GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS SPARKS US SURVIVALIST RESURGENCE
So far the threat of a global
food crisis has not affected Australia, but there are worrying signs appearing
in the United States where some worried
locals are beginning to hoard supplies.
Two bulk US
retailers are rationing some sales of imported rice and that's been enough for some Americans to begin stocking up.
It has also rekindled America's survivalist movement.
One leading survivalist warning of lean and hungry times ahead
is Jim Rawles, a former US intelligence officer and editor of a survivalist
blog, who lives in California.
Mr Rawles says he thinks the food shortages being seen in the United States could soon become a matter of survival.
"I think that families should be prepared for times of crisis,
whether it's a man-made disaster or a natural disaster, and I think it's wise and prudent to stock up on food," he said.
"I've encouraged my readers to do this for many years, and the
ones that have are now in a situation where they can just spend charity to their neighbours if there are full-scale shortages."
He says there are thousands of people in the United States stocking up to prepare for the possibility of
a food shortage.
"On a small scale, I'm sure there's hundreds of thousands. In terms
of real serious survivalists, it's probably just in the tens of thousands that are actively preparing and the folks that are
going to two, three or four-year supply of food," he said.
He says it is a major situation with food with other potential
calamities that concern him as a survivalist.
"If you get into a situation where fuel supplies are disrupted
or even if the power grid were to go down for short periods of time, people can work around that," he said.
"But you can't work around a lack of food - people starve, people
panic and you end up with chaos in the streets."
Mr Rawles says he has been very well prepared for many years.
"We have more than a three-year supply food here at our ranch,"
"We've got quite a bit if wheat, rice, beans, honey, rolled oats,
sugar, you name it. We've got large quantities salted away.
"Most of it is stored in five-gallon plastic food grade buckets."
He says that before this food issue came to light, he would normally
be prepared for other types of civil unrest or disaster anyway.
"For earthquakes or flood, famine, whatever," he said.
"We anticipated a situation where there might be a disruption of
food supplies, but we're more looking at a classic socio-economic collapse or even a nuclear war."
But Mr Rawles says he did not expect he would be preparing for
a food shortage several years ago.
"Not per se, because we've been living in a land of plenty for
many, many years," he said.
"We haven't had food rationing in the United States since World War II, so it wasn't very high on anyone's priority list."
He says the location of his survival ranch in the US is secret.
"We don't actually reveal our location, even at the state level,"
"All that I'm allowed to say is that we're somewhere west of the
Rockies. We intentionally keep a very low profile.
"We just don't want a lot of people camping out on our doorstep
the day after everything hits the fan."