The coming food crisis of 2010 and what it means for you 

The Good Life Letter

24th January  2009

  • Why there could be a food crisis in 2010 and what
    it means for you.

  • Introducing the experts who believe the "end of
    food" is nigh... and what the papers aren't telling

  • Why scientists believe a crisis diet can protect
    you from cancer and serious disease.

"Look! That strange man is sledging with no sledge."

That was a child's view of me slipping on the ice last week.

It happened in a splash of slapstick comedy. I went up in the
air like Mr. Bean. Then I skidded a few metres down the

It's exactly the sort of incident that would reactivate my back
problem. Luckily I was dressed like the Michelin Man. If a car
had hit me I would have rolled safely down the street like a
giant beach ball.

Anyway, all that ice and snow gave me plenty of opportunity
to stay in and catch up on some reading.

While snug in my office, I came across a really dramatic story
that knocked me off my feet again....

As I investigated further, I was pulled into a very frightening
and plausible reality... where we could soon be scrambling
around for tins of processed foods in the supermarkets... and
paying through the nose for healthy fresh meat, fruit and veg.

Read on and I'll tell a chilling tale...

Why there could be a serious food crisis in 2010

I first came across the story in the Natural News website a
few weeks ago. They reported:

"The global deep freeze now devastating crops around the
world leads to one inescapable conclusion: Food prices will
rise throughout 2010. They were already on the rise in 2009,
but thanks to the big winter freeze, they're headed much,
much higher this year."

In that same week, writer Bee Wilson (author of a great book
about honeybees called The Hive) reported in The Telegraph
that Britain's ability to feed its population with fresh fruit and
veg is in danger.

Bee is not some cheap hack looking for a story to frighten us.
I respected her views and she makes points I often agree

She cites a new report called Food 2030. It warns that Britain
can no longer afford to be complacent about its food supply.

"We need to think differently about food," Gordon Brown says
in the report's foreword.

This could turn out to be another classic example of
understatement from Mr Brown. Because some experts are
making starker, more explicit warnings.

Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University, says
we are "sleepwalking" into a future where our food security is
at risk from natural disasters, fuel costs, climate change and
population growth.

A book by Paul Roberts published in 2008 called The End of
says that the global food system could be plunged into
crisis in any number of ways... including flu pandemics, rises
in oil price, or extreme weather conditions.

The sort of weather event we've just experienced is causing
mayhem in a food supply that's already strained.

The financial meltdown of last year has made things even
worse. On the Infowars website, Eric deCarbonnel explains
that in 2009 the supply and demand in the agricultural
markets was tipped out of balance.

He writes:

"The world was experiencing a catastrophic fall in food
production as a result of the financial crisis (low commodity
prices and lack of credit) and adverse weather on a global

Added to this, we've seen a surge in demand for American-
style consumption of food in China and India. This is further
disrupting the balance of supply and demand, and pushing
us towards a crisis.

And the reason this is not all over the mainstream media?

Firstly earthquakes, banking crises, recession and snow
have been filling the pages. And secondly, according to
deCarbonnel, Governments are desperate not to cause
panic, because this will only cause prices to spike higher and

So they're releasing all kinds of data to prove that there have
been bumper crops and that everything is fine.

What could happen in 2010

Now, I'll be frank. Eric's article and the whole Infowars
website scared the bejeesus out of me. And I don't wish to
fear-monger, add to your woes, or get sucked into any
conspiracy theories.

What I think is likely to happen is not a major global financial
collapse this spring, brought on by a food shortage, mass
rioting and panic. But the evidence is piling up that there will
be some serious price rises in 2010.

On one level, you're going to get hit financially. It's yet
another problem that will mean YOU have less money in
your pocket.

What's new there, right? We're almost punch-drunk from
being hit in the pockets these days. 

But on a more serious level, this could cause significant
health problems. What will happen is that in the event of very
high prices, people will turn to cheaper processed foods.
Stuff in tins or packets which go on the shelf or in the freezer.

