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Goodbye Petrodollar, Hello Agri-Dollar?

Tyler Durden's picture




 

When it comes to firmly established, currency-for-commodity, self reinforcing systems in the past century of human history, nothing comes close to the petrodollar: it is safe to say that few things have shaped the face of the modern world and defined the reserve currency as much as the $2.3 trillion/year energy exports denominated exclusively in US dollars (although recent confirmations of previously inconceivable exclusions such as Turkey's oil-for-gold trade with Iran are increasingly putting the petrodollar status quo under the microscope). But that is the past, and with rapid changes in modern technology and extraction efficiency, leading to such offshoots are renewable and shale, the days of the petrodollar "as defined" may be over. So what new trade regime may be the dominant one for the next several decades? According to some, for now mostly overheard whispering in the hallways, the primary commodity imbalance that will shape the face of global trade in the coming years is not that of energy, but that of food, driven by constantly rising food prices due to a fragmented supply-side unable to catch up with increasing demand, one in which China will play a dominant role but not due to its commodity extraction and/or processing supremacy, but the contrary: due to its soaring deficit for agricultural products, and in which such legacy trade deficit culprits as the US will suddenly enjoy a huge advantage in both trade and geopolitical terms. Coming soon: the agri-dollar.

But first, some perspectives from Karim Bitar on CEO of Genus, on what is sure to be the biggest marginal player of the agri-dollar revolution, China, whose attempt to redefine itself as a consumption-driven superpower will fail epically and very violently, unless it is able to find a way to feed its massive, rising middle class in a cheap and efficient manner. But before that even, take note of the following chart which takes all you know about global trade surplus and deficit when narrowed down to what may soon be that all important agricultural (hence food) category, and flips it around on its head.

Karim Bitar on China:

Structurally, China is at a huge disadvantage as it accounts for 20% of the world’s population, but only 7% of arable land. Compare that with Brazil which has the reverse of those ratios. What that does for a country like China is to incentivise the adoption of technification. Let’s look at their porcine market, which represents 50% of global production and consumption. In China, to slaughter roughly 600 mn pigs per year, which is about six times the demand in the US, they have a breeding herd of about 50 mn animals. In the US, the comparable number is only about 6 mn so there is a huge productivity lag.

 

Owing to its structural disadvantages, China is much more focused on increasing efficiency. For that, it needs to accelerate technification. So, we’re seeing a whole series of government incentives at a national level, a provincial level and a local level, focusing on the need to move toward integrated pork production because that’s a key way to optimise total economics, both in terms of pig production, slaughtering, processing and also actually taking the pork out into the marketplace.

 

The Chinese government is important as a customer to us because of its clarity of vision on food security. It has seen the Arab Spring, and it is cognisant of the strong socio-political implications of higher food prices. Pork prices could account for about 25% of the CPI, so it knows it can be a major issue. It’s because of all these pressures, that China is more focused on responding to the food challenge. It’s a sort of a burning platform there.

 

...Take milk production in China and India. China is basically trying to leapfrog and avoid small-scale farming by adopting a US model. In the US, you tend to have very large herds. Today about 30% of US milk production is from herds of 2,000 plus, and we expect that to reach 60% within the next five years. Today in China, there are already several hundred dairy herds of over 1,000. However in India, there’ll be less than 50. The average dairy herd size is closer to five, so it’s very fragmented. So the reality is that a place like China, because of government policies, subsidies and a much more demanding focused approach to becoming self-sufficient, has a much greater ability to respond to a supply challenge rapidly.

The problem for China, and to a lesser extent India, however one defines it, is that it will need increasingly more food, processed with ever greater efficiency for the current conservative regime to be able to preserve the status quo, all else equal. And for a suddenly very food trade deficit-vulnerable China, it means that the biggest winners may be Brazil, the US and Canada. Oh and Africa. The only question is how China will adapt in a new world in which it finds itself in an odd position: a competitive trade disadvantage, especially its primary nemesis: the USA.

So for those curious how a world may look like under the Agri-dollar, read on for some timely views from GS' Hugo Scott-Gall.

Meaty problems, simmering solutions

What potential impacts could a further re-pricing of food have on the world? Why might food re-price? Because demand is set to rise faster than supply can respond. The forces pushing demand higher are well known, population growth, urbanisation and changing middle class size and tastes. In terms of economic evolution, the food price surge comes after the energy price surge, as industrialisation segues into consumption growth (high-income countries consume about 30% more calories than low income nations, but the difference in value is about eight times). Here, we are keenly interested in how the supply side can respond, both in terms of where and how solutions are found, and who is supplying them. We are drawn towards an analogy with the energy industry here: the energy industry has invested heavily in efficiency, and through innovation, clusters of excellence, and access to capital has created solutions, the most obvious of which are renewable energy and shale. The key question for us is, can and will something similar happen in food?

It’s hard to argue that the ingredients that sparked energy’s supply-side response are all present in the food supply chain. In food, there’s huge fragmentation, a lack of coordination, shortages of capital in support industries (infrastructure) and  only pockets of isolated innovation. We suspect that the supply-side response may well remain uncoordinated and slower than in other industries. But things are changing. Those who disagree with Thomas Malthus will always back human ingenuity. As well as looking at where the innovators in the supply chain are (from page 10), and where there are sustainably high returns through IP (e.g., seeds, enzymes etc.), we need to think about the macro and micro economic impacts of higher food prices, and soberingly, the geo-political ones.

Slimming down

Could the demand destruction that higher energy prices have precipitated occur in food? There are some important differences between the two that make resolving food imbalances tougher. Food consumption is very fragmented and there is less scope for substitution.

Changing eating habits is much harder than changing the fuel burnt for power. And, ultimately, food spend is less discretionary that energy, i.e., the scope for efficient consumption is more limited and consumers will not (and cannot) voluntarily delay consumption, let alone structurally reduce it. This means that higher food prices, especially in economies where food is a greater portion of household spending, will lead to either lower consumption of discretionary items or a reduced ability to service debt (with consequent effects on asset prices). When oil prices spiked in the late 1970s, US consumers spent c.9% of their income on energy vs. an average of 7% over the previous decade. And yet, the total savings rate rose by c.2% as they overcompensated on spending cuts on other items. 2007-09 saw a similar phenomenon too. Even the most cursory browse through history shows that high food costs can act as a political tinderbox (so too high youth unemployment), and we believe there is a degree of overconfidence with regard to the economic impact of food prices in the West: food costs relative to incomes may look manageable, but when there is no buffer (i.e., a minimal savings rate) then there are problems. Food spend as a percentage of total household consumption expenditure is a relatively benign 14% in the US, versus c.20% for most major European nations and Japan. This rises to c.40% for China and 45% for India. Of course, as wages rise, the proportion of food within total consumption expenditure falls, but that is only after consumption hits a ceiling. Currently, India and China consume about 2,300 and 2,900 calories per capita per day, compared to a DM average of about 3,400. If the two countries eat like the West, then food production must rise by 12%. And if the rest of the world catches up to these levels then that number is north of 50%.

