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Global Food Prices – Trending Up

Touch the Soil News #772 (feature photo public domain – hungry Somali children wait for food aid) The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) keeps track of the price of basic foodstuffs. It is no secret that many folks have difficulty translating their labor and work ethic into money to buy food. An increase in the price of food can add tens of millions of people to the ranks of the starving almost overnight. The FAO established a Food Price index that started out in its base year (2004) at 100. Today, the index stands at 179.1 – an almost 80 percent increase over the last 13…

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Food Tremor – A Spooky Thing

Touch the Soil News #441 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a division of the United Nations. The FAO sits on the pulse of world food. The FAO maintains a Food Price Index. The Index follows the fluctuations in food prices. The flow of food to people only happens to the extent that there is money to facilitate the connection of supply and demand. The FAO Food Price index is the first warning signal that in a world organized around monetary mediums – price escalations can quickly overwhelm global resources (distribution and acquisition). The efficiency of money to connect supply with demand falls far short. Hence, over the past…

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A Spooky Food and Gardening Awareness

Touch the Soil News #285 Imagine one day waking up and realizing you need to go home, but you are a million miles from home. Home in this sense is the family farm of three to four generations ago that had a vegetable garden, a couple of milk cows, chickens for eggs, a few acres of grain for bread and some meat animals. The reason you want to go home is that you have found yourself in a city of 7.5 million people (Hong Kong) that is on the edge of China with 1.4 billion people all looking for more food. The realization hits you that everything must be imported.…

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A Glimpse at the Big Picture – What Would You Propose?

Touch the Soil News # 155 Earlier this week, Canadian farmers have worked themselves into an uproar over big money buying Canadian farmland. Only this time, it was the Canada Pension Plan – Canada’s social security plan. The rub stems from the Canada Pension Plan buying 115,000 acres of farmland in the province of Saskatchewan with plans to buy more. The Canadian farmers complain they are putting their retirement money into the Canada Pension Plan which then turns around and bids up the price of farmland right from under their feet. To add insult to injury, the Canada Pension Plan uses pre-tax dollars, while the farmers must use post-tax dollars…

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Where Have All the Mother Cows Gone – Long Time Passing?

Touch the Soil News # 154 In the livestock business, they are called mother cows. In USDA statistics, they are referred to as beef cow herds. A mother cow is kept around the ranch to have a calf each year. A rancher keeps the mother cow and the calf goes into the meat supply. The USDA keeps track of how many mother cows are out there in order to get a sense of the ongoing supply of beef. In 1975, America had 46.9 million mother cows. That number has steadily dropped to 30.5 million cows this year on 7/1/2015. Why did mother cow numbers decrease by over 16 million head?…

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Food-Chain News Roundup

Touch the Soil News # 149 Billionaires and Food Vietnam’s only billionaire, Pham Nhat Vuong, through his investment company Vingroup, is putting together a $46.5 million dollar greenhouse food enterprise. Up till now, Vuong has been involved in property development – making agriculture a total departure from his norm. Helping in the project is Israeli company Netafim. Netafim builds out greenhouses and is the world’s leader in drip irrigation products and technology. Vuong represents just one small investor, among a growing flock of investors looking to harness their dollars in food and agriculture. Greenhouse food production near cities attracts billionaire Farmers Open Grocery Store Two Canadian farmers – Simone Rudge…

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U.S. Food Expenditures – On the Road to $2,000 billion ($2 Trillion)

Touch the Soil News # 128 Every year the U.S. population grows around 2.7 million and the USDA estimates that food inflation averages 3 percent. By using USDA averages, the U.S. will spend $1,561 billion for total food expenditures in 2015. Of that amount, $26 billion is the value of food grown at home and donated. The following Info Graphic #1 illustrates the growth in total food expenditures. Based upon historical growth averages, we should hit $2 trillion plus by 2021. There are some unknowns between now and then that could change this projection: Will Americans be able to translate their work ethic, skills and labor for enough dollars to…

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