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Peak Oil? Yes! Peak Food? I Don't Think So!

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Recently, Michael C. Ruppert, former editor and publisher of the newsletter and web site From The Wilderness and currently publisher of the web site put a video clip called "Global and US Food Price Alert" online. I found it on Facebook and it is also on You Tube. Doubtless, it is other places as well, but these are the two places where I accessed it.

This clip, made on August 4, is a 1:13 teaser to a longer video made available to paid members. You can pay $10 per month to be a member to see the whole thing. I am not currently a member so I have not seen the entire video. However I had a strong reaction to the part I did see, in which Ruppert stated that he saw, in a 24-36 hour news cycle, "almost an epidemic of stories from some of the biggest financial publications and news entities in the world" proclaiming that global food prices were about to "soar." Ruppert said that, after reading the stories, he came to the conclusion that "it's quite possible we have arrived suddenly at Peak Food."

I issued the following response on Facebook, both on my personal page and on "The End of Money" page that I founded earlier this year to promote discussion of ending monetary systems and working "for a living" as we know them today. I believe that doing those two things is the key to post-industrial prosperity:

"How do you know that the stories were not planted in the corporate media so that people would be scared into accepting the Monsanto "solution" for food crises? So often, corporations/governments create the problem e.g. 9-11, so they can propose their solution e.g. global war on terror and clamp down of dissent. And you know that so much of the media is under corporate control that the fact that so many stories came out at the same time should be a big RED flag.

"I believe Peak Oil because oil is a finite resource whose decline has been measured over time. Food is not the same beast that oil is. Production levels are variable; a potato field can yield more a season after a bad harvest, whereas once an oil field is in decline, it won't produce at higher levels later on. We have ready alternatives for food production: We can go back to the organic production methods we had before WWII. No need to invent anything new.

"Yes, there are places in the world that are having bad harvests and food shortages. But the overall problem globally is not production but distribution. e.g. The US takes the official position that there is no human right to food, only an opportunity to buy food.

"Here is another example of why we must abolish money-based economics and the sooner the better for humanity and the rest of the planet. Why must we pay to live on the planet we're born on? Why must we be profitable to someone else, or something else, a corporation, before we can eat?

"Don't swallow this Kool-Aid, Mike. There's tons of food at my local Whole Foods Market and I don't expect bare shelves next week. However, I expect that the store will discard much of that food because it was not purchased within the prescribed time. Talk to me about Peak Food when the US and UK stop wasting so much food."

I have not read the articles that Ruppert has read, so I do not know why they predict world food prices imminently soaring. I am aware that Russia has had a bad harvest and has recently halted grain exports. This and other factors around the world may indeed lead to soaring food prices...for a while. But Peak Food? For the reasons I stated above, the very concept does not make sense.

Unfortunately, the concept of "peak" may have, for lack of a better term, "jumped the shark." It fits in the context of oil and other finite resources such as uranium. But it makes no sense when one is talking about renewable resources such as crops. And it makes no sense when the problem is less with the supply of natural resources than with the political will to use them wisely and distribute their fruits, literally and figuratively, in an equitable manner.

So if food prices do soar, I will ask if agribusiness is behind it, as it is hell bent on things such as GMOs, chemical additives, seed patents, privatization of water resources, and any other thing it can attempt in order to monopolize the stuff of life for the purpose of profit. After all, big corporations and their government lackeys have done much already to ruin the peace, health and prosperity of billions around the world. Soaring food process would be consistent with past practice.
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Kellia is a freelance journalist in Oakland, CA who left the Pacifica Radio Network in July, 2010 after 11+ years in the KPFA news department and over 10 years with Free Speech Radio News. She is now in the odd position of needing a paid job while (more...)
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