The scramble for Africa’s eggs

In terms of ownership of resources, food, like energy, can be broken into haves and have-nots. While there are countries  that have been successful without resources, it is quite clear that inheriting advantages (in this case good soil, climate and water) makes life easier. But that, of course, is only half the battle; what is also required is organisation, capital, education and collaboration to make it happen. Take Africa. It has 60% of the world’s uncultivated land, enviable demographics and lots of water (though not evenly distributed). Basic infrastructure, consolidation of agricultural land and minimal use of fertilisers and crop protection could do wonders for agricultural output in the region. But that’s easier said than done. Several African economies also need better access to information, education, property rights and access to markets and capital. Put another way, it needs better institutions. If Africa does deliver over the coming decades, rising food prices will alter the economics of investing in the region. The next scramble for Africa should be about food (while it is about hard commodities now and in the late 19th century it was about empire size). Fertiliser consumption has a diminishing incremental impact on yields, but Africa (along with several developing economies elsewhere) is far from touching that ceiling. Currently, Africa accounts for just 3% of global agricultural trade, with South Africa and Côte d'Ivoire together accounting for a third of the entire continent’s exports. But if the world wants to feed itself then it needs Africa to emerge as an agricultural powerhouse.

Higher up the production curve is China, which has been industrialising its agriculture as it seeks to move towards self sufficiency. Power consumed by agricultural machinery has almost doubled over the last decade, while the number of tractors per household has tripled, driving per hectare output up by an average of more than 20% over the same period.

Even so, in just the last 10 years China has gone from surplus to deficit in several meat, vegetable and cereal categories. So a lot more needs to be done, and a shortage of water could also prove to be an impediment, especially in some of its remote areas.

The power of the pampas

With significant surpluses in soybeans, maize, meat and oilseeds, Brazil and Argentina have led the Latin American  continent in terms of food trade. Current surpluses are 6x and 3x 2000 levels, versus only a 30% increase in the previous decade, and are rising. A key impediment to boosting exports is infrastructure. Food has to travel a long way just to reach the port, and then further still to reach other markets. Forty days is possibly acceptable for iron ore to reach China on a ship from Brazil, but that would prevent several perishable food items from being exported. And hence, solution providers in terms of durability, packaging, refrigeration and processing will be in demand. Also, while you could attribute a lot of the agricultural success of LatAm economies to good conditions, they have also benefitted from the adoption of agricultural innovation. For instance, more than a third of crops planted in the region are as seeds that are genetically modified, versus more than 45% in the US and about 12% in Asia. Genetically modified crops are not new. They provide solutions to some of the most frequent constraints on agricultural yields (resistance to environmental challenges including drought and more efficient absorption of soil nutrients, fertilisers and water) or add value by enhancing nutrient composition or the shelf life of the crop. And while the adoption of GM crops and seeds is far from wholehearted, particularly in Europe, it’s most certainly a key part of the solution in economies that are set to face a more severe food shortage.

The last mango in Paris?

Europe’s deficit/surplus makes for interesting reading. Seventeen of the 27 EU countries face a food trade deficit, and yet, the EU overall recorded a surplus (barely) in 2010 for only the second time in the last 50 years (see chart). Broken down further, the UK is the largest food importer, followed by Germany and Italy, while the Netherlands and France lead exports thanks to their very large processing industries. If Europe’s future is one of relative economic decline, then reduced purchasing power when bidding for scarce food resources is an unappetising prospect. Therefore, it needs all
the innovative solutions it can muster, or import substitution will have to increase. It’s important to note that being in overall surplus or deficit can mask variety at the category level, i.e., Europe is a net importer of beef, fruit & vegetables, and corn, while its exports are helped by alcohol and wine specifically. Japan, in particular, is very challenged. It is the only country in the preceding table to show a deficit in every single food category.

We conclude our trip around the world in North America. Large-scale production, access to markets, a home to innovation
and favourable regulation has meant that the US (and Canada) continues to dominate some of the key agricultural resources such as soybeans, corn, fodder, wheat and oilseeds. Put this self sufficiency together with the medium-term potential for energy self sufficiency and relatively good demographics (better than China), and a rosier prognosis for the  US, versus the rest of the Western world and parts of Asia, begins to fall into place.

Agri-dollars on the rise

Before we conclude, we need to devote a few lines to the geo-political and macro economic consequences of higher food prices. It’s likely that countries will act increasingly strategically to secure food supply, and that protections (e.g., high export tariffs) may well rise. It is also likely that there are special bi-lateral deals to access stable and secure food supply.

This could obviously damage the integrity of the WTO-sponsored system. Another consequence might be the emergence of agri-dollars, in the same way that petro-dollars emerged in the 1970s. This may seem far fetched (the value of the world’s energy exports is US$2.3 tn compared to US$1.08 tn for agriculture) but it’s important to think through the consequences. The big exporters, especially those with the scope to grow their output, may well have sustainable surpluses that can be reinvested into their economies (or extracted by a narrow part of society). Similarly, the consequence of being a net importer will be an effective tax on consumption: disposable income in the US would jump if oil was US$25/bbl.

As we have said, we would expect the big gainers of a meaningful rise in food prices in real terms to be Brazil, the US and Canada, while Japan, South Korea and the UK would face challenges. The top chart is important: look how China’s surplus has turned to deficit. What will happen if the Chinese middle class swells as it is expected to? And that’s  the rub; what we have been used to in terms of food’s importance is set to change. How food moves around the world is likely to change, and the flow of currency around the world will also likely be impacted.

 

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Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:17 | 3008427 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

This sound really gay but i would give my right nut to be able to bake bread , I just make hockey pucks, even Boris the bull will not eat them (don't blame him)

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:44 | 3008458 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Nice! Whats in that little barrel ???

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:46 | 3008460 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

That is where I make vinegar from the little bit of wine left in the bottom of bottles.  See the glass dispenser just to the left?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:03 | 3008477 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Yes I do! What is the procedure?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:39 | 3008507 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

  1. Collect the bottoms of wine bottles in a bottle until you have about a barrel's worth.
  2. Pour the wine into the oak barrell via a screened stainless funnel. You do not need a "culture" to make vinegar.
  3. Leave the screened funnel in the bunghole to let air in, but keep fruit flies out.
  4. Pour out vinegar in about a month.
  5. Repeat without cleaning oak barrel.
Sat, 11/24/2012 - 16:05 | 3008685 centerline
centerline's picture

Thanks HH.  Would I love to have propery and resource to do some of the stuff you do.  Practicing on smaller scale though.  Bread is a hard one  - lol.  I have made my share of hockey pucks for sure.  Am going to try this vinegar thing... sounds like fun and I always have a bottom bit of wine left over after cooking (yeah... I only use the wine for cooking... cough...cough).

Gardening has been interesting as well.  One of my favorites that always gets the wife shaking her head is pineapple.  Cut off the head and stick in the dirt... couple of years later and you get another one!  Buy one, get one free... delayed, but no effort needed (other than bending over twice... once to plant and once to pick).  LOL.  I must have about 20 pineapple plants now in various places.

