Big Oil is Getting Smaller and Micro farms and Biorefineries Will Dominate
This is inevitable, and even though it’s impossible to know precisely when, I will demonstrate why it will eventually take place. I’ll also explain why small local micro farms and traditional farmers are likely to become even more competitive with Big Ag, to the point where they are growing most of our food again. This is unavoidable, and even though it’s impossible to know precisely when, I will reveal the key reason why it will eventually happen. Stay with me.
The Key Reason Why The Game’s Over For “Big Ag”; And Exactly Why It’s Only Beginning For The Small Micro Farmer
This is a big claim: I bet you think I went off my meds or dusted off my tin foil hat. That “Big Ag” and perhaps Big Oil could possibly diminish and lose their strangle-hold status; and that small producers and micro farms are likely to take their position.
Our justification of the reason why it’s inescapable is an exercise in logic. If you’re able to locate a reasonable defect in this argument, please comment and share why this is not going to take place how we forecast:
You’ll find there are four main elements of concern (also referred to as “input variables”) in the food system that gets the food to our supermarket shelves that this article will consider:
- the price of energy for food processing,
- the impact of weather on food production,
- the supply of water for food generation, and lastly,
- the social forces which are merging to move our society off from oil-expensive, industrialized food processing and towards local, energy-efficient food production.
However I will concentrate on the cost of energy and the crucial, but invisible role it is playing right now in your life.
First, The Cost Of Energy:
The majority of earth’s food for export is created in a few well-defined, highly developed locations: wheat and corn in the united states; wheat or grain in Russia and central Europe; and rice in China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. These suppliers are usually extremely mechanical and cultivate massive acreages of these grains. Grains are the # 1 consideration.
The main reason we’re concentrating on “grains” is that often tomatoes, lettuce, and fruits are not actually “foodstuff” in the meaning that we’re discussing here: for the purposes of this post, I will specify “food” as the fundamental dietary content necessary to help you stay alive. When you come down to business, that usually means grains, not the refined food, greens vegetables, fruits, meats, and stir-fry elements that all of us prosperous and overweight Americans are actually accustomed to getting regularly through out the year. Grains are the cornerstone for the majority of people’s diets.
Returning to grain providers: being mechanized indicates they normally use massive quantities of diesel fuel (oil) to power their growing and harvesting equipment, as well as large quantities of petrochemical energy (oil and natural gas) to power the operations that make the chemical fertilizer and agricultural substances (pesticides) which they count on for their production nearly as much as they do the diesel fuel.
The large levels of foodstuff which are created in these comparatively compact and centralized areas (using enormous levels of oil) are usually delivered (both before or after being refined, which utilizes substantially more oil!) 1000s of miles away to the end buyers with a transport system that also demands huge amounts of oil to operate.
Any kind of centralized food developing region has a “shipping range” past which, even today, it’s deemed uneconomical to deliver their commodity simply because different providers with a shorter delivery range can provide it. A good example is Russia, that provides a lot of the whole wheat that Europe has traditionally put to use: Russia’s not so distant, so their transport expense is lower than if US providers attempted to get their wheat to the European marketplace (more on this in a bit). This is likewise the reason why you will never see much Russian wheat on the US market, even when there is a good year.
This is a basic snapshot that’s at the mercy of numerous economic factors (since we live in a global economy) however the basic principle pertains to all food suppliers everywhere: your expense to create, as well as your expense to move to marketplace, has to be less than what the marketplace’s ready to fork out, or else you have no sale!
The main reason this model has functioned for so long is due to affordable oil! Nevertheless, there are quiet murmers concerning producing food locally, we’re completely reliant on this oil-powered system now. Now there are serious discussions taking place. However this will almost certainly shift: as oil grows more costly, both cultivating the food and shipping the food gets to be more expensive. What happens next?
Food becomes more expensive at the outer range of the “shipping radius”, is exactly what takes place next. There is very little that the industrial ag complex can do concerning this; they can’t produce more oil; they can’t make the cost of it decrease, they simply must pay more for it and increase their prices as necessary. What does that suggest for localized farmers? They will get more competitive in price with industrial Ag since the price for Big Ag’s goods just went up!
This is the initial subject of worry since it is a place where one of the “inputs” is totally outside of our control; the price and supply of oil. Some things on the grocery store shelves and in the produce refrigerators are certain to get higher priced; then yet more costly. Maybe you’ve seen that already? Eventually, the products will probably simply not be there, or will simply be seen in high-end stores catering to the rich.
Although we’ll discover immediately when items like mangoes and bananas aren’t on the shelves, what’s more subtle is the “downsizing” that package sizes have taken lately. Listed here are hyperlinks to two articles: Yahoo! Finance, and MoneyNews, about how food manufacturers are “concealing” increased food prices by just lowering the quantity of food they’re offering in packages that appear to be identical to the consumer. (Tricky rabbit! Tricks are for kids.)
More significant than the growing prices is the likelihood that the whole system might grind to a stop due to a disaster: perhaps a worldwide financial crisis (now that will never happen, right?), or some dysfunction between oil-producing nations. If a Middle East country nuked another, and then the other guys retaliated, fifty percent earth’s oil supply might end up radioactive practically overnight. Remember Fukushima? That wasn’t meant to occur either. That would undoubtedly impact whether you got your strawberries!
“Jesus Nut” is a colorful and illustrative phrase which American aircraft and racecar mechanics use; it means if that nut on the motor comes loose, your only choice is to pray!
Here is where the trouble sits: the “Jesus Nut” that the planet’s commercial farming machine is dependent upon is low-cost oil; and oil has stopped being affordable or dependable. Our planet’s greatest oil production took place in 2005, and has decreased continuously ever since then, along with regularly growing prices as the end result. Nobody knows whether the Jesus Nut is properly adjusted, or is in the process of vibrating off the engine!
So what does this have to do with algae? Everything. Algae is the only organic product available which can solve the mess we’re in. It can produce fuel, it can make organic fertilizer, it can be used as food, for medicine, for animal feed, we can produce bio plastic from it, and scores more of products. Simply from the energy input viewpoint alone, algae biofuels stands to explode. Add to the mix that biorefineries and micro farms add to the local economy and supply much needed LOCALIZED food and fuel, and valuable co products, and you see where I’m going with this.
The Algae Revolution Has Begun
“Algae Biorefineries and Microfarms” has been approved by my publisher and slated for release in the next month or two.
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