It started with GMO crops in 1994, which are now found in every grocery store we visit – some may be on your table right now. Then it moved to burger patties produced at a laboratory in London inside of a petri dish; and now, insect farming for human consumption, namely crickets which have been used in tacos, flour, cookies and their own form of bite size snacks in a bag… It might sound gross today, but fake meat, and insects will be commonplace in our food system within 10-15 years. Fact is, we are headed toward a global food crisis if we don’t find alternative food sources; and unless we are okay with widespread social unrest across the world (including here in the West), we need food alternatives such as the ones just mentioned…

Nearly 15% of America can’t afford enough food for basic nourishment… Even middle-income Americans borrow money on occasion to put food on the table, according to Market Watch.

An estimated half of Venezuelans aren’t getting the food they need to maintain proper health. A former Venezuelan elevator repairman recently told the Guardian that he now eats food once given to his dog.

Amidst Venezuela’s economic collapse and soaring inflation environment, its people are growing hungrier and more desperate by the day. The Guardian reported in May that,

“With prolonged shortages of basic foods, Venezuelans have been forced to shift their diets to whatever they can find. And what they can find is not necessarily healthy.”

The country is so broke, it has literally reverted to the barter system in international trade, exchanging oil for food with Jamaica this past week. As the nation is crippled with near 1,000% inflation, an outbreak of riots, killings, looting and robbery unfold in the streets as many struggle to find the bare necessities of life (food and adequate shelter). Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government announced it may enact quasi forced labor programs, and it banned the use of hair dryers in some areas to preserve what little cash it has left.

Food crisis hits Venezuela

In the video above a mob of Venezuelans surround a stopped truck transporting chickens to rob it. This incident occurred in June.

Venezuelans trek to Colombia in search of food


Yes, Even Canadians Should Be Concerned about a Food Crisis

If you’ve been to Costco or the local grocer even once in the past six months you may have noticed a higher than average bill. That’s because the cost of food for Canadians has been rising… and we’re not alone. Many parts of the world have endured soaring food costs in recent years, including much of the EU. England is the next country expected to have to deal with soaring food prices in light of its collapsing currency following the BREXIT aftermath…

Many Scapegoats – One Culprit

Back in 2012 and 2013, soaring food costs were blamed on rising crude prices. We now know that was a bunch of hogwash. Rising food costs are an emerging symptom of the global currency war, and will inevitably cause civil unrest in many countries that have engaged in the most egregious monetary devaluation.

A new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, released shocking data last year:

“New scientific models supported by the British government’s Foreign Office show that if we don’t change course, in less than three decades industrial civilisation will essentially collapse due to catastrophic food shortages, triggered by a combination of climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, and political instability.”

Note: “The model does not account for the reality that people will react to escalating crises by changing behavior and policies.”


While the cost of food, as a percentage of the median income in Canada, is still among the lowest globally (the same goes for the U.S.), food bank usage in Canada is at record highs. Food stamp dependency is near record highs in the U.S. as well.

The Canadian Press reported earlier this year,

“Some four million Canadians, or about 12.7 per cent of households, experience some level of food insecurity, according to PROOF, a research group studying policy options to reduce the problem.”

Look at the stunning increase in food bank use in just the past 8 years across Canadian provinces:

Food bank usage in Canada at record levels
Food bank use in Canada is at record levels | chart source:

According to a recent Stats Canada consumer price index report, the cost of fresh vegetables rose 11.7% and fresh fruit prices increased 11% year-over-year in April 2016.

A staple protein for Canadians, beef, is up roughly 200% in price at the butcher in the last decade. Since the early eighties, real wage growth in Canada is up just 14%! This is a shocking discrepancy.

Despite the price of cattle falling more than 20% this year, consumers haven’t seen any price relief because of the weak Canadian dollar and growing global demand for the higher-end protein source.


FAO Food Price Index | The Global Picture

Warning signs from around the globe confirm that increasing inflation is jeopardizing food security for nearly 2 billion people. The proof is in the breakout of the global FAO Food Price Index in recent months…

FAO Food Price Index

Rising FAO Food Price Index fuels Food Crisis

After more than doubling from 91.1 in 2000 to 201.4 in 2008 the FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) collapsed to 164 in 2015. The opposite has been happening in 2016 as prices of the five commodity group index (meat, dairy, cereals, vegetable oils and sugar) have been increasing rapidly.

The FFPI averaged 163.4 in June 2016 – 4.2% higher than in May, but 1% below June 2015, according to the FAO. However, the FAO reported,

“Not only did the June increase mark the fifth consecutive monthly rise in the value of the FFPI, but it also represented the largest monthly increase witnessed over the past four years.”

Note: While 2013-2015 on the above chart looks great as food prices were dropping, keep in mind prices had risen more than 100% in the few years prior.


The rising cost of food and related shortages in 2010-2013 caused mass riots and coups throughout the Middle East in what was dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’. With oil prices hovering near $40 per barrel and countries such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela facing economic crises (of different scales), the threat of widespread social unrest in the Middle East and South America is rising once again. Hungry people become angry mobs very quickly.