Saw your post about swiss chard the other day.  That is definately next on my list.  Potatoes are another no-brainer.  I have even had luck using store bought organics as seed potatoes.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 17:33 | 3008793 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Is this really all it takes to grow a pineapple?? Gosh Ive been throwing out the top for years...I feel so foolish. Do you live in a tropical region? Living in inland San Diego means any plant must survive in temps 30-105. I can grow citrus , apples , stone fruit and passion vines easily (fighting off the birds ,squirrels and rabbits are a challenge ). Since Dole grew in the Hawaiian Islands I assumed they couldn't grow in the mainland. Oh well, burst my bubble and tell me you live in the tropics

Miffed:-)

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:15 | 3008868 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Is this really all it takes to grow a pineapple??"

Thats all it takes...that and water/time. My brother-in-law has a bunch of them in pots in various stages of growth, central Fla, with an occasional freeze...they do fine ;-)

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:48 | 3008925 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

ZeroHedge, come for the no where else seen news worthy stories, chat with fellow nuts and learn to grow pineapple! Sounds like heaven to me. To bad I can't make a living at it. Damn reality so intrusive!

Miffed:-)

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:23 | 3009252 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Nmewn, me thinks the good biologist thinks us nuts. You, luxuriating in aligator tail and ruminating on Florida pineapple and me composting my best outputs...

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 01:13 | 3009399 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Yeah, both of you are nuts....but truly great fun! Rather be hanging out here than fighting off corpulent zombies over Chinese trinkets. I originally came here for the articles but the fascinating people and the varied view points got me hooked!

Miffed:-)

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 09:45 | 3009598 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Re: pineapples. When you cut the top off, leave just a bit of flesh on the tops, remove the harder outer portion(rind) and any  leaves at the base. Keep in moist soil and/or you can place it in a shallow dish of water(kind of like avocadoes) and in a week or so you'll see little white roots dropping down from the brown nodules on the fruit. For over-wintering in cold climate, use a cold frame, small hoop-house, or greenhouse. Even if marginally frosted, they will typically survive even if they look dead. Don't cut any of the dead portion away until it has shown new growth and then be careful. You can grow avocados, figs, pineapples, etc. in this manner and all in pots(along with bananas, potatoes, etc.) so they can be moved to warmer, sunnier locations in cold weather. I'm north of nmewn and inland so we get freezes here(Central FL) but I have all of the above growing year round. And pineapples should continue to produce for many years. Google for methods to induce fruiting using apples or chemicals.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 11:41 | 3009702 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Thanks so much kk for the info. I'm going to look at this more closely. I do have a large 50' north facing porch that has a overhang that would be great for overwintering. My large blue hydrangea does well there as long as bring it in during the extreme heat. My mother in law can't believe I can grow a hydrangea in my climate; they generally only thrive in coastal climates. Now if anyone else knows how to get a Macadamia nut tree to fruit ( mines 7 years old lush and beautiful but won't flower) or knows how to get a Champagne mango to start from the pit I would be eternally grateful!

Miffed:-)

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 12:08 | 3009733 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

to encourage your tree to fruit, you may want to investigate ormus.

http://tesla3.com/nature/e_agriculture_sea_salt.html

given your background, you could probably whip up a strong batch from scratch quite easily.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:55 | 3008938 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 balsamic vinegar and focaccia bread...  YUM!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:01 | 3008475 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Peter Reinhart has some very detailed books on the subject of  bread baking which I have found to be very useful. He has a very good book on whole grains/wheat bread that is extremely illuminating. I highly recommend such a resource for anyone interested in understanding the science of bread baking.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:00 | 3008574 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Nice.

BTW, love those Shun knives.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:26 | 3008881 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Missing from your list is yeast, unless you intend to produce flour bricks...

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 01:33 | 3009413 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Yes, yeast...and water...and salt...none of which are really secrets to bread making.  

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 01:51 | 3009421 knukles
knukles's picture

Shhhhhhh!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:20 | 3008485 augustus caesar
augustus caesar's picture

@ Abitdodgie and all those interested in learning to bake bread

 

Look for 'My Bread' by Jim Lahey.

It's my favorite book to recommend to beginning bakers as Jim takes his inspiration from the historical principles of bread baking as they have been practiced for thousands of years.

Peter Reinhart's books are excellent but I suggest you practice with Lahey's method before moving on to Mr.Reinhart's more advanced techniques.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:07 | 3008409 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

I think my bread flour was too old...

 

I'm currently baking cookies with flour purchased in 2008. Kept it in the original bag wrapped up inside two plastic bread bags and twist tied. Good as new. The only item from my 2008 hoard which has gone off is the yeast. I'm going to try keeping a bit of sourdough to alleviate the yeast storage problem.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:28 | 3008888 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Normally, yeast is kept separate from flour (or other goodies [sugars] the yeast critters like to eat).

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 19:58 | 3009017 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

The yeast i had which became inactive was sealed in its own little packet.

In sourdough preparation one keeps a starter amount of dough with yeast included in the fridge. That is then used to make loaves by adding fresh ingredients and a starter piece is taken from the new batch and placed back in the fridge for next time. At least that's my recollection. I haven't made sourdough bread in over thirty years. Any tips would be appreciated.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourdough

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:16 | 3008340 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

An excellent piece on the macro environment for future long-term investment.  However, the key component here is demographics.  The history of the world has been such that large spikes upward in the population of humans (such as what has occurred in the past 200 years), are frequently followed by massive declines in population owing to contagious diseases (the book to read is William McNeil, Plagues and Peoples) which arise from the exchange of viruses between people and ever larger numbers of domesticated or herd animals.  I would also take a look at companies on the forefront of research for immunization against viruses, especially air-born or droplet born respiratory viruses... because if there is one trend that can be measured with accuracy over the history of human habitation it is the history of population and disease and the inevitable result of large increases in population is the advent of new and deadly contagious diseases.  This history of disease can be graphed, mathed, charted, and demonstrated with much more certainty than any of the nonsense that passes muster in economics (which looks at data for 100 years and then draws sweeping conclusion that have no basis in probability or statistics from what is, in reality, a snapshot of human history).

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:23 | 3008348 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

The Dollar is not backed by shit. It's a piece of paper folks. It does not matter if you own all the farmland in the world unless Monsatan decides to allow you to join their mafia

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:28 | 3008401 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

Its the thought that counts. The "petrodollar" seems reasonable so its accepted as a valid premise. The US made OPEC countries offers they could not refuse. But, keeping the people believing in the petrodollar system is the key to keeping the current system viable. US dollars flow to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, excess profits are used by KSA to purchase US debt, US consulting and construction services, and US weapons. The money needs to flow in an endless circle and the people need to have confidence that the system is viable and will remain so. Confidnece is basis for the confidence game. If gold becomes the basis and not oil the price of oil will fall and gold will skyrocket and the peeps will lose "faith" in the US dollar and the US economy will crash hard.

