Fundamental Factors That Will Affect Food Availability and Prices in The Future

Introduction

The coming years may see prices rise higher. The question is why is the price of food expected to continue to rise? Five fundamental factors that will affect food availability and prices in the future are discussed. These fundamental factors are converging to make the likely of rising food prices in the future a virtual certainty. There is a need for you to plan and to address this problem and help control your economic future by growing your own fruits and vegetables. Growing your own blueberry plants is an example of what you can do. You can grow plants in containers as well as in your yard. The amount of space required to feed a family is not too excessive. You can even grow some crops in doors using natural fluorescent lighting.

The fundamental factors that are converging on a global basis to raise food prices are the following:

1. Cropland availability

2. Population growth and increased demand for meat, milk and eggs

3. Water supply that is not sufficient

4. Energy available and its use> / U>

5. Climate change

We will look at these individually although they are very heavily related and interconnected.

1. Cropland availability

Expanding deserts

China for example is on a crisis path. Expanding deserts in China is claiming its land. Mature deserts are increasing in size and new ones are being produced at a striking rate. China is losing this conflict with the advancing deserts.

Cropland loss to paving for cars and construction

China and India is also losing cropland to manufacturing construction sites, and losing land by the paving of highways for cars and trucks as their numbers increase at an astounding rate. Vehicle sales in China totaled 14 million in 2009, exceeding the number of sales in the US for the first time. Increasing numbers of cars requires more land for roads and parking areas. A similar of loss of cropland exists in India.

Less land means less area on which food can be grown. These are converging trends and is a factor causing the food supply in China and India to be tightening. It seems probable that China may soon have to turn to the world marketplace for massive grain imports, as it has had to do for 70 percent of its soybeans.

The situation is clear. China will almost certainly have to turn to the external world for grain to keep from having politically destabilizing food price rises. To get the massive quantities of grain required, China will of necessity draw a great deal on the United States. To become reliant on imported grain, much of it coming from the United States will be the realization of China's worst nightmare.

This in turn could have become a major problem for US consumers. It now seems inevitable that in the future China will need to enter the US grain marketplace in a major way. In this case the American consumer will find that they are competitive with 1.4 billion Chinese consumers who now have fast-rising incomes and money to compete for US products. The result will be that food prices will go up dramatically causing low-income families in the United States to have a difficult time affording food for the family. Now is the time to start growing as much of your own food in a vegetable garden and fruit such as blueberries to help alleviate this problem. Do not wait, now is the time to start developing your skills in this area and saving money at the same time. Purchase your pesticide free blueberry plants from a reliable source.

2. Population growth and increased demand for meat, milk and eggs

Not only are there an increasing number of people but even more importantly they want to eat more meat, milk and eggs. The population is growing in the third world. The United States is the only modern industrialized country in which the population is growing. This is caused by the influx of people from Mexico. People around the world want to eat a diet like Americas of meat, milk and eggs as well as use other energy-consuming products like cars, live in big houses, and have more energy using appliances. This is putting increasing demands on the world's limited resources.

Most inner cities in the US will allow you to have a few hen chickens to produce your eggs and supply you with needed protein thenby helping you to eat food produced locally .. One hen will produce about 300 eggs per year. Raising a few hens is something more people are starting to do as food prices keep increasing.

3. Water supply that is not sufficient

Over pumping is a major problem. Huge shortages of water are developing west of the Red Sea area, in northern India and northern China and in the US Southwest. As the requirement for foodstuff in China has escalated, millions of Chinese farmers have drilled deer wells to water their crops. This over pumping of the water is causing falling water tables and wells are beginning to go dry in the North China Plain. The over pumping of aquifers will temporarily increase food production until the aquifer is depleted. This over pumping will create a food production bubble that will ever burst when the aquifers are depleted. A very large number of Chinese are being feed with grain created by this over pumping. This problem is not limited to China. The same situation exists in other countries such as India and even in the United States where the water tables in the Midwest are rapidly dropping because of over pumping of the aquifer that is not being replenished. This will result in less food production in the future and higher prices.

4. Energy availability and its use

The world is seeing the end of what at one time seemed like a limitless supply of cheap oil. This in turn means higher food prices because this source of energy is involved in the production and transportation of our food. Studies have reported that on average food travels about 1500 miles from the source of production to your table. This has a direct effect on the cost of food. Thus breaking this cycle is needed to lower food cost. There is a need to eat more healthy food grown locally. This can be accomplished by growing some of your own food and purchasing more food grown locally by your neighboring farmer. This means eating more food in season. You can grow fruits and vegetables in your own back your back yard. Blueberries are an important healthy fruit you can grow in your yard or on your patio. Blueberries and vegetables not used fresh can be frozen for use later in the year.

We must also start switching over to alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and bio-fuel. This is starting to happen but the major question is will it be done in time to avoid major economic upheavals.

5. Climate change

The glaciers around the world are melting at a rapid rate. In the mountains of Peru glaciers are receding rapidly. This can not only cause sea levels to rise but this threatens to disrupted water supplies from mountain glaciers that people depend on for their water in the summer months in some parts of the world. The world is now faced with the reduction of river-based irrigation water supplies in the future. Mountain glaciers on the Tibet Plateau and in the Himalayas are melting more quickly than in the past. The results in the near future could be to deprive the major rivers of China and India of the ice melt required to keep them going during the dry season. This loss of water in the dry-season will shrink harvests. This could result in spreading social unrest as food supplies tighten. This food shortage could happen worldwide. The tightening of food supplies is one of the contributors factors in the rise in the number of failing states worldwide.

Summary

Working to help solve these problems is not a spectator sport. It is appropriate that you need to do your part in averting and solving these problems related to food production and cost. One step is by growing your own blueberries and other fruits and vegetables in your garden and purchasing more food grown locally.

You can begin using solar thermal energy to heat your water. This in most cases has a good economic payoff in a relative short time. You can investigate using wind energy, photoelectric energy, energy produced by a stream of water running through your property, using bio fuel and etc.

In addition you can take an active role in reducing unnecessary energy use, and becoming politically involved to getting the government to address these problems in a positive productive way.



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