Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Rising Cost of Food

A good friend of mine does bulk orders of food from a place called Walton Feed. In mid 2007 he did an order and purchased a "years supply for an adult" (see photo). That years supply cost $345...which included shipping. He contacted me a few weeks ago letting me know that he had ordered again...and that Walton's "years supply for an adult" (with a few minor changes) now can be purchased shipped...for $620!! In a year and a half...the price has gone up $275!! Ouch.

This sharp increase in food prices is not only true of people food but animal food as well. Another good friend of mine...who keeps goats recently told me that she was going to sell her goats. I asked her why and she said it was because the hay had "tripled in price". While I don't keep goats...I did find that when I went to purchase rabbit food at the feed store...it went from $8...to $24!!! Exactly tripled in price. Many livestock producers are delaying passing these expenses onto the consumer.

From various sources I have read how Americans now spend the smallest percentage of their income on food...in US and world history. Which basically means that to live in any other country you would work a better portion of the day than you do now...just for food. Here...where the dollar value menu reigns supreme...we have traditionally been able to use the saved money to purchase things that are of worth and to fool away our money on meaningless things that cannot satisfy.

This is changing for many Americans as a rise in the cost of living has made it where they must change their spending and eating habits to make ends meet. Many are cutting back on the quantity and quality of their food.

These inexpensive and poor in nutrition foodstuffs have led to all kinds of problems healthwise in our country. Ezra Taft Benson said it well..."To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours because we overindulge in junk foods."

Perhaps you don't hear much about it on the news...but there is a lot of concern regarding the worlds food supply and the future of food. While we do know that "the earth is full, and there is enough to spare"...because we are "agents unto ourselves" we need to use wisely the means that the Lord has provided to us...to provide for ourselves.

When countries find themselves short of food they go to various measures to try to stabilize the food markets. Ezra Taft Benson spoke out against using ineffective price controls in General Conference...saying...

The Saints have been advised to pay their own way and maintain a cash reserve. Recent history has demonstrated that in difficult days it is reserves with intrinsic value that are of most worth, rather than reserves, the value of which may be destroyed through inflation. It is well to remember that continued government deficits cause inflation; inflation is used as an excuse for ineffective price controls; price controls lead to shortages; artificial shortages inevitably are used as an excuse to implement rationing.

When will we learn these basic economic principles? However, “… when we really get into hard times,” said President Clark, “where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.” (Church News, November 21, 1953, p. 4.)

Food supplies have become low enough in many countries to spark riots. There are economists...even mainstream economists...that are predicting the same for the US in the near future. Here is economist Gerald Celente....

Even now the government is laying the groundwork to have 20,000 troops deployed in the US to serve as crowd control for "potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack."

While these things may cause you alarm...and you may have a difficult time finding the truth through the controversy as to why food prices have risen worldwide...or why food may be scarce. It is wonderful to have the word of our God...leading us to safety...encouraging us to Heed his commandment to lay up in store against a day of want. By heeding that voice...and doing your "very best" you can have peace...because you have your "food insurance". You have kept the commandment to lay up in store and will reap the promised blessings. My hope...and prayer is that all people will Heed His voice and will have chosen to have food to eat...and "items of real intrinsic value" rather than worthless toys and fiat money in hand when hard times come.

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