(NaturalNews) A recent CBS article wrote of wholesale beef prices rising to the point where retail beef sales are dropping. Unhappy customers are asking how much is the beef now instead of where's the beef.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) claims the cattle herd in the USA is at its lowest since 1952, at only 91 million. The USDA also claims the cost of grains for feeding cattle before slaughter has risen and the herds are smaller because of severe droughts in Texas and Oklahoma during the summer of 2011. (1)
The diversion of grains in to biofuels for motor vehicles is another factor. (2) These are apparently legitimate logistical reasons for beef's price surges, as well as other foods. There are other less recognized reasons as well for rising food prices. (3)
The fruits of unbridled capitalism
Another less publicized reason for rising food prices is the commodity trading speculative frenzy from Wall Street using what crashed Wall Street banking earlier: Derivatives, phantom securities based on actual securities and commodities. These are fictitious creations that are traded, often with bad results for most with big bucks or bailouts for a few. (4)
These commodity traders and Wall Street gamblers are firm believers in OPM (other people's money)as well as other people's products of steady hard work. One basic definition of capitalism is making money out of money.
But the money changers are not the only heathens in the temple. A definition of capitalism that Marx used was large scale mass production owned by a very few. This may have enabled some short term conveniences. But the agricultural long term prospect is world wide famine.
Leaving the green revolution behind
Cheaper more abundant food was heralded as the green revolution's benefit to mankind, ushered in several decades ago with a little help from Rockefeller Foundation funding. That PR mantra still exists as Monsanto's and other biotech industries' reason for usurping the food supply.
Large scale monoculture farming is partially subsidized by government funds. Massive monoculture farming that feeds a very small group of multinational food distributors like Cargill centralize the food supply, permitting a few to control food distribution internationally. Capitalism according to Marx in agriculture.
Massive monoculture depletes topsoil and diminishes food's nutritional value. It requires artificial fertilizers and all kinds of chemicals to inhibit pests that look at large monoculture farms as easy pickings. Then food to market requires lots of transportation.
All these factors don't contribute to lower prices, especially when Big Brother's money runs low and fuel prices continue to rise. This approach has created a house of cards for our food supply.
Advocates of small scale organic farms surrounding populated urban areas are increasing. They know that raising more than one crop and rotating crops properly precludes the need for chemical spraying and synthetic fertilizers.