t happening today. Advice? Be aware. Grow your own food. Support your local farmer and farm stores who grow food. Keep your home pantry well stocked. And for heaven’s sake, don’t register your tomato patch with the federal government.