Wed, 11/28/2012 - 19:10 | 3018822 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Wrong.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:52 | 3008525 koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture

I'm where Monsatan is banned; a good thing. The flip side is we're not as productive per acre; but at least we can eat what we grow.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:22 | 3008350 Philippines
Philippines's picture

I have to agree here. In my opinion, what is "money" worth when you have no food. People are starting to wake up and think"what is money" as their cost of living for everything is constantly increasing. People are starting to realize that food is more important than money.

And with the US drought catching up and other food either being traded is non-existent, or ends up going somewhere else -- prices will only go up (as does the money supply, ironically.)

Make sure you have more food than money ;) 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:23 | 3008351 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Pussy-bucks Bitchez!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:27 | 3008356 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Agricultural commodities are definitely the future of "power", geo-politically, socially... but the Agri-dollar is a stretch.

A quick look at this years drought in the US, it's burgeoning central-demand via SNAP, Corn/ethanol fuel consumption, excessive meat consumption (meat is a terribly in-efficient resource as manufactured/farmed food, takes an obscenne amount of feed/water per pound to produce, plus, Factory Farming is famous for it's "run-off" water pollution and waste management problem)...throw in GMO food from the US facing a global back-lash....

Food/Water might be the great global equalizers if the US military leviathan can be corralled, somehow. 

Else it's either the great global hunger games or a blue-hemeted, Agenda 21 driven technocracy/1984/rationed world for us all.

Aquaponics might be the way to go.

Check out this amazing story:

http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/

ori

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:32 | 3008363 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

Another potential problem for U.S. agricultural production is the location of nuclear power plants and the potential for nuclear accidents in flood-plains or earthquake zones to render large portions of U.S. farmland unfit.  George Washington has pointed this out several times on this site.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:34 | 3008367 Jreb
Jreb's picture

O said: "meat is a terribly in-efficient resource as manufactured/farmed food". That's why we eat deer and moose. 50,000 wolves can't be wrong.

BTW - like your posts - always thoughfull even when I don't agree with them.

Cheers.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:57 | 3008393 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

eat wolves, dear and mouse. Who do those wolves think they are anyway?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:13 | 3008419 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Some folks are too benighted to realize that "nuisance birds" can be harvested for low cost and delicious entrees.

 

Wild Turkeys Overrun Brookline, Mass.

 

 

Wild turkeys have been a strange but common sight in suburban and even urban areas in metropolitan Boston for some time, but some residents of nearby Brookline say the birds are becoming more common and increasingly aggressive in their town.

 

 

Towns around Boston are beginning to respond to the problem by holding town meetings and informational sessions and hoping to find a solution to the nuisance birds.

 

 

Experts agree that the best way to avoid a confrontation with a wild turkey is to steer clear of it if possible, to not be intimidated and spray water at the bird if available.

 

 

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/wild-turkeys-overrun-brookline-mas...

 

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:48 | 3008461 Hulk
Hulk's picture

These be some tough old birds Crockett! The breast meat is edible, but dem legs be too tough to chew...

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:55 | 3008470 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Never ate wild turkey myself but I've seen them walking about and I know folks around here do hunt them for food. Not a leg man anyway, I like breasts (as a general aside: get your minds out of the gutter, people!).

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:12 | 3008484 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Set out a live trap.Cut off Turkey head. Bring water in an applebutter kettle to 140 degrees, dip bird in repeatedly until the feathers start to come off.

Pull bird out of water and pluck feathers. clean bird, then cook!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:58 | 3008671 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

They have a recipe for the "bush turkeys" they have here in Australia:

Step 1: Put plucked bird in a large kettle with several large stones

Step 2: Boil for three hours

Step 3: Throw away the bird and eat the stones

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 16:38 | 3008722 Hulk
Hulk's picture

LOL !!!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:05 | 3008480 Philippines
Philippines's picture

Really?!?!

I mean seriously, that is excellent food! I guess the problem there is that no one would know what to do with the bird if they managed to kill it... sigh...

"Experts agree the best way to avoid confrontation with a wild turkey" -- LOL!!!L!!! Thanks "experts" for your "expert" knowledge. Here is my "expert" advice:

If you see a turkey: kill it and eat it. Kill it, burn or boil its feathers off, then cut it in the middle and remove its guts like a fish. Chop and sautee the guts with garlic and onion for excellent appetizer. Cook the meat/bones of the bird how you want. Enjoy life! (And dont forget salt / chili/pepper!)

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:13 | 3008487 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

+1

 

Now that's some real expert advice. Bon appetit!

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 21:31 | 3010545 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

First world problems!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:09 | 3008481 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

yes my dear,  eating dear is delicious indeed.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:13 | 3008421 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Good to know/hear Jreb. Thanks.

And yes, hunted, sanely and consumed as a part of one's diet, all things stay in balance. Factory farming is a curse on mankind.

ori

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:32 | 3008362 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

Topsoil. At the rate we currently export it, we'll run out and have about 7% of arable land also. Look it up.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:32 | 3008364 Marley
Marley's picture

Global warming (or GOD, depending on your beliefs)  is going to re-distribute the arable land.  Kind of a wealth redistribution.  Didn't know Global Warming (or GOD) was a socialist did you?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:14 | 3008423 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Global warming and socialism are equally fallacious if that's what you meant.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:36 | 3008454 massbytes
massbytes's picture

You will wish is was fallicious in a few years.  Those pesky scientists lying to us again...right?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:51 | 3008463 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Some scientists are finally starting to tell the truth:

 

'I made a mistake': Gaia theory scientist James Lovelock admits he was 'alarmist' about the impact of climate change

 

 

  • British scientist admits he had 'extrapolated too far' in earlier book
  • Claims other environmental commentators such as Al Gore did the same

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134092/Gaia-scientist-James-Lov...

 

 

 

Scientist who said climate change sceptics had been proved wrong accused of hiding truth by colleague

Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake’, with no  scientific basis.

 

 

Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST project’s four research papers.

‘This is nowhere near what the  climate models were predicting,’ Prof Curry said. ‘Whatever it is that’s going on here, it doesn’t look like it’s being dominated by CO2.’

 

 

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-c...

