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Sprat Issue 26 – Government Food Stockpiles

By James Donahue

Jack Sprat’s issue number 26 moves us into the area of alleged government conspiracy. In this complaint he points us to a growing number of reports of government stockpiling of surplus food.

As writer Ethan Huff suggests in a story that appeared on the Natural News website in August, 2012, the U. S. Department of Agriculture is "snatching up" millions of dollars in pork, chicken, lamb and fish products to be stocked and frozen for storage as food surplus.

Huff worries that the government claims the purchases are designed "to help out farmers" much like the old agricultural programs that paid farmers for not utilizing certain acreage for crops. But why is this occurring in a year when extreme heat, draught and radical weather events are destroying the potential harvest of about 63 percent of the hay, 72 percent of cattle, 85 percent of the soybeans and 87 percent of the corn?

The massive meat buy-up is expected to create an even bigger shortage of food and force prices of food even higher at local supermarkets. Huff writes that "the effects of the drought were expected to cause a slight dip in meat prices as farmers bring their cattle to slaughter," he worries that the government’s "obstruction of the free market could cause a meat shortage" for the average consumer.

So is this meat purchase something abnormal? Is the federal government hoarding food and if so, for whom? The White House says the stockpiling of food is designed to give farmers financial assistance through this difficult harvest year. The food is earmarked for distribution through federal food nutrition programs.

Also the Departments of Agriculture and Defense say they buy bulk meat stocks every year to supply government employees, the military and welfare recipients caught up in federal food programs.

The Huff story suggests, however, that the amount of meat these two agencies are buying this year is higher than normal.

So the drought is hitting farmers this year, 2012. But it appears that our government has been busy stockpiling surplus foods, at least since 2011. A large part of the nation was suffering from drought last year and people even then were beginning to stockpile private amounts of dried, processed food in case of a looming shortage. But an ABC News report noted even then that the government was competing with consumers for those stocks.

Food companies that prepare cans of freeze dried storable food were reporting massive sales of foods to the federal government.

Conspiracy stories have been dripping from various Internet blog sites for over the past year. The Telegraph recently reported that "authoritarian governments" around the world "are aggressively stockpiling food as a buffer against soaring food costs" and as a way of easing public discontent.

In a blog titled "The Economic Collapse," an unidentified writer asks: "Is the U. S. government stockpiling huge amounts of food and supplies in anticipation that something bad is about to happen. Is something about to cause a major economic crisis that will require large quantities of emergency food?"

Will yes, any nitwit with his eye on the sky and in the daily newspaper should have some inkling that climate change is upon us, it is extreme and getting worse, and that it is affecting the harvest of food supplies everywhere in the world. Also the world is staggering under the burden of extreme and unnatural debt, there is war and hunger and poverty everywhere. And because it is 2012, the year the Mayan Calendar comes to an abrupt end, and because Christians believe in a prophetic "end of times," a lot of people are thinking something apocalyptic is about to fall on us all before the year is out.

While FEMA and the Department of Agriculture deny that the US government is buying any more surplus food stock now than it ever has, there is a lot of skeptical unrest in the streets.

As one writer put it: "Nobody could blame the government for storing up some emergency food. That is something we all should be doing. The truth is that the government is taking emergency preparedness very seriously."

After getting caught short by the Katrina disaster, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been quick to stockpile not only emergency food supplies but a wide variety of other items to cover all types of catastrophic disaster events. And because of the crippling storms brought on by climate change this year, FEMA agents have been drawing heavily on this stockpile.

Thus it should not be surprising that FEMA recently issued an inquiry about the availability of 140 million meals of emergency food. The information raised some eyebrows among the conspiracy theorists, but a stockpile of that much emergency food in these times may not be too much to have on hand.

Yes Mr. Sprat, the governments all appear to be competing with the public for food stockpiles. The world leaders, like the people on the street, are all concerned about dealing with the next great disaster.