Global Authorities Brace For A Worldwide Protein Shortage As “One-Quarter Of Earth’s Pigs Have Been Wiped Out”

African Swine Fever is killing millions upon millions of pigs all over the world, and this threatens to create a crippling global shortage of protein as we head into 2020.  This epidemic began in China last year, and it is now also running wild in North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines.  But this crisis is certainly not limited to Asia.  According to the Washington Post, so far in 2019 there have also been outbreaks “in Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.”  Overall, cases of African Swine Fever have been documented “in nearly 50 nations”, and U.S. pork producers are extremely concerned that it could start spreading here too.

African Swine Fever is extremely contagious, there is no vaccine, and there is no cure.  Once it starts spreading in a certain area, there isn’t much that can be done “other than culling herds and loading carcasses into hazardous waste sites”.  Literally, we are talking about an unstoppable global plague that is an existential threat to our food supply.  Of course many of us don’t eat pork, but there will also be an immense strain on supplies of beef and chicken as those that eat pork are forced to turn to other alternatives.  This is an exceedingly serious situation, and with each month it is just getting worse.

China is the epicenter for this crisis, and CNN is reporting that the Chinese herd has “shrunk by around 130 million” since this epidemic first began last year…

The damage that African swine fever has wrecked on China’s pig population is hard to overstate. The country is home to half of all the pigs on the planet, and its herd has shrunk by around 130 million since the outbreak began about 13 months ago, according to a CNN Business analysis of data from the Chinese agricultural ministry. Many farmers are reluctant to restock pigs after they are slaughtered, fearing they’ll catch the disease.

To put that in perspective, there are only about 70 million pigs in the United States.

Yes, that number is for the entire country.

So the damage that has already been done in China is beyond cataclysmic, and this crisis is very far from over.

And according to the Washington Post, the losses in China are even higher than what CNN is reporting.  If you can believe it, the Post says that “as many as half of China’s pigs” have already died…

As many as half of China’s pigs, an estimated 300 million, have died of the virus or been exterminated since the disease took hold 13 months ago.

Of course the virus continues to sweep through China like wildfire, and at this point Rabobank is projecting that up to 70 percent of China’s pigs could eventually end up dead.

And considering the fact that about half of all the pigs in the entire world are in China, that is a very sobering thing to hear.

Needless to say, this crisis has been dramatically driving up the price of pork.  According to CNN, the price of pork in China is now nearly 70 percent higher than it was at this time last year…

African swine fever has ravaged China’s pig population, and the country’s consumers are feeling the pain. Some are even switching to other meats as the dietary staple becomes unaffordable.

Pork in China now costs nearly 70% more than it did a year ago, according to data released Tuesday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

For the average Chinese citizen, this is a really big deal, because pork accounts for about 70 percent of their total meat consumption.

So to keep their population fed, China has started to import massive quantities of pork and beef from the rest of the world…

China has also been buying more pig meat from the rest of the world to keep its consumers happy. The country imported more than 1.3 million tons of pork in the first nine months of 2019, a 44% spike compared to a year ago, according to customs data published Monday. Imports of beef were up more than 50%, as people substitute that meat for pork in their diets.

As this virus continues to rapidly spread all over the planet, the supply crunch is only going to get worse.

Global prices are going to continue to escalate, and those on the bottom of the global economic food chain are going to have an increasingly difficult time being able to afford to buy any pork, beef or chicken at all.

And nobody should expect things to turn around in a year or two.  In fact, one expert is projecting that “it will be another 4 to 6 years before China will be able to rebuild its herd”…

“We’re past a year now and it’s still spreading and getting worse,” he says. “We believe it will be another 4 to 6 years before China will be able to rebuild its herd, but that’s making assumptions about when and if they will be able to get an effective vaccine.”

Of course that projection assumes that there will be a vaccine, but right now there is no vaccine and we don’t know if there will ever be one.

Meanwhile, this virus just continues to sweep across the globe like wildfire.  In fact, we just learned that it has gotten into “two more provinces in the Philippines”

The highly contagious and deadly African swine fever virus has spread to two more provinces in the Philippines, the world’s 10th-largest pork consumer, officials said on Friday.

Cases of infections were detected in some areas in Cavite, south of the nation’s capital Manila, and in Nueva Ecija on Luzon island.

This is a global plague unlike anything we have ever seen before.

According to the New York Daily News, “more than one-quarter of Earth’s pigs have been wiped out by the virulent disease.”

I put that last sentence in bold to make sure that you caught that.

More than a fourth of our pigs are already gone, and this virus is still raging out of control.

