Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Sky is Falling...

Yep, that is what I hear every time I talk to people about the possibility of a collapse in our current socio-economic or political infrastructure. I don't mean the halting of the sanding trucks or an increase in wait times at the emergency room. I'm talking about the complete collapse of one or more of the supporting systems that holds our society at the level we currently enjoy.

Our society is so interconnected that a breakdown in one part of the support structure will cause reactionary ripples to radiate throughout the system, which in itself can cause reactionary ripples. One example is our dependence on others for our food. Walk through the grocery store and you will see what I mean. Most of our produce comes from other countries, even during the most productive local growing season. It isn't unusual to to see fruits from the USA, Mexico, and further south sitting next to vegetables from the same locales.

Now what happens if those places have a bad growing season, experience a political upheaval, or choose to withhold their produce from us. Suddenly, we start seeing signs in our grocery stores stating "Due to XYZ, we will be experiencing shortages." What that means is that we are now stuck until the situation turns itself around. Our own producers have been put out of business so local produce isn't available and those who do have produce use the shortfalls to extort the consumer with high prices for second and third grade product.

As an individual provider for a family, I chose some years ago to be as prepared as possible for such events. We grow and store a lot of our own food, including fruit. We purchase in bulk when we catch a deal at the grocers and store it for future use. We have alternative ways to get our daily required vitamins and minerals that do not rely on getting fresh produce from the grocers.

I believe that each person should look at their welfare and the welfare of their family and make a plan for dealing with such occurrences. This winter it is fruit and some produce, and it is already to late to be prepared but it gives you an idea of a minor event that can occur. Using that knowledge you can look at your lifestyle and figure out what you can do to carry your family through events like we are seeing today in the grocery stores.

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