* Read ‘Thousands of Indian workers stranded in Saudi Arabia without pay or provisions’ by Rama Lakshmi of the Washington Post – story released this past week.

The FAO Food Price Index traded above 200 between 2011 and 2014. If the gains keep up, we could be back above 200 by early next year. This would spell turmoil and possibly violent social unrest in many parts of the world…

The Boston Globe recalled a conversation between two retired Egyptian generals, poolside at Cairo’s Gezira Club, back in February of 2011. The conversation went as follows:

“The only thing we really need to worry about is a revolution of the hungry,” said one, a retired Air Force general. “That would be the end of us.”


Let Them Eat Cake

Within weeks of that reported conversation, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak was ousted. The U.S. was blamed and revolution spread across the Middle East. Was it a coincidence that food prices were soaring and the poor could no longer afford to feed themselves at that time? Absolutely not. It was the underlying reason for the violence.

For centuries, revolutions and coups have taken shape because of food scarcity, just look at the French Revolution as an example we all studied in school…

The term ‘bread politics’ is a familiar one in the Middle East and is founded on a system where the significant populous rely solely on government to provide access to affordable food. When this access is disrupted, riots ensue and powerful dictators are often overthrown or murdered by angry mobs.

Check out the year over year food price increases from 2009…

Food price chart from FAO


2015, as you can see above, marked a reversal of food costs. However, as gold and some commodities emerge from epic bear markets, one has to wonder if reckless monetary debasement and inflation will push food prices and the FAO index to new all-time highs.

Where were commodity prices in the lead-up to record food prices in 2011, 2012 and 2013? Put simply, higher. As a matter of fact, food prices soared when gold touched its all-time high above $1,900 an ounce (2011), oil traded near $110 and copper for $4.20 per pound…

Consider this: Nearly 50 million Americans are on food stamps right now… if this problem worsens another 25% (which is just one bad recession away from happening), America as we know it is finished for likely two generations. Socialist governments will undoubtedly emerge.

                                                                                                        Bloomberg Commodity Index – 5 Year Chart

Blomberg commodity price chart
Blomberg commodity price chart


Annual income spent on food – the riot indicator

The amount of income set aside to pay for food is a key metric to monitor when gauging the potential for social unrest, regime changes and increased inflation. As annual food costs approach 50% of income, economic instability and riots virtually always follow…

percentage of income allocated to food by country
source: Washington State University


The above graph is from 2008 and shows Canadians used just 9.1% of their annual income on food, compared to just 6.9% in the U.S. Look at how many countries were in the 30-40 percent range during this time, prior to food prices exploding between 2009-2012.

We have little doubt middle-income Canadian families now spend much more than the 9% outlined above – likely near 18-20%. Median after-tax income of families of two or more people in Canada was $71,700 in 2012. For a family of four, $1,000 a month on groceries is now the norm in the Great White North…

According to a recent op-ed by Canadian professor Jino Distasio, an expert advisor with, titled, Why are so many using food banks? (in reference to the more than 850,000 Canadians who use a food bank on a monthly basis to get by) the affordability of food in the Great White North is getting worse…

Distasio explains,

“The ability to afford food is increasingly problematic. Average prices run as high as $900 a month for a family of four in major cities like Vancouver and Toronto.”


A Bad Episode of The Walking Dead…

Look no further than Venezuela; in 2008, its citizens needed a whopping 29.3% of their annual income just for food – the third highest in South America at the time. Today, many Venezuelans are starving and have resorted to desperate survival means: reported,

“Last week, a group of intruders broke into the Caricuao Zoo in Caracas, Venezuela, tore open the cage of a rare black stallion, and dragged the poor creature out. The group then slaughtered the horse on the spot and tore the flesh from its body. The savage nature of the crime has left zoo officials terrified. The hungry savages left only the head and bare ribs of the stallion.”

With some inflation estimates approaching 1,000% annually in Venezuela, the government has released a new agenda where people may be sent to forced labor camps to grow food for its starving population. It’s like a draft, except for farmers.

America has roughly 46 million people on food stamps. These people are reliant on government support to get the sustenance they need. Scary…

The U.S. is going $2 billion more into debt every day; and, if food costs were to rise the current food stamp program would not suffice. ‘Bread politics’ is coming to America if food prices keep rising…

Groups such as Black Lives Matter are not solely representative of how bad race relations have become in the United States. They represent a disenfranchised group of people; the vast majority of which are vulnerable and poverty-stricken minorities. For example, the black unemployment rate is nearly double the national average…

Food Stamps near record in U.S.
Food Stamps near record in U.S.


Wrapping Up

The havoc rising food prices create can be seen in Venezuela, the Middle East, Africa, and even in pockets of the Western World. Stagflation is the key driver behind this food crisis coming to a country near you. Rising food costs and stagnant wages will be the primary issue for central banks around the world as they weigh the decision of raising or lowering interest rates. And what happens when oil rebounds and inflation picks up steam?

If we protect our wealth, via investing in inflation resistant hard assets such as land and gold, our future summer barbecues may not consist of petri dish burgers on the grill, cricket tacos and watered-down beer.


All the best with your investments,



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