I will continue to keep my readers updated on this crisis.  What we are facing is literally a global nightmare, and we are still in the early chapters.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I can only allow this to happen if this “About the Author” section is included with each article.  In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

“An Estimated 150-200 Million Pigs” Have Been Hit By A Global Plague Of Biblical Proportions

African Swine Fever is the greatest threat to global food production that we have seen since World War II ended.  As you will see below, the disease has now spread “to every province in mainland China”, and it has now infected “an estimated 150-200 million pigs”.  To put that number in perspective, that is more pigs than the entire U.S. pork industry produces in an entire year.  In other words, the equivalent of the entire U.S. pork industry has just been wiped out.  On top of that, African Swine Fever has also spread to Cambodia, Tibet, Romania, South Africa and Vietnam.  The losses are staggering, and this crisis continues to get worse with each passing week.

Earlier today I came across a Canadian news article entitled “Why bacon could get a lot more expensive”, and in that article a Canadian expert claimed that there are “tens of millions of pigs who have disappeared” in China…

“The meat of choice in China is pig and disease has been devastating for them,” Friendship said. “They have lost a lot of pigs and they will be doing lots of culling.”

He noted that although official figures from China suggest the outbreak’s effect have been minimal, experts estimate that “we’re dealing with tens of millions of pigs who have disappeared.”

Friendship estimated the decrease in pigs is roughly the equivalent of what Canada and the U.S. produce combined. And this lack has created a vacuum.

That claim is consistent with the information that I put into an article about this crisis a few weeks ago, but I decided to go hunting for some even newer numbers.

So eventually I ended up over at PorkBusiness.com, and according to them African Swine Fever “is now affecting an estimated 150-200 million pigs” in China…

Production losses from African swine fever (ASF) have eclipsed initial estimates, Rabobank said on Thursday. In 2019, Rabobank expects Chinese pork production losses of 25% to 35%, creating new challenges and opportunities for animal protein exporters.

“African Swine Fever has spread to every province in mainland China and is now affecting an estimated 150-200 million pigs,” said Christine McCracken, RaboResearch animal protein analyst. “The expected 30% loss in pork production is unprecedented. These losses cannot easily be replaced by other proteins like chicken, duck and seafood, nor will larger pork imports be able to fully offset the loss.”

When I use the term “plague”, I am not using it lightly.  I have never heard of a single disease wiping out this many farm animals before.

Have you?

We are potentially talking about an absolutely crippling blow to the global food supply.

And pork prices are already starting to skyrocket.  The following comes from the same Canadian article that I mentioned earlier

At the beginning of 2019, Canadian farmers earned $150 for every pig shipped to market but now they’re making between $220 to $225, he said.

Since first being detected on a small hog farm in northern China last August, African Swine Fever has spread like wildfire, but so far it hasn’t reached the United States.

And U.S. farmers are doing all that they can to keep that from happening, because African Swine Fever can have a mortality rate “as high as 100% within 2-10 days”

ASF is a highly contagious viral disease that causes death in domestic and wild pigs of all ages. Symptoms include high fever, decreased appetite and weakness, red, blotchy skin or skin lesions; diarrhea and vomiting; and coughing and difficulty in breathing. Mortality rate is as high as 100% within 2-10 days.

Even if a pig survives African Swine Fever, it is often culled anyway to help prevent the spread of the disease.

There is no vaccine, and there is no cure.  And even if this outbreak was ended immediately, it would likely take the Chinese pork industry many years to recover.  The following comes from CNN

“China normally accounts for 49% of global pork consumption, while consuming 28% of the world’s meat supply,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone. “As such, this is a big problem for China, and we expect it to be a five to seven year problem before production can be restored.”

Of course this outbreak is not likely to end any time soon.  In fact, all of the experts expect African Swine Fever to continue to spread.

So pork prices will continue to skyrocket, and prices for chicken and beef will also rise aggressively as many consumers shift to alternatives to pork.

Unfortunately most people still don’t seem to understand what we are facing.  In this country, most Americans are partying instead of preparing, and that is a huge mistake.

And the mainstream media certainly is not helping.  Millions upon millions of pigs really are dying all over the globe, and yet there is barely a peep about this crisis on our major news networks.

We’ll see what happens.  Hopefully this outbreak will subside and things will return to normal.

But so far that hasn’t happened, and African Swine Fever just continues to spread.

If it starts spreading in North America too, there is going to be a lot of panic and the mainstream media will be forced to start paying a lot of attention to this story.

Over the coming months, supplies of pork are going to get tighter and tighter, and prices are going to shoot higher and higher.

