A lot of people are wondering whether or not they should stock up on food. For some, stocking up on food conjures up images of survivalists hidden in their bunkers waiting for the end of the world. But most preppers are not like this- they merely want to insure the health and safety of their family.
So in these interesting times, is it logical to stock up food? After all, food takes up a lot of space, costs money, and food can easily spoil.
Is it worth the trouble?
Before we can answer that question, we need to what possible situations could arise that would make food and water storage a necessity.
Commodity Price Supercycle
Like all assets, the price of commodities goes through a cycle; sometimes prices are high, sometimes they are low. We have been in a cycle of relatively cheap prices. But some cracks are showing. For example, we have already seen prices of meat rise considerably.
Although commodity prices were relatively low before COVID, that is likely to change in the near future. Why?
Well, there are occasional “supercycles” with commodity prices, usually in conjunction with war. Not to be an alarmist, but war usually comes at times of economic instability; when people are fat and happy, they don’t go to war. World War 2 occurred during the Great Depression in the U.S. Meanwhile, Europe was in the middle of a huge debt crisis.
Are we seeing history repeat?
It’s clear COVID has absolutely decimated economies across the world. If the situation doesn’t turn around quickly, we are looking at the possibility of global conflict.
With this as a backdrop, stocking up on food is more of a hedge against inflation. And people are getting concerned about inflation. How do we know? Well, peripheral indicators, such as the exploding price of art work, shows that the wealthy are worried about inflation.
A major threat to our food supply is rising civil unrest. We’ve seen how quickly protests can erupt, leaving stores boarded up. Is this just a blip on the screen, or is it a rising trend?
Civil unrest, like commodity prices, also moves in cycles. The last major bout of civil unrest was in the 1960’s and the protests against Vietnam. This, interestingly enough, preceded the “stagflation” of the 1970’s with rising inflation.
We’ve had a couple of generations of relative stability. But from stability usually comes instability. The youth in America were already sinking under the burden of student loan debt. COVID is doing them no favors as the economy has been turned upside down.
If we see rising civil unrest, how does that look like? Many homes have already been vandalized, which is why it’s super critical to know how to protect your home from rioters. But if you have to hunker down at home while chaos reins supreme around you, would you have enough food and water to survive even a week?
Supply Chain Disruption
Most people don’t know how vulnerable our food and other materials are to disruptions in the supply chain. We saw hints of this at the onset of COVID with pharmaceuticals coming from China. This led many people to be unable to get their medicine.
The global supply chain for food has been negatively affected by COVID. Due to lockdowns, major food producing economies such as Thailand have reduced their production of staple crops. Due to these disruptions, the price of rice has risen drastically. Usually such an increase in price would result in an increase of supply. But this time around, food producers are constrained.
In America, supply chain disruptions are usually related to natural disasters such as hurricanes. This time around, not only is COVID creating issues, but so are truckers. If truckers go on strike, as they have threatened to do, thatis would cause huge problems for our food supply chain.
Stocking up on food is not about thinking the world is coming to an end. It’s about insurance against potential shortages and higher prices. A look at historical cycles suggests we were in line for a rise in commodity prices, regardless of recent events.
We have already seen the hoarding instinct at play with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The first time around we all were blindsided and prepared. This time around, what will be your excuse?
Especially if you have young ones, or elderly to take care of, you should consider stockpiling food. Whether it’s buying canned food or making your own long-lasting food, such as pemmican, stocking food may prove to be one of the wisest decisions you make.