Rising Food Prices

Garden Broccoli with Carrots and Swiss Chard in the background

Garden Broccoli with Carrots and Swiss Chard in the background

Watching the news the other night, we hear that China is stockpiling food, corn at the moment.  There was already a shortfall due to the pressures for plant based bio fuel and the absolutely crazy weather over the last couple of years.  Supply and demand; rule one of a capitalistic society.  Corn is an ingredient to so many other things, processed foods, dog food, and fast food.  These prices will all be increasing to reflect the increased corn costs.

We have been seeing a distinct and sharp upward trend in our food prices over the last few years.  The environment has been playing a major roll in it all.  Frosts and snow in the south, floods, well, everywhere, except where there is drought and fire.  Crops on a world scale are being damaged and destroyed by ecosystems that are reacting in record setting extremes.

Lovely and fun news (insert heavy sarcasm here).  Some of us are so fatigued by listening to disaster after disaster, that we have a level of unidentified anxiety about, well everything.  We are tuning out the news or simply shell shocked as we hear of another flood, earth quake, drought, fire, volcano, hurricane, tornado…  The unbelievable thing is that the government is trying to normalize the entire thing.  A 6.8 earthquake is hardly a whisper in the news world.  I remember when a 5.0 quake was talked about for a week or longer.  I actually had a great laugh when we were informed by one news source, that the 5.0 earthquakes in Ontario and Quebec in June 2010, was a fairly normal occurrence.  Really???  The last one on record, I believe, was in 1935.  This does not in my opinion, constitute normal.

The bad news and disasters are, however, becoming normal occurrences.  The question, how to deal with the stress and anxiety of unstable environments and food sources?  At what point do food prices outstrip the family food budgets.  For some, that time has already come.  But, we are not helpless.  Many have lost touch with our food production and preparation.  We have the choice to resolve some of these things.

There are some fairly simple things we can do to contribute to our food supply.  One is to start a garden in your yard, a family member’s yard, or if you don’t have access to a yard, in a community garden in your area.  Even if you don’t think that you have a green thumb, some carrots and beans, corn and peas are fairly easy to grow from seeds (no need to buy starter plants), can be eaten fresh, frozen, or canned and taste fantastic, are less expensive, better tasting, and more nutritious than store bought.  A small patch takes no more time to care for than a flower garden, but the returns are so much higher.  The whole family can get involved.  It is fun and rewarding.

What I have started doing over the last couple of years is exchanging the regular inedible houseplants with edible herbs and plants.  When anyone brushes up against an herb plant, the most delightful aroma is released, all natural, no purchase necessary.

It is amazing how many different fruit and vegetables should grow in my climate.  I live in the Interlake region of Manitoba, Canada.  The fruit trees and bushes, as well as, the perennial herbs have survived through a very cold winter last year, with very little snow for insulation.  Organic food for nothing more than time and energy is a wonderful thing.  Harvesting seeds is another way to decrease the cost of gardening and food.

I’m excited to see what I can bring home into my control.  Definitely helps with my anxiety, my health, and my food budget.


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