Now we are beginning to see the effects of this and the peanut butter market is a great place to see it happen right before your eyes.
What is going on?
This past year was the worst peanut harvests in decades that have ever taken place. Peanut butter prices are shooting up as high as 40%
Here is what is being reported.
CNNMoney reports that Kraft is raising prices for its Planters brand peanut butter by 40 percent while ConAgra has already increased the price for its Peter Pan by 20 percent.
CNNMoney also states that J.M. Smucker, the maker of Jif, will hike their prices up about 30 percent.
AP Reported that U.S. farmers were expected to produce roughly 1.8 million tons of peanuts this year. This is down nearly 13 percent from last year, and we may be lucky to see even that happen.
Georgia, the largest peanut-producing state in the country, saw record-breaking heat and a lack of rainfall that prevented some peanut seeds from even germinating in the field. Plants that did grow were literally cooked in the summer heat. The result being poor-quality nuts or sometimes nothing at all.
This year was Georgia's worst peanut crop in more than 20 years.
But it is just not peanuts alone, many other crops were effected as well.
We are beginning to see drastic spikes in prices across the board when it comes to food staples.
You may be asking yourself "What is causing such a drastic spike?"
First, farmers have diverted more resources to growing crops for biofuels, such as ethanol made from corn and biodiesel made from palm oil.
Currently, the United States diverts millions of bushels of corn to fuel-production. Where 10 years ago corn was still going to the food supply, today we are literally burning up our food and for what?
Biofuels are now eating up 6.5 percent of the world's grain supply and 8 percent of its vegetable oil.
This is almost one tenth of grain and vegetable oil taken out of the food supply.
Think about this for a moment, one tenth is a large chunk.
what is also taking place is the simple laws of supply and demand are in play as well.
As I stated, corn and soybeans are going to biofuel production.
The rising Asian and Middle Eastern demand for higher-value foods.
We are seeing more developing nations buy more food.
We are also seeing more of the world's countries buying more meat producing animals which also depend on grains to help supplement their feed.
The ever rising transport costs AKA gasoline and Diesel are also playing a major part.
But the biggest issue at hand is crop failures.
Besides the US, Russia and Australia have suffered brutal droughts or floods that have severely effected many of the crops in those countries as well as globally.
Russia is no longer shipping grain out, China, the same. More countries are holding on to their food stores for their own use because other primary sources for food are drying up.
This past winter here in the US we had an extended winter with massive snow fall.
This caused flooding in the central US and prevented crops from going into the ground as well as destroying winter crops that were to be harvested.
The cold winters also extended into Florida damaging much of the citrus crops and also hit Mexico which damaged 80%-90% of the crops destined to the US.
With all these things that have already taken place, we are now begininng to feel the effects all these issues have created.
GMO Comes Into Play
Did you know Monsanto has now given the go ahead for their GMO seeds to be distributed to people for food crops? Farmers may get these seeds, but the drawback is that these seeds were genetically engineered for biofuel and not nutrition.
So even though we maybe filling our bellies, we are still lacking the nutrients needed thanks to seeds that have been genetically modified to produce more starch, which equates to sugar, which equates to alcohol the primary ingredient that makes Ethanol.
To top that off, the production of corn on a large scale is very damaging to the soil, basically stripping it of any usefulness in the long run.
Scripturally we are told to rotate our crops as well as give the land a break and not plant every seventh year.
11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.
So even if we wanted to grow, due to our greed we have depleted the soil and we can not grow. That is unless we stick a bunch of other chemicals in the ground, which in turn damages the soil even more.
Where's The Beef?
The Texas Cattlemen's Association sent out a notice that there is going to be a beef shortage starting before the end of this year and is predicted to last until 2014.
Since the biggest beef producing states in the nation have suffered the worst drought in history, ranchers have liquidated their herds earlier this year. The cows that would normally give birth in the spring time have been sold off, therefor there are not as many cows to produce the fall offspring that would normally be sold at auction about this time of year.
When the winter demands for beef take hold, the supply is not going to be there, thus the prices will skyrocket.
What does this all mean?
So What Can We Do?
Knowing that food prices are going to go up drastically, what we need to do is create a "hedge" against inflation.
How we do this is by "investing" our money in food now vs later paying for higher priced food.
For example, ground beef is $5.00 a lb now. We believe that it will probably hit $15.00 a lb by end of next summer. So what we do is stock up on ground beef now.
When you are at the store look for sales in the beef area and if you see some good prices, then purchase some extra.
With the cost of beef going up, that will also cause the prices of other meats to go up as well due to the larger supply and demand due to the lack of beef.
But we do not stop there, stock up on Peanut Butter as well. We KNOW that peanut butter is going up in price, so estimate how many jars of peanut butter your family uses per month and then go out and buy a years supply.
Some of you may be thinking "Oh my.. a years supply??"
If you are like us, a years supply is about 12-14 large jars of peanut butter.
In fact just checking the Walmart Website I see that you can get 5 lbs of Skippy Peanut Butter for $8.98 per two pack.