We have never faced a crisis quite like this, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Hundreds Of Millions Of Pigs Feared Dead From Swine Fever – Price Of Pork Has Risen 38 Percent In The Last 4 Weeks

A plague of epic proportions is ripping through the global pig population, and CNBC is warning that this unprecedented outbreak of African swine fever “could lead to significant shortages” of pork in the global marketplace.  As you will see below, the price of pork has already risen 38 percent over the last 4 weeks, and it appears inevitable that it will go a lot higher as this crisis continues to intensify.  When the first case of African swine fever was reported in China last August, nobody was really too concerned at the time.  But since then it has been spreading like wildfire, and the most recent estimates of the spread of the disease that we are getting from the experts are absolutely terrifying.

China consumes 49 percent of all pork produced in the world, and they slaughter approximately 700 million pigs a year.

So we are talking about the primary source of protein for the most populated country on the entire planet.

According to the Daily Mail, one major pork supplier has “suggested that 30-50% of Chinese pig farms have been affected by the outbreak”.  And apparently this is the primary reason why the price of pork has increased by 38 percent over the last month…

There was an 18% increase in the price of bacon from February to April this year, according to Bidfood, Beacon said, and the market price of pork has risen by 38% in the last four weeks.

The company also said another of its suppliers, Brakes, suggested that 30-50% of Chinese pig farms have been affected by the outbreak, which has increased pig prices around the world.

If what this pork supplier is claiming is true, then this plague is far, far worse than we had previously been told.

And commodities economist Arlan Suderman is giving us similar numbers.  He just told CNBC that hog feeding in China is down “at least 40%”, and in some areas he says that it is down “more than 50%”…

“What our people there in China find is a far different story where the disease is continuing to spread,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist with INTL FCStone in Kansas City, Mo. “China just doesn’t want the rest of the world to know what the situation is.”

The economist termed it “a very dire situation” and estimates hog feeding in China has fallen at least 40% and in some larger swine producing regions plummeted more than 50% in response to the disease. He said the decline is directly attributable to infected pigs dying and producers afraid of the disease and liquidating herds to salvage some value.

There is no cure for African swine fever, and when it hits a pig farm it spreads like wildfire.  In an effort to fight the spread of the disease, most of the time authorities slaughter any pigs that somehow survive.

So if 40 percent of China’s pig farms have already been essentially wiped out, we are talking about a blow to global pork production unlike anything we have ever seen before

“If we’re down 40%, that would mean on an annualized basis that they’ve lost more pork production capacity than what we produce in all of North and South America together on an annual basis,” said Suderman.

I hope that most of you are starting to grasp the implications of what I am sharing.

And China is not the only one grappling with this outbreak.  African swine fever is also devastating pig farms in Vietnam, Cambodia, Tibet and we just learned that an outbreak has now erupted in South Africa

South Africa has detected an outbreak of African swine fever on a farm in North West province, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday, citing a report from the South African agriculture ministry.

The outbreak killed 32 out of a herd of 36 pigs on a farm in the Ditsobotla district, with the remaining animals slaughtered, the report said.

The good news is that there haven’t been any outbreaks in the U.S. yet, and the National Pork Producers Council just canceled the World Pork Expo due to fears about the disease

The National Pork Producers Council said it would be safest for the U.S. herd to cancel the World Pork Expo, which attracts about 20,000 visitors annually to the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Visitors attend from 40 countries, including areas that have tested positive for the disease.

“Producers have been very concerned about the risk of African swine fever,” said Jen Sorenson, vice president of the council’s board.

The United States sells approximately 20 billion dollars worth of pork annually, and so there is a tremendous amount at stake.

The Department of Homeland Security is taking this threat extremely seriously, and they are going to do all they can to keep African swine fever from crossing our borders.

But even if the disease never reaches the United States, it is still going to deeply affect us.  If the numbers that I shared with you above are accurate, that means that hundreds of millions of pigs are already dead, and this plague continues to spread.

Pork prices have already shot up, but they will never be lower than they are right now.  China and other major pork consuming nations will be trying to import all of the pork that they possibly can, and that is just going to drive the price of pork through the roof.

And for those of us that don’t eat pork, we will see prices for chicken and beef also rise as pork eaters alter their buying behavior due to rising prices.  So in the end, all forms of meat are going to become significantly more expensive.

Also, let us not forget that “as many as a million calves” were lost in the state of Nebraska alone during the recent flooding in the central United States.  That is going to drive up meat prices too.

No matter how much meat is actually produced, people are still going to be just as hungry.  If you take a basic course in economics at one of our universities, you will learn that when demand stays the same and supply goes down, prices are going to rise.

Of course if African swine fever continues to spread wildly all over the globe, eventually we are going to have a much bigger problem on our hands than just rising prices.

