by Michael Snyder
April 21, 2015
Why are so many catastrophes hitting U.S. food
This week, we have learned that more than 7 million
turkeys and chickens have already been killed as the result of a
devastating bird flu outbreak here in the United States.
This particular strain of the bird flu has already
spread to the states of Minnesota, Iowa, California, Arkansas,
Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota,
Washington and Wisconsin, and scientists are mystified as to why it
is moving so rapidly.
But what we do know is that this flu has the
potential to kill an entire flock of chickens or turkeys
in just 48 hours.
This pandemic is quickly becoming a major national
crisis all by itself, but when you combine this with all of the
other disasters hitting our food supply, a very troubling picture
Could it be possible that the U.S. food supply is
Before we talk about the bird flu some more, let's
first review some of the other ways that our food supply is under
Due to the worst drought in the recorded
history of the state, much of California is turning
back into a desert. And considering the fact that
California produces nearly half of all the fresh produce
grown in the entire nation, that is a very frightening
thing. Prices for many fruits and vegetables have already
gone up substantially in our grocery stores.
The multi-year drought in the southwest
United States has also had a crippling impact on many
ranchers. At this point, the size of the U.S. cattle herd is
the smallest that it has been since the 1950s, and the price
has doubled since the last recession.
Over the past couple of years, porcine
epidemic diarrhea wiped out approximately 10 percent of the
entire pig population in the United States. This particular
plague seems to have subsided at least for now, but
scientists tell us that it could come back strong at any
As my friend Mac Slavo wrote about
the other day, the sardine population off the west coast
has declined by
91 percent since 2007. This is having a devastating
affect on the food chain in the Pacific Ocean.
Speaking of the Pacific, a whole host of
other sea creatures appear to be dying off in large numbers
as well. For much more on this, please see
1,000 Mile Stretch of the Pacific Ocean has Heated-Up
Several Degrees and Scientists don’t know Why'.
Down in Florida, citrus greening disease has
hit the citrus industry extremely hard.
The price of Florida oranges has approximately
doubled over the past 12 years, and crops
keep getting even smaller every year…
The big squeeze is on in citrus industry, and it
isn't expected to lessen anytime soon.
Florida growers have yielded far fewer oranges
over the past decade due to citrus greening, resulting in less
juice in the market and fewer dollars in their pockets.
"Everything starts and ends with citrus
greening," said Fritz Roka, a University of Florida
agricultural economist at the Southwest Florida Research &
Education Center in Immokalee. "For the next several years,
citrus greening will still be the focus of attention."
-A plague known as
the TR4 fungus has hit global banana production in a big way.
According to CNBC,
this nightmare fungus may eventually completely wipe out the variety
of bananas that we commonly eat today…
Banana lovers take note: The world's supply of
the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain
that could wipe out the popular
variety that Americans eat.
"It's a very serious situation," said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of
Florida who in 1989 originally discovered a strain of Panama
disease, called TR4, that may be growing into a serious
threat to U.S. supplies of the fruit and Latin American
"There's nothing at this point that really
keeps the fungus from spreading," he said in an interview
On top of all that, now we have a major bird flu
outbreak to deal with.
According to USA
Today, 3.8 million hens will be destroyed at one farm in Iowa
alone in an attempt to keep this flu from spreading even more…
Poultry producers in several states are bracing
for more losses as a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza
forced producers to kill millions of chickens and turkeys in the
USA in recent weeks.
The fast-moving H5N2 virus was confirmed on
Monday at a chicken laying facility in Osceola County, Iowa.
Some 3.8 million layer hens at the farm affiliated with
Sonstegard Foods Company will be euthanized to try to prevent
the spread of the disease, according to the company.
If this bird flu continues to spread in states such
as Iowa, we could have a nightmare scenario on our hands.
Most people don't realize this, but almost
one out of every five eggs that we eat comes from that state…
Because of avian influenza, the state's $2
billion commercial egg-laying industry has been on high alert
this spring. Iowa, the nation's largest egg producer, has about
50 million hens and supplies nearly 1 in every 5 eggs consumed
in the United States.
"Anybody that has a poultry operation - whether
large or small, whether you've got hundreds of birds or one bird
- this should be a wake-up call," said Randy Olson, executive
director of the Iowa Poultry Association.
Unfortunately, this new outbreak is extremely
puzzling to our scientists.
At this point, they
really don't know why it is spreading so fast…
The deadly flu virus that has wiped out nearly 5
percent of Minnesota's turkey industry is a part of a global
disease outbreak, but scientists still don't understand it.
After emerging in Asia, the avian flu spread to
poultry farms in the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Germany.
Its quick arrival in North America has alarmed
scientists who are trying to unravel the mystery of how these
deadly bugs have infected so many turkey farms in such a short
period of time.
"It's been really troubling to understand how in
the world this can possibly be happening," said Carol Cardona, a
professor of avian medicine at the University of Minnesota.
Have we ever seen a time when so many major
catastrophes have hit our food production all at once?
It appears that this is a "perfect storm" of sorts,
and we all get to feel the pain of this onslaught when we visit our
local grocery stores.
So are we witnessing a convergence of unrelated
coincidences, or could it be possible that there is another