Getting Used to Life Without Food, Part 1
Wall Street, BP, Bio-Ethanol and the Death of Millions
BY WILLIAM ENGDAHL
My late grandfather, a man of sturdy Norwegian-American farm stock, who later became a newspaper editor and political activist during the First World War, used to say, ‘A man can get used to pretty much anything with time, except dying…and even that with some practice.’ Well, as fate has it, it seems we, the vast majority of the human race, are about to test that adage in regard to the availability of our daily bread itself.
Food is one of those funny things it’s hard to live without. We all tend to take it for granted that our local supermarket will continue to offer whatever we wish, in abundance, at affordable prices or nearly so. Yet living without adequate food is the growing prospect facing hundreds of millions, if not billions, of us over the coming years.
In a sense it’s a genuine paradox. Our planet has everything we need to produce nutritious natural food to feed the entire world population many times over. This is the case, despite the ravages of industrialized agriculture over the past half century or more.
Then, how can it be that our world faces, according to some predictions, the prospect of a decade or more of famine on a global scale? The answer lies in the forces and interest groups that have decided to artificially create a scarcity of nutritious food. The problem has several important dimensions.
Eliminating Emergency Reserves
The ability to manipulate the price of essential foods worldwide at will — almost irrespective of today’s physical supply and demand for grains — is quite recent. It is also scarcely understood.
Up until the grain crisis of the mid-1970s there was no single “world price” for grain, the benchmark for the price of all foods and food products.