This is a developing story, and I will do my best to keep you updated.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Desperately Poor Teens In America’s Impoverished Inner Cities Are Trading Sex For Food

sad-girl-public-domainWhen people get hungry enough, they will do just about anything for some food.  According to brand new research that was just released this week from Feeding America and the Urban Institute, there are millions of teenagers in America that live in “food insecure” households, and researchers were stunned to learn what some of these teens are willing to do to feed themselves.  Some resort to shoplifting, others deal drugs, and there were a surprising number of participants in the study that actually admitted to trading sex for food.  It wouldn’t be a shock to hear that these kinds of things are going on in an economically-depressed nation such as Venezuela, but this is the United States of America.  We are supposed to be the wealthiest nation on the entire planet.  Sadly, even while the stock market has been soaring in recent years, poverty in America has been on the rise.  For those on the low end of the economic scale, things have gone from bad to worse since the end of the last recession, and millions of children are deeply suffering as a result.

Let’s start with some of the hard numbers.  The following comes directly from the Urban Institute website

An estimated 6.8 million people ages 10 to 17 are food insecure, meaning they don’t have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. Another 2.9 million are very food insecure, and roughly 4 million live in marginally food secure households, where the threat of running out of food is real.

Food insecurity takes a tremendous toll on teenagers. Poor nutrition—and the stress of hunger and poverty—can jeopardize their physical and mental health and development and their academic success. But despite the gravity and prevalence of teen food insecurity, we know very little about how these young people experience and cope with hunger.

The researchers already knew that lots of young people were hungry in America.  But what surprised them were the lengths that many of these youngsters said that they would go to in order to get food

Some of the youths said they or someone they know — mostly young men — have turned to shoplifting food, selling drugs or stealing items to sell.

The teens also reported knowing young women who have sold their bodies for food or had sex for money so they could buy food for their families.

Going to jail or failing a class in order to have to attend summer school were also some of the lengths teens went to.

Could you imagine your daughter or your granddaughter exchanging her body for food?

For most of us that is absolutely unthinkable, but the truth is that this is taking place on the streets of America every single day.

And this wasn’t just some blind random phone survey.  The researchers conducted personal interviews with focus groups, and what these kids were willing to admit doing was absolutely astounding.  Here is another excerpt directly out of the report

  • When faced with acute food insecurity, teens in all but two of the communities said that youth engage in criminal behavior, ranging from shoplifting food directly to selling drugs and stealing items to resell for cash. These behaviors were most common among young men in communities with the most limited job options.
  • Teens in all 10 communities and in 13 of the 20 focus groups talked about some youth selling sex for money to pay for food. These themes arose most strongly in high-poverty communities where teens also described sexually coercive environments. Sexual exploitation most commonly took the form of transactional dating relationships with older adults.
  • In a few communities, teens talked about going to jail or failing school (so they could attend summer classes and get school lunch) as viable strategies for ensuring regular meals.

Many of these young people understand that what they are doing is wrong.  Just consider what some of them told the researchers

A girl in Portland, Oregon told researchers: “It’s really like selling yourself. Like you’ll do whatever you need to do to get money or eat.”

Another comment from Portland: “You’re not even dating … they’ll be like … ‘I don’t really love him, but I’m going to do what I have to do.’”

Many prefer to rationalise what they are doing as dating of sorts. A boy in rural North Carolina said: “When you’re selling your body, it’s more in disguise. Like if I had sex with you, you have to buy me dinner tonight … that’s how girls deal with the struggle … That’s better than taking money because if they take money, they will be labeled a prostitute.”

When I read the information in this report, I was stunned.  Yes, I write about our economic decline and the rise in poverty all the time, but I didn’t know that things were this bad.

And the researchers were surprised by what they were hearing as well.  One of them said that the fact that girls are trading their bodies for food “was really shocking to me”, and she believes that things are “just getting worse over time”

“I’ve been doing research in low-income communities for a long time, and I’ve written extensively about the experiences of women in high poverty communities and the risk of sexual exploitation, but this was new,” said Susan Popkin, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and lead author of the report, Impossible Choices.

“Even for me, who has been paying attention to this and has heard women tell their stories for a long time, the extent to which we were hearing about food being related to this vulnerability was new and shocking to me, and the level of desperation that it implies was really shocking to me. It’s a situation I think is just getting worse over time.”

But aren’t we being told that things are getting better?

Aren’t we being told that our leaders “fixed” the economy?

Of course the truth is that America is mired in a long-term economic decline that stretches back for decades.  With each passing year the middle class gets smaller as a percentage of the population, and poverty continues to grow.  Last year the middle class became a minority of the population for the first time ever, and a lot of formerly middle class Americans are now among those that aren’t sure that they are going to have enough food to eat this month.

Hunger in America is a major crisis and it is growing.  Just because you may live in a comfortable home in a wealthy neighborhood does not mean that this problem is not real.

Tonight there are millions of Americans that do not know where their next meal is going to come from, and they deserve our love and compassion.

