Sunday, June 22, 2008

Food prices to increase on July 1st

An email was circulated among some bloggers recently, warning about a price jump of as much as 30% at the grocery store to be expected on July 1st, after a decision by a major American distributor to increase their prices due to the increased cost of transportation. The blogger who reported it claims to have a friend who was at the meeting where the decision was made.

I have no way of verifying this myself, but there's nothing about it that's hard to believe. The price of food must go up because of the high price of gas, which continues to rise, and because of the destruction of crops by natural disasters.

Should we lay in supplies? Sure we should. But again, what is really needed is prayer and fasting, repentance for the sins of the nation. Since the nation as a whole can no longer be called to this, the churches should be doing it. Seriously, at length, days long, not just the usual token prayer during a service or prayer meeting. Not just adding it to your long prayer list.

Flooding in the Midwest

The horrendous flooding of rivers in the Midwest is just the latest disaster that is going to have repercussions on the entire nation for some time to come. They are suffering terribly there, but the rest of us will be suffering as well as the destruction of crops affects the entire national economy.

We're already paying outrageous prices for gas, which we can trace back to both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and food prices have been rising steadily as a result of the increased cost of transportation. Now with the destruction of corn and soybean crops with the flooding in the Midwest, the price of feed for animals will go up drastically and consequently the price of meat:

Since this is a Yahoo story and I don't know how long the link will last, here's some of it copied out:

Record corn prices mean more expensive meat, dairy

NEW YORK - Raging Midwest floodwaters that swallowed crops and sent corn and soybean prices soaring are about to give consumers more grief at the grocery store.

In the latest bout of food inflation, beef, pork, poultry and even eggs, cheese and milk are expected to get more expensive as livestock owners go out of business or are forced to slaughter more cattle, hogs, turkeys and chickens to cope with rocketing costs for corn-based animal feed.

The floods engulfed an estimated 2 million or more acres of corn and soybean fields in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and other key growing states, sending world grain prices skyward on fears of a substantially smaller corn crop. The government will give a partial idea of how many corn acres were lost before the end of the month, but experts say the trickle-down effect could be more dramatic later this year, affecting everything from Thanksgiving turkeys to Christmas hams.

Rod Brenneman, president and chief executive of Seaboard Foods, a pork supplier in Sawnee Mission, Kan. that produces 4 million hogs a year, said high corn costs were already forcing producers in his industry to cut back on the number of animals they raise.

"There's definitely liquidation of livestock happening," and that will cause meat prices to rise later this year and into 2009, said Brenneman, who is also the vice chairman of the American Meat nstitute. Brenneman's cost for feeding a single hog has shot up $30 in the past year because of record-high prices for corn and soybeans, the main ingredients in animal feed. Passing that increase on to consumers would tack an extra 15 cents per pound onto a pork chop.

It's a similar story for U.S. beef producers, who now spend a whopping 60-70 percent of their production costs on animal feed and are seeing that number rise daily as corn prices hover near an unprecedented $8 a bushel, up from about $4 a year ago.

"This is not sustainable. The cattle industry is going to have to get smaller," said James Herring, president and CEO of Amarillo, Tex.-based Friona Industries, which buys 20 million bushels of corn each year to feed 550,000 cattle.

How many have recognized this as the hand of God against the nation? Very few recognized it in 9/11 or in Katrina either. No, Americans don't seek God, we seek solutions. When gas prices go up we hear all kinds of ideas for increasing our supply from other sources. The immediate victims of the disaster will get government money. We'll pray for them and some will go give physical help as well, all good things, but where is the sackcloth and ashes, the repentance, the fasting and prayer, where is the recognition that this is God's handwriting on the wall against America? This is what is really needed.