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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Food Prices Rising

By Michael

Did you know that corn prices rose 52% last year alone? If you buy soda, you might have noticed that a 20 oz soda might cost 30% to 40% more than it did last year. Soybeans and wheat prices are extremely high as well. As food prices rise, our buying power for food goes down since the increased costs of food will be passed through to consumers for all food products we purchase. There are also currently food riots occurring around the world. One of our loyal readers Michael sent me this article that discuses these issues from MSNBC.com about the rising prices of food.

The intention of bringing this to your attention is not to preach doom and gloom or fear. My dad had the serenity prayer from alcoholics anonymous on the wall at his work as I grew up and I think there is wisdom in what it teaches.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I think a big key to peace and even happiness in this life is to worry about the things we can control, and not worry about those things we can't control. So what are we no
t able to control? We can't control the weather around the world, we can't control agribusiness's decisions on what they produce, and we can't control how much of the rising prices producers pass through to us.

So what can we control? Every one of us can take a larger role in our own food
production and supply. Every one of us can improve this year over what we did last year. Start a garden or make it bigger. Plant a fruit tree or a raspberry bush. Get a couple of chickens so you have fresh eggs. Find a local public garden. Grow container plants on your balcony. Ask a local farmer if you can buy a share in a cow or pig for it's meat. Join a CSA.

There is peace and comfort in taking control of the things that we can. Leave a comment detailing what you are going to do to have more control this year over your own food supply.


Rachel said...

We're no long buying food at the grocery store or restaurants anymore. All of our food comes from either our backyard, the farmers' market, or local producers. Come July, we're going to try 3 months of not buying any food at all.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Well said, Michael! I would just add that we can influence agribusiness and should try to do so. I have a post this week on things we can actually DO in this area regarding the recent decision to allow Monsanto to release their GMO alfalfa. However, even if we were to get them to withdraw this decision, I believe we should make efforts to not be so dependent on our government and the grocer for food. So I'm right there with you!

I just have to add this thought... Isn't is amazing that the reason Monsanto supposedly developed GMOs was to increase how much corn they could produce (and other crops) so that they could "feed the world" affordable food. And now, those very same commodities are skyrocketing in price. Hmmmm.... what's wrong with this picture?

daisy said...

Here, here! We have been enjoying food from either our garden or our co-op for a year now. We also buy directly from another local farmer. We plan to increase our garden production. If we could have chickens, (we live in an HOA) we would. We are generally more focused on where our food comes from.
Everyone can do something!


Michael, It seems you have planted a seed. Now watch it grow.

Lindsay said...

Thanks that is great advice! Have you posted anywhere how much it costs to feed chickens? I am interested, but on a very limited budget (also a half acre with plenty of weed feed). Thanks!


Shaunika said...

We got chickens last year and have been enjoying their eggs for a while now. So good! During the summer, we buy a lot from the local farmer's market. I've never been much of a gardener, but I'm trying. Last year I planted a few diffferent veggies, but then had a hard pregnancy and couldn't tend to it, so only the squash survived. This year we're going to try again. I figure we should be good at gardening (which takes practice) before any major food crisis happens. My six year old even wants to do her own pumpkin patch. And food storage...having a good, rotating food storage is a never-ending goal. I need to get better at canning and drying.

Dale Johnson said...

Great article Michael. Just imagine a world where everyone tried to produce more of their own food. It would be revolutionary.

I have great expectations for your new backyard farm since you have more land now. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

This year I hope to install a drip irrigation system fed from a reservour that collects water from the roof of our barn adjacent to our garden.

marisa said...

Lindsay, that is a great question. The cost of chicken feed is so variable. It really depends on the size breed you have, how many food scraps you give them, how much food they can forage if they free range, and how many rodents you have stealing food. I really wish I had a better answer for you!

marisa said...

Rachel, WOW WOW WOW, keep us updated on your progress!!!

Shaunika, don't give up on that garden. A new little one really makes is hard to get out there and garden. This year will be great!

Farm Supply said...

If you knew how high the costs of a farm are. Especially now, when advanced equipment and technology comes out every day..

Kim said...

Amy I'm definitely checking out your post. I have been learning over the last few weeks about GMOs which has led to my buying heirloom seeds so I can save my own seeds. I have planned to double my gardening area. I only had 2 4x4 raised beds but I'm planning on adding 2 more plus putting all my herbs in containers so I can move them indoors over the winter. I've been living off a couple of parsley plants and its awesome having fresh herbs when there's still snow outside. I'll be buying chicken and eggs from a local farmer. I'm going to look into a csa. Thank you for the great ideas!

Anonymous said...

great blogspot, very informative indeed. i live out here in west marin & i am in the process of planning my own backyard farming business. i've been working on a small organic farm in lovely tomales & doing my counselor job part-time. i'm doing some research & wondering if anyone out there has some references and guidance on pricing for services that i'm offering? cheers.

Shaun D said...

Thanks for this blog. I am trying to start my own backyard farming company and I found this information very helpful