The Economic Collapse In Venezuela Is So Bad That People Are Slaughtering And Eating Zoo Animals

Black Stallion - Public DomainIf you were hungry enough, would you kill and eat zoo animals?  To most of us such a notion sounds absolutely insane, but this is actually happening in Venezuela right now.  This is a country where people are standing in lines for up to 12 hours hoping that there will be food to buy that day, and where rioting and looting have become commonplace.  So even though the U.S. economy is in dreadful shape at this moment, we should be thankful for what we have, because at least we are not experiencing a full-blown economic collapse yet like Venezuela currently is.

Black stallions can be some of the most beautiful horses on the entire planet, but things are so desperate down in Venezuela this summer that everything looks like food to some people at this point.  What happened at the Caricuao Zoo on Sunday is so horrible that I actually debated whether or not to share it with you.  Desperate people do desperate things, and when people get hungry enough they will do things such as this

Venezuela’s worsening food shortages had tragic consequences for a rare show horse last weekend, when a group of intruders broke into the zoo, pulled the black stallion from its cage, then slaughtered it for meat.

Prosecutors say the crime occurred in the small hours of Sunday morning at Caracas’ Caricuao Zoo, when “several people” sneaked into the state-run park under the cover of darkness and busted into the stallion’s pen. The horse, the only one of its kind in the zoo, was then led to a more secluded area and butchered on the spot. Only its head and ribs were left behind in a gruesome pile for zookeepers to find after sunrise.

Unfortunately, this precious animal was not even the first victim at that particular zoo.

A few weeks ago, pigs and sheep were the targets

Sadly, this horse wasn’t the first zoo animal to suffer the effects of Venezuela’s crippling food shortages. Some Vietnamese pigs and sheep were reportedly stolen from the same zoo earlier this month.

Dozens of other zoo animals are slowing starving to death because there is no food available to give to them.  In fact, it is being reported that at least 50 animals have died from lack of food at one zoo alone

At least 50 animals have died in the last six months at the Caricuao zoo in Caracas, Venezuela, due to widespread food shortages that are affecting both man and beast in the socialist nation.

Marlene Sifontes, a union leader for employees of state parks agency Inparques which oversees zoos, told Reuters that the zoo lost Vietnamese pigs, tapirs, rabbits and birds after the animals went weeks without eating. Others animals at the zoo are in danger of severe malnutrition. Lions and tigers, which should be on a carnivorous diet, are being fed mango and pumpkin just to get something in their empty stomachs, while an elephant is being fed tropical fruit instead of its usual diet of hay, the union leader said. According to one report, the big cats are being fed slaughtered thoroughbred racehorses from a nearby race track.

If what you have just read hurts your heart, let us not forget that it is not just the animals that are suffering.  There are millions of precious people down there that are living on the very edge of starvation as you read this article.

Earlier this year, one mayor came forward and admitted to the world that some people are so hungry that they are actually hunting “cats, dogs and pigeons” for food…

Ramón Muchacho, Mayor of Chacao in Caracas, said the streets of the capital of Venezuela are filled with people killing animals for food.

Through Twitter, Muchacho reported that in Venezuela, it is a “painful reality” that people “hunt cats, dogs and pigeons” to ease their hunger. People are also reportedly gathering vegetables from the ground and trash to eat as well.

The crisis in Venezuela is worsening everyday due in part to shortages reaching 70 percent […] six Venezuelan military officials were arrested for stealing goats to ease their hunger, as there was no food at the Fort Manaure military base.

With each passing week, the situation in Venezuela keeps on getting worse.

And even though the United States has made many of the exact same mistakes that Venezuela has made, most of us just assume that what is happening down there could never happen up here.

After all, we have “the greatest economy in the world” and we are “the wealthiest nation on the entire planet”, right?

Well, actually our economic infrastructure has been systematically gutted by free trade deals and we consume far more wealth than we produce.  We have artificially pumped up our standard of living by adding more than 1.1 trillion dollars a year to the national debt since Barack Obama has been in the White House, and one recent poll discovered that 62 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 saved up.

But don’t worry.  Instead of turning out like Venezuela, the mainstream media insists that the best days for America are right around the corner.

In fact, just today I came across a Business Insider article that insisted that soon our biggest economic problem will be that we won’t be able to find enough workers.

And Barbra Streisand is so thrilled that Hillary Clinton is going to be our next president that she launched into a rousing rendition of “Happy Days Are Here Again” as she kicked off her farewell tour in Los Angeles.  The following account comes from the Drudge Report

So long sad times
Go along bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times
Cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past
Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again…

Streisand suddenly interrupted the lyric, realizing a Democrat was currently in the White House!

“By the way, I love Obama.”

Altogether shout it now
There’s no one
Who can doubt it now
So let’s tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again

So what is the truth?

Are we going to end up just like Venezuela, or are happy days here once more?