As you know from my many rants on the subject, this kind of
food is lower in nutrition, higher in salt, sweeteners and

The most important way we protecting ourselves against
disease is by eating REAL, FRESH FOOD. By that I mean
good quality, well farmed meat and fish. And more
importantly fruit, vegetables, nuts, honey and wholegrains.

Of course, it's this real food that is being threatened.
Especially after a winter freeze that has left UK famers

National Farmers' Union's livestock board Chairman Alistair
Mackintosh said recently: "The current bad weather has left
some [farmers] facing difficult situations."

And Stephen Alambritis, Chief Spokesman for the
Federation of Small Businesses says:

"There is concern that farmers have not been able to bring
the harvest in for such items as potatoes, sprouts and
cabbages which reduces the amount available to stores -
and pushes up prices."

When fresh local food becomes less available... more is
flown-in from other places, meaning less nutrition... it means
it's harder to eat fresh, local seasonal produce... and even
when it's available it's far more expensive than many can
handle afford... and more people eat cheap, processed

So there you go, it's all BAD news. Time to buy a shotgun,
move to the highlands and hide out in a bothy with a
vegetable patch. 

Or is it?

As always, I like to shine a light into the dark well of misery.

In my view, life shouldn't be a perpetually frightening
experience, despite the best efforts of those who rule our
country, run our banks, and write our newspapers.

My silver lining is this...

If you do find food getting really expensive this year... a crisis
diet could be the healthiest thing you ever try.

Why a rationed diet is good for your health

Yes, rationing is GOOD for you!

According to studies carried out at the University of
Minnesota last year, rationing food intake slashes men's risk
of prostate cancer.

And back in 2004, researchers at the Harvard Medical
School in Boston found that women who rationed their
calorie intake HALVED their risk of getting breast cancer.

And studies show that the health of Britain's population
improved during 1940 and 1954 - the years of rationing.

Those were the years when we Brits (not me, I wasn't born!)
had a limited calorie intake, no sugary food, grew their own
veg, and made their meat supply stretch further.

Perhaps then, it's time to think of trying a wartime diet?

Food crisis or not, it could be a serious way to lose weight
and protect yourself from disease...

Some wartime diet tips

  • If you can, grow your own food this spring, even if it's
    just tomatoes in a pot on a balcony. Get together with
    family, friends and neighbours who have with garden
    or allotment space and collectively share your fresh
    produce. Start a food growing scheme in your
  • You can make the fresh food you have go further by
    using ALL your vegetables up. Create soups and
    stews for the freezer, and turn all your leftovers into
    meals. Make stocks from meat bones.
  • Go for cheaper cuts of meat. And make that meat go
    further. For instance, cook a large free range chicken
    at the weekend and create three meals from it. You
    could eat roast chicken one day, cold chicken and
    salad the next, then make a stock from the bones.
    You can add any leftover chicken with loads of root
    vegetables to create a soup or stew.
  • Another idea is to make one meal a week vegetarian
    so you can ensure you waste none of those
    vegetables that are left hanging about in your fridge.
  • Find a vegetarian cookbook or be creative so it
    becomes an exciting treat, not a punishment. This way
    you can ensure there's an option to use up everything. 
  • Control your portions. Many of us simply eat too much
    because we fill our plates and eat with our eyes, not
    with our stomachs. In Japan it is customary - and
    polite - to eat until you're 80% full... not 110% gut-
    busted. If you slow down your eating and put smaller
    amounts of food on smaller plates, you will feel fuller
    on less food, and be healthier for it.

Yes, meat, fruit and veg may become more expensive, but if
you're clever you can buy slightly less food and still get all
your nutrients.... perhaps even more than you do now.

It's definitely something I want to think about trying, as I hate
wasting good food.

It's not always easy of course... so I'll let you know how I get


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