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:10 | 3009127 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

 

America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology

I'm willing to go along with any gag up to a point, but really, PRESTIGIOUS?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:33 | 3009167 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

 

Georgia Tech is consistently ranked among the best universities in the United States and the world. For over a decade, Georgia Tech has remained in the top ten public universities in the United States.[55] In 2008–2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked Tech as the No. 7 public university, and No. 35 among all universities.[55] In 2010, The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked Georgia Tech 19th in the United States, 27th in the world, 10th in Engineering & IT, 20th in North America, and 5th among public universities.[56] Tech has the No. 4 undergraduate engineering program, and the No. 4 graduate engineering program.[55] All of Tech's undergraduate engineering programs are among the Top 10 in their field including its Schools of Industrial Engineering (1st), Mechanical (2nd), Aerospace (2nd), Biomedical (3rd), Civil (3rd), Electrical (5th), Environmental (5th), Computer (6th), Materials (6th) and Chemical (9th),[55][57] and Industrial Engineering (1st), Biomedical (2nd), and Aerospace (2nd) at the graduate level.[58] In 2010, Georgia Tech’s College of Business rose from 31st the previous year to 28th, continuing its rapid upward trend[59] Diverse Issues in Higher Education has ranked Tech No. 1 at the bachelor's level, No. 2 at the master's level, and No. 1 at the doctoral level in terms of producing African American engineering graduates.[41] In 2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked Tech as the No. 26 "MBA" program.[60] Tech also boasts the No. 30 Physics program in the nation, specializing in Nonlinear Dynamics (in which it ranks 5th nationwide) and Condensed Matter Physics.[61][62] U.S. News & World Report ranked the graduate chemistry program at No. 26 overall with the Physical Chemistry specialty ranked at No. 14.[63] The Math department is ranked at No. 30 overall and at No. 8 in Discrete Math and Combinatorics.[64] It is known as the best public university in the southern United States, as well as the best return on investment among all U.S. universities.[65]

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Institute_of_Technology

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:12 | 3009234 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Educated crakas, whod a thunk it ???

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:21 | 3009250 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Okay, didn't mean to step on too many toes with that. I don't get out much anymore.

I tend to think of prestigious tech schools with monkiers like MIT, Stanford, Michigan, and the ever popular nerd paradise Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

I sit corrected.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 01:17 | 3009397 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

It was news to me as well. I'm from Pennsylvania although on occassion I do eat a peach.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0oWQL6pXh0

 

 "There ain't no revolution, it's evolution, but every time I'm in Georgia I eat a peach for peace." -- Duane Allman

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:35 | 3008365 DavidC
DavidC's picture

"Structurally, China is at a huge disadvantage...In China, to slaughter roughly 600 mn pigs per year, which is about six times the demand in the US, they have a breeding herd of about 50 mn animals. In the US, the comparable number is only about 6 mn so there is a huge productivity lag."

Sorry, your maths is wrong there.

Demand in China 600M, herd of 50M. Multiple of demand to herd - 12 to 1 Demand in US 100M, herd of 6M. Multiple of demand to herd - 16.7 to 1.

So the US is actually worse than the US, NOT the other way round.

But, certainly the amount of arable land used in China is sobering.

DavidC

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:45 | 3008459 Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand's picture

I think the author's point was that the smaller the breeding herd size relative to the number of animals slaughtered, the better.  You have the math right but the reasoning backward.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:39 | 3008371 Mike Cowan
Mike Cowan's picture

Tell me when I can make the house payment in Wheaties.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:41 | 3008374 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Intensive agriculture with intensive use of fertilizers leads to soil exhaustion and polution of ground and drinking water. Lack of wind breakage leads to soil erosion. Both will lead to soil degradation. Think dust bowl.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:55 | 3008392 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

Jose A, where is Hose B?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:02 | 3008402 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Still in Mejico, hombre

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:57 | 3008394 Sockeye
Sockeye's picture

Where the world’s running out of water, in one map
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/10/where-the-wor...

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:06 | 3008407 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Aqua-dollar might be more appropriate. That is why Coca-cola, Nestle, etc. are buying up producers of mineral water everywhere. Some CEO of Nestle ones said that "there are people out there who say that water is a basic human right but in my opinion it is a tradeble commodity" or something like that. Deprive them of water for a few days and see if they still think that.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:22 | 3008428 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Just because something is necessary does not make its availability a right. A right is not something which must be supplied to an individual through the industry of others. Rights protect an individual's ability to employ his own body and property as he sees fit.

Those who think that water availability may become a problem should make an effort to secure their own supply either as individuals or through a co-operative effort.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 19:16 | 3008968 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Some say that future wars will be just about that: the availability of water. Of all the fresh water in the world less than 2% is fit for human consumption. The problem with 'industry of others' is that these 'others' often set out to dominate the availability of something in order to set whatever price they can. 'Industry of others' also often implies stealing, bribing, defrauding or otherwise acquiring things from rightful owners. It is called monopoly. By denying access to a resource prices can be propped up. Can be found anywhere in the world. Africa in the 80s was a good example: food was rotting in the harbours because warlords confiscated the stuff and were extorting the locals and the foreign aid organizations that wanted to feed the hungry. It is called the Hunger Games. Anybody who does these kind of things, sees humans as commodities. It is deeply frightening if people don't see anything wrong or immoral with this. I guess that these people would respond by saying that morality is subjective.

There is no such thing as a free market cause some are more free than others and the playing field is not level. Adam Smith warned about monopolies and advocated oversight.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 20:10 | 3009030 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

The problems caused by warlords in Africa are the same problems caused by state warlords, also known as government. If water is to be rationed it will be rationed by the government which will allow you to vote for the lesser of two evils who will then make sure that the elites get clean water and you don't.

Only when individuals take the responsibility of making their own voluntary arguments for security and adjudication will the little guy have the resources to fend off the warlords be they in Africa or in your state or national capital. One can not give a group of elite strangers the right to make decisions of life and death for everyone and expect to benefit from the deal except by kissing the asses of the warlords and joining them in pillaging one's neighbors.

Live free or die. That's your choice. Look into the eyes of your fellow holiday shoppers and ask yourself is that the look of life or of living death?

 

Here's how my home state of Pennsylvania keeps evil corporations at bay and makes sure that the little guy has access to clean water:

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection produces incomplete lab reports and uses them to dismiss complaints that Marcellus Shale gas development operations have contaminated residential water supplies and made people sick, according to court documents.

 

 

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/lawmaker-challenges-pa-d...

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 03:38 | 3009460 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Thanks for the link. We are one the same level. Big government is in bed with big corporations. I am all for true 'people's power': people having control over their own lives and not be dominated by either government or corporations or both as it is now. Land reform where land is ex-appropriated from both government and big land owners and redistributed over small farms combined with good agricultural practices, will lead to increased production and will employ more people. Land reform is actually a liberal idea (liberal in the true meaning of the word, not associated with leftism).

Edit: read the article and it is an outright scandal. Someone belongs in jail.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 14:57 | 3010015 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I wouldn't take from big land owners. If they gained their wealth through cronyism or fraud rather than by skill and prudence they will lose the land soon enough in a free market. Government land could be problematic as overseas creditors could swoop in and lay claim to it depending on the scenario involved. Otherwise I'd let folks have at it. Not that it would be my decision.

Regards.