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that we are not going to have to wait too long to find out…

Cities All Over America Are Becoming Extremely Cruel To The Homeless

Homeless - Photo by psyberartistHave you ever given food to a homeless person?  Well, if you do it again in the future it might be a criminal act depending on where you live.  Right now, there are dozens of major U.S. cities that have already passed laws against feeding the homeless.  As you will read about below, in some areas of the country you can actually be fined hundreds of dollars for just trying to give food to a hungry person.  I know that sounds absolutely insane, but this is what America is turning into.  Communities all over the country are attempting to “clean up the streets” by making it virtually illegal to either be homeless or to help those that are homeless.  Instead of spending more money on programs to assist the homeless, local governments are bulldozing tent cities and giving homeless people one way bus tickets out of town.  We are treating some of the most vulnerable members of our society like human garbage, and it is a national disgrace.

What does it say about our country when we can’t even give a warm sandwich to a desperately hungry person that is sleeping on the streets?  A retired couple down in Florida named Debbie and Chico Jimenez wanted to do something positive for their community during their retirement years, so they started feeding the homeless in Daytona Beach.  But recently the police decided to crack down on their feeding program and slapped everyone involved with a $373 fine

For the past year, the Jimenezes have set up shop every Wednesday on Manatee Island in Daytona Beach, Fla., where they feed hot dogs, chicken, pasta salad and other BBQ staples to about 100 homeless people, WFTV reported. Handing out meals is just one aspect of the ministry the two founded, Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word, to help people living in poverty.

But on Wednesday, the Jimenezes said that without warning, they and four other volunteers were accosted by police, fined and told that they could be thrown in jail if they continue their program, according to NBC News.

Each of the six was fined $373 and were given 10 days to either pay up or go to court.

“We’re going to court,” Debbie Jimenez, 52, a former auto parts store manager, told NBC News. “The police don’t like it. But how can we turn our backs on the hungry? We can’t.”

Don’t the police down in Daytona Beach have something better to do with their time?

Sadly, more than 50 major cities have passed laws against feeding the homeless at this point.  It appears that “cleaning up the streets” has become a big point of emphasis all over the nation.

And what the city of Camden, New Jersey just did is even worse than what happened in Daytona Beach.

Camden just bulldozed an entire tent city and dumped all of the belongings of the homeless people living there into the trash…

Hazmat teams showed up at the camps in the early morning to search for syringes. A drug-sniffing dog followed a police officer around the area. And bulldozers tossed trash and discarded belongings into dumpsters before razing the premises.

Over the past few weeks, flyers had warned people in the tent cities that this was going to happen. Yet it still seemed surreal to many of them that their communities were about to be demolished for good.

But for most of the people that were living in that tent city, there is no place else for them to go.  The homeless shelters in the area are at max capacity, and so many of them will end up sleeping in the streets without any shelter at all

Aaron Howe, the “mayor” of a tent city that had 12 tents the night before eviction day, said he had called every shelter in town and not a single place had room for him and his girlfriend.

“There’s no available spots, and the city is saying if we pitch a tent somewhere else they’re gonna rip it down,” he said. “It’s not gonna look good when there’s a bunch of homeless on the streets.”

Camden has got to be one of the most mismanaged communities in the entire country.  Why is Camden spending time and money bulldozing homeless communities when it has so many other problems?  For much more on the nightmare that Camden has become, please see my previous article entitled “Camden, New Jersey: One Of Hundreds Of U.S. Cities That Are Turning Into Rotting, Decaying Hellholes“.

Other big cities that are a little bit more “progressive” are attempting to get rid of their homeless populations by giving them one way tickets out of town.  Some of the major cities that are doing this include San Diego and San Francisco

When her Greyhound bus pulled into town 6 months ago, Maria Castillo got off with two bags and dream.

“Start over, start a new life,” said the 42-year-old.

Castillo had been homeless in San Diego when a social worker offered her a one-way bus ticket to Portland.

“They said come here because all the opportunities in Portland, Oregon,” she said.

But Castillo said life isn’t much better in her new town. She’s still homeless. A Unit 8 investigation found several cities from San Diego to San Francisco are providing one-way bus tickets to the homeless.

As shocking as everything that you just read is, what one lawmaker out in Hawaii is doing tops it all.  In a previous article, I described how a state representative named Tom Brower has actually been using a sledgehammer to destroy shopping carts used by homeless people.  Just check out the following short excerpt from an RT article that was published a few months ago…

In the past two weeks residents in Hawaii noticed what appeared to be a crazed individual carrying a sledgehammer through the streets of Honolulu, a state lawmaker looking to rid the city of homeless people by targeting their belongings.