A year's supply would be 14 jars or 7 two packs, that comes to $125.72.
Now that may seem like a lot of money to spend, but would you rather spend that now or spend the same amount and only get 7 jars around March/April 2011 time frame?
Prices could be that high by then.
Now if you do not have the $125.00 to spend now, what you need to do then is buy in "baby steps." Purchase just one or two jars every time you go to the store.
In fact do what we are doing and start keeping an eye on coupons. When you get a coupon for peanut butter, hold on to it and then the next time you are at the store, use the coupon to purchase extra peanut butter. Often you are able to use store coupons on top on newspaper coupons, thus saving you even more money. Look for these offers, they are out there.
We Bought A Lot - Now What?
Let's say that you have gone out an purchased a large amount of beef. How do you store all this?
Well there are several ways.
First there is freezing, and the best tool to use to freeze with is the Foodsaver. This is a tool ever prepper kitchen needs to have. This is a home vacuum sealer that costs around $80.00+. You can pick it up at Walmart as well as buy it from Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, that means shipping is free and you also do not pay sales tax on the item.
You can divide up your meat and then put them in individual bags. Suck the air out of them and get a real good vacuum seal. Once sealed mark the bag and date it and then put it in your freezer. The Foodsaver people say that you can keep beef of over a year in the freezer. There isn't any freezer burn and the meat stays fresh.
Second there is dehydrating, and the best tool to use is the Excalibur Food Dehydrator. This is one of my favorite kitchen prepper tools out there. I use my dehydrator quite a bit. More so than freezing in fact. You are able to marinade your beef, cut it in strips and then dehydrate the beef, AKA..Beef Jerky.
But what is great is that you can create different marinades that have different flavors, spices, etc and then make jerky out of it.
Once you have made your beef jerky, I have found that putting into a mason jar with an oxygen absorber will help keep the beef jerkey for some time.
How you use this is by rehydrating it, using it in soups, stews, caseroles, sauces, just about any way that you would use and cook standard beef.
The great thing is that the beef is already seasoned and will help add more flavor to the items you are preparing.
Now the dangers of this is that your family will eat all the beef jerky before you can use it. This is what happens a lot here at the Gano home, so make sure you make extra to compensate for the pantry raids that will be conducted. Another interesting thing is that the beef jerky will disappear and no one in the house will know who ate it all. I am sure that "Mr. Idunno" lives at your house as well. He seems to be the culprit most of the times.
Finally there is canning your beef. One of the best ways to do this is to cook up your ground beef, beef strips or cubed beef and then can it in some sort of brine type liquid.
There is a lot of mystery in doing this and people are afraid of getting food poisoning. But if you follow your instructions in your canning cook book, you will do fine, the canned meat will be safe to eat and you will have meat that will last several years in the jar.
Now the tool that I recomend you to use for this is the All-American 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner. The best prices that I have found these were actually at Amazon. You can purchase one for $199.99. The average cost is usually over $210-$225.00+.
What I like about the AA-21 is that not only can you use it canning, but you can also cook a full dinner in it in about 15 minutes.
In fact if you raise chicken and have wondered what to do with all those roosters that missed the ax at 90 days old, the pressure cooker is a great way to cook these tough birds and when they come out, they are very tasty and tender.
You can then pressure can the meat and use the broth that it was prepared in as the brine all in the same AA-21 pressure canner.
Now I know that there are some of you out there that are saying " But Ray, I don't know how to can."
Well I will share with you how we learned. We pruchased a great DVD series titled "Food Storage Secrets." In fact we liked the series so much we now offer it on the Prophezine website.
All this costs $39.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling.
This is how Tracye and I learned how to can up some of our food stores. I highly recomend this series for anyone who is starting out learning how to can. To learn more, click on the DVD picture and it will take you to the website.
The world is feeling the famine that drought, floods, excess snow has produced. Prices of food will go up, that is a fact. But if you plan now and start building up your pantry by "investing" in food; you will create a hedge against inflation that will free up resources so that you can then create other hedges such as dairy products, veggies, fruits, etc.
All that we are doing is just what our grand parents and great grand parents used to do. It was un-imaginable to not have at least a years worth of food storage in the days before the grocery store. Everyone canned and everyone dehydrated.
In fact do you know that God even told Noah to store up food?
22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
We KNOW that higher prices are coming, we can either learn from our examples like Noah, Joseph and others in scripture, or we can pay much higher prices down the road.
Be prudent, be practical, but above all...be prepared.
By Ray Gano
About the Author:
Ray & Tracye Gano are the Executive Directors of Prophezine. Prophezine deals with Bible Prophecy and World Events. They currently serve people through the internet with a weekly newsletters, daily news updates, community based website, internet radio shows and You Tube broadcasts. Ray recently released his latest book " Survive The Coming Storm - The Value of a Preparedness Lifestyle.
Or visit Ray's Blog Survival4 Christians = http://survival4christians.blogspot.com
If you would like to have Ray Gano come speak at your church or community event, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org