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:13 | 3008420 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Long the great lakes!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:12 | 3009133 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Are those things still there? I thought they'd already been diverted to the Los Angeles DWP reservoirs.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:02 | 3008400 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

Government confiscation of farmland? Stalin did that when he starved to death 9 Million Ukranians and collectivised their Farms. Production on those Farms plummeted. Farmers who own their land stay awake at night trying figure a way to gain a half of a percent more productivity. Workers of Collective Farms just don't give a fresh fuck.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 03:47 | 3009468 Joe A
Joe A's picture

That's right but I think the number of dead was even 12 million. Big landownership -whether government or private- leads to inefficiencies. The Stalin example is a good one of government agriculture gone really bad (and some say it was part of a campaign to subdue the Ukranians). Big private land ownership in Latin America for instance also shows that that is inefficient: the land does not live up to its potential. More over, it deprives people from work and income because everything goes to a happy few. In the 50s, (after Stalin died), Russia experimented with redistributing land to small farmers: as you say, farmers that own their land are willing to go the extra mile. Also, in a market society it opens up opportunities to attract investment using the land as collateral. Land should not be in the hand of either big government or big corporations.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:50 | 3008385 booboo
booboo's picture

A billion china men eating their way to Moscow. The commies are not as monolithic as you think.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:54 | 3008389 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

The Muppets will eat Miss Piggy.

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:58 | 3008395 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Muppet Democracy.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:54 | 3008390 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

Seriously? It is delusional to think the dollar will be back by broccoli. Oil is the basis for the western economic system as it provides the energy and raw materials for plastics. The price of a barrel of oil was dramatically increased in the early 70s with the phoney Saudi Arabian oil embargo. This was done to increase the value of the oil markets so that oil would be used in place of gold. Oil can only be produced where it exists and most of the easily found and produced oil has been produced and massive capital expenditures are required to produce what is left. If the price of broccoli increases significantly people will do with out or will grow their own. Broccoli and its tasty friends have no chance of replacing oil and the basis for the dollar.

What ZH should be focussing on is the flow of gold, petrodollars and other currencies as the dollar continues to lose its world reserve status. The bullshit on wallstreet is only pennies compared to petrodollars and its the petrodollar that is keeping the US from imploding.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:33 | 3008627 DosZap
DosZap's picture

The price of a barrel of oil was dramatically increased in the early 70s with the phony Saudi Arabian oil embargo. This was done to increase the value of the oil markets so that oil would be used in place of gold. Oil can only be produced where it exists and most of the easily found and produced oil has been produced and massive capital expenditures are required to produce what is left.

The real reason for the OIL shortages(laugh), was WE were guinea pigs of the Govt.

The entire event was staged and planned, the endless lines, and the odd/even lic plate days................................WHY???................To see how WE would react to the crisis.

The Federal Govt caused the entire fiasco.

Had a bud back then,when the "SUPPOSED" shortages were happening, NOT ONE hole in the ground, not one reservoir was empty,in fact they were filled NATIONWIDE to capacity.

While WE were in lines, and paying higher prices.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:14 | 3009137 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

B b b but Santa is real, right?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:54 | 3008391 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

the only thing more important than food........WATER

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:58 | 3008396 Sockeye
Sockeye's picture

Ogallala Aquifer

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 11:59 | 3008397 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

 

Infrastructure per se is not an impediment to increasing agricultural exports from developing countries.  The shift in investment paradigms is from raw material extraction and direct export, to adding value domestically prior to export, which isn't entirely clear from the article's language.  

A key impediment to boosting exports is infrastructure. Food has to travel a long way just to reach the port, and then further still to reach other markets. Forty days is possibly acceptable for iron ore to reach China on a ship from Brazil, but that would prevent several perishable food items from being exported. And hence, solution providers in terms of durability, packaging, refrigeration and processing will be in demand. 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:12 | 3008589 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

It's probably worth considering whether increasing food exports from starving countries is a worthwhile endeavor in the first place.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:32 | 3008893 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

They need jobs, hard currency (harder than the local banana bux), and a positive trade balance to enable even a minimal social safety net.  So the options for meeting those needs are resource extraction, agriculture, and manufacturing.  In the more undeveloped economies manufacturing for export isn't usually viable.  Unless you advocate them abandoning their cities and devolving to economies based entirely on subsistence agriculture.

Most of projects I've looked at follow a rational growth model of producing first for the domestic market, then expanding to include export to regional neighbors, and finally expanding to export to developed markets.  

People aren't starving because the volume of food production is insufficient, the are starving because of inadequate allocation and distribution systems, coupled with economic poverty and government corruption.  There are specific issues that can arise when large-scale FDI displaces a local population that exists by subsistence agriculture, but in that case the underlying problem is either the legal system or the usurpation of the legal system, not agriculture itself since the large-scale FDI could just as easily be for a mining project as an agriculture project.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:04 | 3008404 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Not if we have another drought every year.  And as warm as this winter is shaping up to be, it is going to be a trend.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:50 | 3008563 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

A balmy -5 degrees in Int'l Falls, MN right now. Winter doesn't start for three more weeks.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:11 | 3008587 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 The brain ages more slowly in cold climates buzz... That's why you are in the (1 percentile) of intelligence... What the hell are you doing in the " Bad Lands" anyways?  I thought you were Western European...  John Deere trade show?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:55 | 3008661 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Hello Yen. I copied that tweet from someone else. I am a (frost resistant) MN transplant living in Oklahoma.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:26 | 3008880 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Lets go Ice Fishing Ehh? I personally shopped this tune for you...  All aboard/ the Express Kundalini! 

 Love and Rockets Kundalini Express live Lollapalooza 2008 - YouTube

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 10:34 | 3009641 Quinvarius
Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:05 | 3008406 evolutionx
evolutionx's picture

DHS Orders 450 Million Hollow Point Bullets

Homeland Security buys .40 caliber ammunition, orders 450 million hollow point bullets. The high performance HST bullets are designed for law enforcement and ATK says they offer “optimum penetration for terminal performance.”

http://www.mmnews.de/index.php/english-news/9815-dhs-orders-450-million-hollow-point-bullets

 


Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:22 | 3008430 nmewn
Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:16 | 3009139 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

That ought to really shake up world food production.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:10 | 3008413 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Will you be able to eat an Agri-Dollar when hungry?  Whenever I get hungry I try to eat a gold coin but I can never chew it. I'm really starting to wonder why I bought it. I'm glad somebody's finaly trying to make money edible. I'm starving and my teeth are all chipped.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:17 | 3009143 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Switch to the gold coins with the queen on them. Much less copper, easier on your teeth!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:23 | 3008432 Vegetius
Vegetius's picture

Good to see people writing articles about things they no nothing about, 1,000 head dairy farms = grain fed cattle feedlot farming needs energy and lots of it. Go ask the Amish how they can make more money per acre than your industrial farm or maybe ask the Irish who are gearing up in dairy to become the biggest exporter of milk products in the world by 2020. Their farm size is 200 -400 head at the bigest scale.

What about the damage done to the farm land in Brazil the nasty problems that are starting because of GMOs. So in short, stick to shares in GM farming latifundia type farms is a bad idea ask the Romans.

“Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land's inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery.”

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:24 | 3008609 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Nonsense.  The only things worth doing are things which produce profits.

That's why we don't bother trying to educate our kids in the US.  No one's found a good way to make a buck doing that, so fuck it.  We'll just hire educated people from other places where they're cheaper to manufacture.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:27 | 3008442 gnomon
gnomon's picture

West of the Missouri River agricultural land is primarily a tax liability and an oil play due to much more frequent periodic droughts which can wipe out all of the gains of the previous years.  And as we descend further into Banana Republic status  all of the agricultural land in the U.S. will be subject to terror and confiscation much as has happened and is happening in former Rhodesia and South Africa.

