Food Prices reflect Energy Prices and Inflation

U.S. food price inflation has trended downward since the 1970s

On average, food price inflation in the United States has been falling over the past several decades. Since 2010, food prices have risen by an average of 2.1 percent a year. By contrast, the 1970s saw the all-food Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase by an average of 8.1 percent annually, led by increases of 14.5 and 14.3 percent in 1973 and 1974, respectively.

The 1970s were a time of high energy prices and high inflation for consumer goods, including food. In the 1980s, the all-food CPI increased by an average of 4.6 percent per year, and food prices rose 2 to 3 percent per year in the following two decades. Advancements in agricultural productivity contributed to falling inflation-adjusted prices for agricultural commodities during the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, enhanced agricultural trade has allowed the U.S. food supply to better respond to supply shocks.

source: usda

Plants are Living Things and They Make Decisions, Too

The Chicago Journal, The American Naturalist, has come out with a report titled, “Adaptive and Selective Seed Abortion Reveals Complex Conditional Decision Making in Plants” which tells us “Recently, evidence for plant behavior is accumulating, mostly from plant physiological studies. Here, we provide ecological evidence for complex plant behavior in the form of seed abortion decisions conditional on internal and external cues. … Ecological evidence for complex decision making in plants thus includes a structural memory (the second seed), simple reasoning (integration of inner and outer conditions), conditional behavior (abortion), and anticipation of future risks (seed predation).”

And that’s just after a Univ. of Missouri scientist told us that plants respond with off-putting chemicals when they “hear” the chewing sounds of predators.

What next? Are they self-aware?

Have You Had Your Soylent Today?

For those of us who eat to live, rather than those who live to eat, the food nutrient all in one packet, Soylent, has arrived. This is real, as the company is already seeing $10,000 in orders per day.

When today’s average person has been bombarded with so many sound bites about what is wrong with every food on the shelf already you-name-it, this choice could look rather appealing, eh?

Soylent-like products are nothing new. Herbalife, a blender food diet product, has been around for a long time. There are also nutrient packets of a few different varieties and sources being used to combat starvation in vulnerable nations, today.

And, this is one of the reasons that I don’t expect growing global populations to starve – when people discuss unendingly how are we going to feed the world in 2050 – because of the resiliency afforded by our human diets.

Nutrient Mixes + Blenders and Food Printers = Humans that are Fed.

Now, scream altogether… 1… 2… 3… NOOOOooooooo!!!

To learn more about Soylent, I recommend this Business Insider article.

China is a Major Importer of Distillers Grains DDGS

This graph will show you what rising incomes and more meat consumption in China mean for the U.S. agricultural export market.

China’s demand for imported grains, much of it from the United States, has surged recently, with imports of cereal grains rising to 16 million tons in 2012 and 18 million in 2013. Imports in 2013 included 3 million tons of corn and 4 million tons of DDGS (distillers dried grains with solubles; a co-product of U.S. corn ethanol production used for feed) from the United States.

In 2013, the United States supplied 70 percent of China’s wheat imports and, for the first time, China became a major market for U.S. sorghum. China’s demand for feed grains appears to have reached a turning point, as a tightening labor supply and rising feed costs force structural change in China’s livestock sector.

Labor scarcity, animal disease pressures, and rising living standards are prompting rural households to abandon “backyard” livestock production and shift more production to specialized farm enterprises that rely more heavily on commercial feed. Because of this, China has switched from being a corn exporter to importing 3-5 million tons annually since 2009.

Rising feed demand has also pushed up costs and motivated feed mills and livestock producers to explore new feed ingredients like DDGS and sorghum.

source: usda