State Representative Tom Brower (D) is currently dedicated to dealing out his own personal brand of “justice” by seeking out homeless people and destroying their possessions. Brower estimates that he has used the sledgehammer to smash at least 30 shopping carts, rendering them useless by bashing in the front wheels.

I got tired of telling people I’m trying to pass laws. I want to do something practical that will really clean up the streets,” he told Hawaii News Now. “I find abandoned junk, specifically shopping carts, and I remove them.”

Is this how our society is going to treat those that are down on their luck from now on?

Where is the love?

Where is the compassion?

Why can’t we seem to be able to take care of these people?

The federal government sure seems to have plenty of money to waste on other things.  For example, it is being reported that workers at an Obamacare processing facility in Missouri are being paid to do nothing but stare at their computers

Employees at an ObamaCare processing center in Missouri with a contract worth $1.2 billion are reportedly getting paid to do nothing but sit at their computers.

“Their goals are set to process two applications per month and some people are not even able to do that,” a whistleblower told KMOV-TV, referring to employees hired to process paper applications for ObamaCare enrollees.

The facility in Wentzville is operated by Serco, a company owned by a British firm that was awarded $1.2 billion in part to hire 1,500 workers to handle paper applications for coverage under the law, according to The Washington Post.

The whistleblower employee told the station that weeks can pass without data entry workers receiving even a single application to process. Employees reportedly spend their days staring at their computers, according to a KMOX-TV report.

So we have millions upon millions of dollars to waste on that, but we can’t take care of our homeless population?

And without a doubt, the need to help the homeless is greater than it ever has been before.  Right now, there are 1.2 million public school students in America that are homeless.  That number is an all-time record, and it has grown by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.

In addition, there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity.  Even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery“, poverty is absolutely exploding.

And it is going to get a whole lot worse.  This is only just the beginning.

What is going to be needed in the years ahead is a tremendous amount of love and compassion.

But instead, it appears that hearts are becoming colder in America with each passing day.

So what do you think the solution is?  Please share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

About 40 Percent Of All Food In The United States Is Thrown In The Garbage

LandfillCould that headline actually be true?  Do Americans waste about 40 percent of all the food that we produce?  That sounds like an absolutely crazy number, but it is actually quite accurate according to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  What the NRDC discovered is that approximately 40 percent of our total food supply is either thrown into dumpsters by grocery stores, is discarded by restaurants, never gets harvested on our farms, or is thrown into the garbage by consumers in their homes.  Even though 47 million Americans are on food stamps and millions of children go to bed hungry in this country every single night, we continue to waste approximately 263 million pounds of food every single day of the year.  One day people will look back and regard us as probably the most wasteful society in the history of the planet.

So where does all of that food go?

Well, according to a recent Seattle Times article, “food waste” takes up more space in our landfills than anything else does…

Last year, the NRDC found that Americans throw out as much as 40 percent of the country’s food supply each year, adding up to $165 billion in losses.

Food waste makes up the largest portion of solid trash in landfills, according to researchers.

Some $900 million of expired food is dumped from the supply chain annually, much of it a result of confusion. Misinterpreted date labels cause the average American household of four to lose as much as $455 a year on squandered food, according to researchers.

The expired food that gets wasted is one of my personal pet peeves.

I don’t do this a lot, but today I am going to share a personal story with you.

Earlier today I was out running errands and I decided that I wanted to pick up some mini-cupcakes from Safeway that I just love.  I do try to eat a healthy diet, but I do also like a treat from time to time.  So I got over to Safeway, and I noticed that the only mini-cupcakes that they had out were ones with chocolate frosting, but I wanted ones with vanilla frosting.

So I went up to the bakery counter and there was nobody there, but behind the counter I saw a stack of several containers of vanilla cupcakes.  I waited until the bakery lady got back and I asked her if I could have them.

I was astounded when she very firmly told me that I could not buy them.

She said that it was against regulations.

I implored her to sell them to me.  I explained that I had come over to Safeway just to buy them and I didn’t care if they were a little old.

Again she very firmly told me that I could not buy them.

I could not understand this.  I knew that the cupcakes were just going to be thrown out, so I asked to speak to her manager.

After a few moments her manager came over and I was once again told very firmly that under no circumstances would I be able to buy the cupcakes.

So needless to say, I left the store with a sad look on my face and without any cupcakes.

Now of course I probably didn’t need the cupcakes anyway.  They are not healthy for me.  But big chains such as Safeway throw away massive amounts of very good food as well.  The level of the waste that goes on is absolutely astounding.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans that are dealing with hunger and malnutrition grows with each passing day.  I want to share with you an excerpt from a recent article authored by Jason Ford entitled “I Work On The Breadline“…

I work as a cashier at a nationally known discount store. I sell clothing, cleaning products, house wares and food. The people I sell to are people of all colors, races, ages and sex, but most of them have one thing in common; EBT cards. I would say about half of every transaction I do is paid for with an EBT card. Sometimes people will use three different methods of payment. They will use whatever is left on their EBT card, then use whatever is left on their debit card, and then scrape their purse to find the remaining balance, and sometimes they still don’t have enough.