There is no safety in this asset when Rule of Law has been undermined and the mob rules.  And the average age of the American farmer is 55 years of age with no one in sight with the expertise to properly take over.  It is all downhill from here.

As the song intones, it is all "dust in the wind" because the most important ingredients for stability and growth in food production have rotted out, those being our Constitutional System and the Electorate.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:36 | 3008510 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

While large scale/professional farming is incredibly complicated, at the end of the day, it doesn't have insurmountable barriers to entry.  Necessity will be the mother of invention and younger people will pick up the trade as the incentives become better.  The land will not lie dormant for failure of a person desiring and capable of farming it.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:54 | 3008566 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Suburban America can pretty easily switch from farming its lawns to gardening. This can happen at no additional expense since fertilizer is already being consumed (wasted) growing grass. 

"Necessity" is the key. With the U.S. so far down on the rankings of income spent on food, and grocery stores so conveniently located in suburbia, it would take even tougher times for gardening to be a major trend.

Reserve ag land in the form of lawns is a major dormant asset.

Gardening is 'local' in the extreme. Two-earner families made the average family more dependent on commercially-grown food. This extended recession could change that trend, especially if multi-generational living situations continue to grow, providing expertise and extra available labor for tending and picking. 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 16:40 | 3008723 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Exactly and you are starting to see this trend already in the US with the number of households who say they have a garden at their house or in a community tract has exploded since '08.  Until WW2, a majority of US homes did have a garden that was a key source of food and a majority of food was supplied locally within a 100 to 150-mile radius of the city.  It meant their was a lot less variety in the winter time but people dealt with that by canning and drying food.  

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:31 | 3008445 ekm
ekm's picture

Do you understand what I've been saying all along?

An Economy is a derivative of Food + Energy. But none of these can be secured without a strong military.

 

Hence, EKM's rule of thumb:

Economy is always and at any time a derivative of Military Power.

 

I welcome accolades.

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:20 | 3009148 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

How's about I grow my garden and you kill the pests?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:35 | 3008452 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Agriculture one of the things America still does well.  Anyone else suspect that the banksters and paper-pushers are already working on selling this to China as well, all the while lining their pockets?

None of this is sustainable.  Hedge accordingly.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:37 | 3008455 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Monsanto is the only one thats going to make money on food.

They are the only company that is going to have any seeds that will grow in the soil soon.

 

Monsanto  allready holds the pattent for seeds that will grow in soils with toxic levels of aluminum.

They are front running the Chemtrail Spraying that is going on daily around the world.

What does Monsanto know that most don't...?

 

Wake up people...

Go outside today and watch the sky,YOU are being CHEMTRAILED.

pS...DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 23:24 | 3008456 epwpixieq-1
epwpixieq-1's picture

The article, misses totally the most important point that has to be considered, food waste.

Food = Energy. (note that the Food is substance containing a certain amount of Energy, that is SUITABLE for easy transformation, by our physical bodies)

With the amount of energy we put in the current food production 3 times more food can be grown! This situation is, of course, due to, quite "naturally", a devised a wasteful system for growing CHEMICALS (not a Natural growth ) and NOT food.

There are good number of sources on Internet, for anyone with given level of intelligence, to consider this question.

Even on a comparatively short historical time line, never, an inefficient system, survived the efficiency purge of nature. The more inefficient it is, the faster it dies out.

Generally, every country can sustain its own food production ( may be in exception of Bangladesh, where you have 150 Million people in the territory with size of New York, basically half of the US population packed into the sate of New York ), with a simple condition: they live based on their food culture they have evolved with.

If they try to adopt US consumerism stile, they do not have any option but to expand MILITARY, or being dependant on others for their food, which, in one way or another, is never a good thing.

 

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:50 | 3008462 flapdoodle
flapdoodle's picture

Seems to me the missing element from the potential rise of the "agri-dollar" is the role Saudi Arabia takes in the "petro-dollar" monopoly.

Perhaps the US needs to persuade Brazil and Canada to price trade for all their food stuffs in US dollars and that they *really* need a US Military umbrella to protect them from the big bad Chinese or the big bad Russians or the big bad Aliens or the big bad Americans

 

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:52 | 3008466 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

So....LatAm has benifitted from Genetically modified seeds....

Fuck you.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 12:52 | 3008467 news printer
news printer's picture
China facing looming water shortages

guess what is the impact on food ???

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:23 | 3008497 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

How to fight and win a war with China.

 

Step One:  Set up a perimeter blockade on the Pacific coast.

 

Step Two:  Hold position for two weeks.

 

Step Three:  Call Bejing to see if they are hungry enough to give up.

 

Step Four:  Yes - US wins.  No - go to Step One.

 

End loop.

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:24 | 3008544 Aurora Ex Machina
Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:26 | 3008499 Atomizer
Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:35 | 3008509 ali-ali-al-qomfri
ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

When I saw Agri-dollar I thought Hemp-dollar. (you could eat a hemp dollar)

Long (stalks of) Hemp…….the other, other, other crop

I am surprised that there has been no mention of hemp in this great article.

Even all you bread makers must know the value of hemp bread etc.

Hemp…….it’s what for breakfast/lunch/diner/clothes/oil/nitrogen fixing etc.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 13:50 | 3008524 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Excellent point Ali.

Hemp is the silver dagger for so many vile industrial practices. Thus it's perpetual and almost global ban.

If th eworld (common folk) got behind th elegalizatiion of hemp as ONE issue.... could change the world in a year. or less.

ori

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:28 | 3008886 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

This past election has indicated the tide is turning to address some subjects like immigration and industrial hemp.

All hemp needs is a wider understanding of its value as a jobs-producing product and that low-THC industrial varieties can be grown without growing a crop with any value in the illegal drug trade.

The hemp = marijuana thought crowd is shrinking and those willing to study the subject in some depth is growing. Change will follow.

Meantime, bread makers can start with beer bread which is a tasty success every time. Just dump ingredients (5 min.) and bake.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 19:20 | 3008966 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Sorry to burst this bubble, but: Hemp (industrial) isn't a miracle product. Trials, tests and so-forth have been done. It's marginally useful in certain product classes, but I can't list a single process where there's not a superior competitor.

Sorry tokers ~ it's not a conspiracy. If it were so useful, you can be sure the GM version with no THC would have been rolled out 40 years ago and you'd see mass-production.

A simple thought experiment on this is obvious:

 

Are opiates used in drug production? Yes.

Are opiates mass produced for said industries? Yes.

Is hemp mass produced for any industry? No.

 

The world works on money; if there was a definable market for hemp, it'd be produced within a nano-second. I'd urge you to hit up a serious bio-chemist or agro-business specialist over this ~ they'd love a new miracle plant that's easy to plant, easy to produce and easy to process.

