[permaculture] The US is no longer food self-reliant?

Michael Pilarski friendsofthetrees at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 4 14:31:54 EDT 2012


Several years ago I read a news report that the US had just changed from being a net exporter of agricultural products to a net importer.  We now import more value of ag imports than value of ag exports.  

Now bearing in mind that currencies are manipulated and that the currencies of exporting countries in Africa, South America, etc are kept low in comparison to dollars and euros, that the situation is probably worse than officially stated.  

Bearing in mind that in the event of a dollar collapse there would be a lot less oil, food and other imports coming into the US.  

Bearing in mind that when the Soviet Union collapsed that their industrial food production dropped 80% and that home gardens had to pick up the slack.  

We should have plans laid for what to do in such an eventuality.  Some years back I proposed that in such a crisis that all permaculturists should undertake train the trainers programs in their neighborhood to vastly increase local food production using local resources and permaculture (and regular gardening) techniques.  

Michael Pilarski

--- On Wed, 7/4/12, Marjory <forestgarden at gvtc.com> wrote:

From: Marjory <forestgarden at gvtc.com>
Subject: [permaculture] The US is no longer food self-reliant?
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 10:40 AM

Hi Everyone,

I just had this grim realization.

This blows up that 'Bread Basket To The World" story.

With very few exceptions, every bite of every American meal comes from 
big Ag.  And big Ag just coulndn't produce without massive amounts of 
oil and natrual gas.

 From Wikipedia, the US imports about 65% of the oil it uses.

So could the US produce enough food to feed it's population without 
imported oil?  It doesn't look likely.

I know each of us is all about change towards local sustainability, but 
as it stands /today/, the US is *not food self-reliant.*

Is there some problem with the logic here?

The US does export about 15%-20% of the biggest crop it produces - 
corn.  But we also import a lot of other food stuffs (fruits and 
vegetables)  The US is not really a big net exporter.

Am I missing something here...

Marjory


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