Another common trait of the people I serve besides the poverty is the poor health. The food I sell is not healthy, by any stretch. I sell potato chips, candy bars, bread, canned food, ice cream, soda, packaged meat, cigarettes and alcohol. I noticed quickly that a common ingredient of most of the foods is sugar and grains. Sugar and grains are easy to grow and produce cheaply and are used as fillers in processed food to cut cost and mask the taste of other questionable ingredients. Grains work in conjunction with sugars to inflame the body and compromise the immune system. Grains and sugars also have no nutritional value besides calories, so on top of inflaming the body; they do not provide the sustenance the body needs to survive. As the functions of the body require these nutrients the diet lacks, the body sucks these minerals from the bones, teeth and brain. Bone loss, and tooth decay and decreased brain function are the unfortunate symptoms of malnutrition. The poorest of the customers I serve are also the sickest. I have witnessed toothless mouths in the young and old. Mental retardation is also a common trait among many of them. I have even witnessed one unfortunate woman whose skin was a pale green color. These people are dying a slow starvation and they don’t even know it.

Doesn’t that just break your heart?

People are living like that, and yet America discards 263 million pounds of food every single day.

Something is fundamentally wrong with the way our system works.

So what is society going to do as the number of hungry people continues to grow in this country and around the world?

Well, according to ABC News, some scientists plan to feed them with flour made out of bugs…

A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries. The product is called Power Flour.

“It’s a huge deal because we had a very ambitious but highly executable five-year plan in place,” said team captain Mohammed Ashour, whose team hails from McGill University in Montreal. “So winning this prize is a great step in that direction.”

Ashour, along with teammates Shobhita Soor, Jesse Pearlstein, Zev Thompson and Gabe Mott, will be immediately working with an advisory board to recruit farmers and workers in Mexico, where a population of roughly 4 million live in slum conditions with widespread malnutrition.

“We will be starting with grasshoppers,” Ashour said.

Are you ready for a “protein-rich flour” made out of grasshoppers?

I know that I am not.

And in Japan, scientists have actually been working on a way to create meat out of poop.  You can read more about that right here.

Perhaps if we just quit wasting so much food we would be able to feed everybody without resorting to such craziness.

These days, an increasing number of Americans are fighting back against the colossal waste that they see all around them.  Some have even chosen to take advantage of the waste by regularly going “dumpster diving”.  The following is how I described “dumpster diving” in one of my previous articles

Have you ever thought about getting your food out of a trash can?  Don’t laugh.  Dumpster diving has become a hot new trend in America.  In fact, dumpster divers even have a trendy new name.  They call themselves “freegans”, and as the economy crumbles their numbers are multiplying.  Many freegans consider dumpster diving to be a great way to save money on groceries.  Others do it because they want to live more simply.  Freegans that are concerned about the environment view dumpster diving as a great way to “recycle” and other politically-minded freegans consider dumpster diving to be a form of political protest.  But whatever you want to call it, the reality is that thousands upon thousands of Americans will break out their boots, rubber gloves and flashlights and will be jumping into dumpsters looking for food once again tonight.

Who knows – perhaps some enterprising young dumpster diver will end up fishing the vanilla cupcakes that I wanted out of Safeway’s dumpsters this evening.

It is amazing what some of these dumpster divers are able to recover from “the trash”.  In North Carolina, one man even takes his son dumpster diving with him

A programmer by day, Todd takes to the streets of North Carolina by night, digging through Dumpsters at drug stores and grocery stores all around his rural neighborhood.

“You would be simply amazed at what businesses throw out,” he said. “I’ve only had to buy two loaves of bread all year. … Last week I had a trunk full of cereal, cookies, chips and ramen noodles.”

Todd slinks in and out of smelly places with low-light flashlights to evade rent-a-cops who will shoo him away.  Most nights, his 14-year-old son comes along.

Unfortunately, dumpster diving is not as easy as it used to be.

As dumpster diving has soared in popularity, some grocery stores have responded by putting locks on their dumpsters.

And in some areas of the country, police have even started regularly arresting dumpster divers.

But in the end, dumpster diving was not going to be a permanent solution anyway.

A permanent solution would be to quit wasting so much food.

I applaud the grocery store chains that choose to donate their expired food to homeless shelters and food banks.

We need to see a lot more of that going on.

And in our own homes we need to find ways to give more food away and waste less of it.

All of this needless wasting of food does not have to happen.  Let’s work together to find some solutions.

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