Posts Tagged Food Supply
NASA Warns California Drought Could Threaten U.S. Food Supply: “There will be some definite changes”
November 4, 2014
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has sounded a stark warning over California’s sustained drought, publishing its latest findings where satellite surveys show a rapidly depleting groundwater supply.
And with California as the United States’ most valuable agricultural state, and thus key to America’s food supply (and much of the world’s as well) that could mean drastic consequences for food commodity prices and potential shortages.
A new Nature Climate Change piece, “The global groundwater crisis,” by James Famiglietti, a leading hydrologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, warns that “most of the major aquifers in the world’s arid and semi-arid zones, that is, in the dry parts of the world that rely most heavily on groundwater, are experiencing rapid rates of groundwater depletion.”
The groundwater at some of the world’s largest aquifers — in the U.S. High Plains, California’s Central Valley, China, India, and elsewhere — is being pumped out “at far greater rates than it can be naturally replenished.”
The most worrisome fact: “nearly all of these underlie the word’s great agricultural regions and are primarily responsible for their high productivity.”
NASA’s satellite map shows the loss of weight height just in the past three years:
According to NASA:
“California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins have lost roughly 15 km3 of total water per year since 2011 — more water than all 38 million Californians use for domestic and municipal supplies annually — over half of which is due to groundwater pumping in the Central Valley.”
Yes, of course, California is a desert. So, that isn’t helping things. But it was reformed into a thriving economy by controversial and historically corrupt irrigation scheme, and is now vital to U.S. food security.
The result of these dangerous conditions is, not surprisingly, higher commodity prices – including food and water – creating higher profits for the companies that provide these services. Privatized water could drive prices even higher.
There are storm clouds gathering, so to speak, but they aren’t bringing rain.
In July, California’s state government economic report was already warning of losses in the billions for farmers feeling the weight of drought conditions, though it claimed the national food system would be little impacted.
However, time has made that claim ring hollow. In August, Bloomberg reported on the “global reverberations” occurring because of the drought in California:
“It’s a really big deal,” Sumner said. “Some crops simply grow better here than anyplace else, and our location gives us access to markets you don’t have elsewhere.”
The success of California agriculture was built in large part on advances in irrigation that allowed the state to expand beyond wheat, which flourishes in dry climates. It’s now the U.S.’s top dairy producer and grows half the country’s fruits, vegetables and nuts.
“Water has allowed us to grow more valuable crops,” Sumner said. “Now, we have fruits and vegetables and North Dakota grows our wheat. Without irrigation, we’d be North Dakota.”
“There will be some definite changes, probably structural changes, to the entire industry” as drought persists, said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “Farmers have made changes. They’ve shifted. This is what farmers do.”
Locals in California are now reporting everything from reduced availability of produce, to higher prices in restaurants and reduced hours and activity at farmer’s markets and local stores.
Most farmers have cutback on what they are growing. In many cases, that means chopping down trees, orchards and not planting as many fields:
“I was just talking to a farmer today who grows olives and almonds. Expect prices of almonds to skyrocket because they’re cutting the trees down because they don’t have enough water to keep them alive,” said Helstrom.
California is by no means the only place facing life threatening shortages. There are similarly alarming trends having all across the globe, particularly in arid and semi-arid places.
Texas ranchers and farmers have been dealing with returning dust bowl conditions in the panhandle and surrounding regions, with very difficult drought conditions and conflicting urban competition for water which strain supply.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] If you have ever considered what might be some practical, effective ways to fight back against the continued genetic annihilation of the food supply, now is your chance to join an exciting, decentralized movement in defense of food freedom. Beginning on September 17, 2012, and lasting for one week, Occupy Monsanto, an international, grassroots effort fighting back against the corporate takeover of agriculture, is calling on health freedom advocates across the globe to stage mass protests at the many worldwide facilities owned by the Monsanto corporation.
You can access a full list of the locations of Monsanto’s facilities around the world by visiting:
For far too long, Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, and the other major biotechnology players have been pulling a fast one on the American people. Buying off spineless, traitorous politicians in exchange for corporate favors, Monsanto in particular has been especially deviant, and intensely focused on making sure that GMOs are not labeled, and that biotechnology is incorporated into all aspects of human life against the will of the people. And thus far, Monsanto has been quite successful in building and maintaining an empire built on this legacy of corruption and lies.
But Occupy Monsanto is trying to change all this; having recently staged several protests designed to raise awareness about the presence of GMOs in the food supply. Most people, after all, including many health-conscious people, have no idea that most conventional food items that contain corn, canola, or soy derivatives are of GM origin (http://www.ers.usda.gov). In fact, it is estimated that as much as 70 percent or more of all processed food items contain GM ingredients, even though they are not labeled as such. (http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/ge/)
This is disastrously unacceptable, especially in light of the fact that the only reason Monsanto has the stronghold it does is because GMOs are not properly labeled. And because of this, the multinational corporate predator has had the leverage to commit untold crimes against humanity all around the world, including in its destruction of entire agricultural systems in India and elsewhere that has left hundreds of thousands of people impoverished or dead. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030913_Monsanto_suicides.html)
July 27, 2012
Source Links and video text for Today’s Items are located at:
Thursday, July 26, 2012
By: Jonathan Benson
[NaturalNews] Biotechnology giant Monsanto is suing one of its largest rivals, DuPont, for what the company says are violations of a licensing agreement established between the two firms back in 2002. And at the very same time, DuPont is suing Monsanto for allegedly, illegally withholding important details from the federal patent office about its Roundup Ready trait, as well as for allegedly engaging in anticompetitive business practices that restrict competitive agriculture.
Many people are unaware of this, but DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred division, which produces seeds, several years ago tried to develop its own genetically-modified (GM) soybean product known as Optimum GAT that was intended to rival Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM soy product. When the original Optimum GAT product failed to perform as intended; however, DuPont decided to add Monsanto’s Roundup Ready trait onto Optimum GAT’s existing glyphosate-resistant trait, a fact that did not come to light until 2009.
Once DuPont’s trait-blending activity became public knowledge, Monsanto initiated legal action against DuPont for allegedly using its own Roundup Ready trait in violation of the established licensing agreement between the two companies, which prohibited DuPont’s creation of a GM soy product containing multiple GM traits. According to Monsanto, DuPont illegally used the Roundup Ready trait without a license in hundreds of seed lines back in 2008.