 

Sorry, but even the pro-Cannabis inside press (many magazines + articles) supports this. Bummer, eh?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:39 | 3009173 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

One thing hemp has going for it is the deep root system. That means it can bore deep to get minerals from down below the depleted soils above. This can make it a miracle green manure for land that has already been destroyed by 'modern agriculture.'

If you're growing for pharmaceutical use, cannabis seems like a good match on land that can't grow much else anymore. And the 'leftovers' can be put back into the soil to make it a little better next season.

Hemp, the miracle crop for land that isn't good for much else anymore.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:05 | 3009220 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Hmm, ok. I'll +1 you until I look into fixing plants for semi-arid deserts.

China has done a lot of research on anti-desertification plants, and if hemp is better than others, it deserves some finance investment.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 22:30 | 3010604 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

I don't know enough to say hemp is a better anti-desertification plant. But I can say for sure it's more FUN than other anti-desertification plants!

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:15 | 3008538 woggie
woggie's picture

subsidies govern ag markets and any notion that situation can convert to currency is preposterous.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:22 | 3008542 levelworm
levelworm's picture

One crucial thing that the article does not talk much about is the HUGE reserve the Chinese gov horded in the last half a century. Some of the reserves (say, reserve on rice and pork) can cover the need for at least 10 years for the whole nation.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:41 | 3009176 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

I can visualize a rice reserve. But how the heck to you keep massive amounts of pork for 10 years? That's a LOT of #5 cans.

Or else a lot of really wrinkled up, gray piggies.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:27 | 3009256 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Okay, I think I can answer my own question, now that I've thought about it.

From what little I know about how the Chinese 'government' works, I'm guessing that a huge percentage of those geriatric porkers are still on the government books. But in reality, they were turned into luxury condos in Hong Kong and Vancouver a couple of decades back.

Who says government workers are bad businessmen? Not in China, where free enterprise reigns under the not so watchful eye of the local overseers.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:36 | 3008547 kevinearick
kevinearick's picture

Moms, Dads, & The Matching Game

So, we have pulled the proton out of the nucleus, just beyond sight, just long enough for the nucleus to replace it, and we drop the proton back in. What do you suppose is going to happen?

Moms live in the present, leaning toward the past, which is why they focus on making each of your days the best they can be, given present realities. Dads live in the future, making the present increasingly irrelevant. If you assume the old man is stupid, you may as well get out a hammer and hit yourself over the head, repeatedly, because that is exactly what the empire is going to do, for the rest of your life. Very few kids today have productive skills. That's not the problem; it's the solution.

If I shut down all the elevators, and you can turn yours back on locally, what are you worth to capital? If you tell capital how you did it, what are you worth? If you tell the middle class how you did it, to belong to a group, what are you worth? If capital puts you on the rack, will you tell? If you have empire choke tools in many different dimensions, does the empire dare to put you on the rack? In what order do you collect the tools? Before you start building empires in space, you might want to ponder on that for a while.

Wherever I go, I am quickly surrounded by the horde, because I am not of the horde. In my physical life, Middle Class Females know me as a heartless bastard; Middle Class Males know me as a man of few words. None can keep up with me, because they cannot delay me. When you approach the elevator, and release a torrent of bullsh- about being interested in elevators, don't be surprised to confirm to others how cantankerous I am. Carry your weight, and only your weight, and I will see you, regardless of the horde surrounding me.

'member the matching game? Place the cards in rows of equal length. Begin left and move right, row after row. You will quickly be making matches 50% of the time and winning 90% of the time. There are many ways of increasing your percentage, including how you lay out the cards, all of which employ gravity in increasing dimensions. Don't look for the needle in the haystack. Let the needle find you.

Dad picked Mom for reasons that will always be beyond your comprehension. Love your mother. Don't get angry because Dad works 100 hrs/wk. If you want to spend time with Dad, be in the truck at 5am, everyday, regardless, and do what you are told, until you don't have to be told.

The algorithm is one simple line, but its application is infinitely complex, because there are billions of humans and a relatively infinite number of critters, in many time zones. Learn to carry your weight, as quickly as posssible. I started pulling wire when I was 5, after being in that truck since 3, when I had taught myself to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Don't come at me with an entitlement/equal rights attitude and expect not to be heading down the elevator shaft, head first.

The value of money is what you choose it to be, how you spend it, regardless of its creation.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:48 | 3008555 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Interesting; no-one's mentioned the shift in protein sources that will be necessary once fish stocks really start to crash (~timeline 5-10 years), especially in the agri-feed business. Mississippi is researching the black soldier fly, and there's some work being done by the South Africans.

I did the research on this about 14 months ago, and I'm fairly convinced that insect protein (esp. in animal feeds) is going to be a major growth industry in the next ten years. Especially if you start building it into food producing ecosystems (e.g. in aquaculture) coupled with recycling (i.e. utilising organic wastes). Insect protein has the advantage in removing pathogens, meaning less pasturisation stages are required.

For the ZH self-sufficient readers, BSF production is fairly easy in certain latitudes of the USA, and suitable to homestead scale aquaculture and chicken raising. A good resource to start with is here.

 

Other topics someone mentioned ~ the largest problem with waste water (esp. in the USA), is that there's very little work done on filtering chemicals out of it, specifically medicines, and most perniciously, birth control pills. Until someone grabs hold of the issue, and designs cheap ways to filter out these chemicals, water treatment is actually damaging your ecosystems because it gives the illusion they're "safe" to release where-ever you want.

 

Look at Madagascar for the Chinese model ~ long play time, most likely large yield in influence and resource extraction.

China is continuing its governmental aid through social and economic assistance to reduce the suffering of Malagasy people, to bring activities and exchanges in the field of education and culture, Shen said.

EIU 2012 report ~ This year saw China overtake the US as the world’s largest food and grocery market. In 2013 China is expected to surpass Japan as the world’s largest luxury goods market, and by 2016 it is expected to overtake the US to become the world’s largest retail market.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:34 | 3008628 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Insects look promising, but vegetarian diets are fine too, and far more efficient use of solar energy.

I suggest that learning to cook is *the* all-time most valuable survival skill that the species has ever developed.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 18:42 | 3008899 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

There's two points to this:

a) In most farming, there's a large amount of celluose that cannot be broken down by humans; that's the entire reason subsistance farming employs multiple layers of energy sources for omnivores. i.e. What you can't eat of the plants, your chickens can, and so on throughout the chain, moving bio-processing up into things you can eat. Insects are about the most efficient model in this; out of 10 lbs vegetable material, 9 lb return, compared to about 1-2 for most blooded mammals, barring the genus muroidea (guinea pigs et al)

b) Sadly, some of us can't be herbivores

 

A total vegetarian model will never work, for one simple reason: carnivores exist, and mostly they're not thoughtful of their prey species. Be thankful thoughtful ones do exist, n'cest pas?

 

Lions, tigers and bears...

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 13:40 | 3009878 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Most of the *big* carnivores aren't terribly important to the ecosystem, which is a good thing, because we're going to extinct them all, anyway, primarily through thoughtlessness.

The majority of the little carnivores aren't very tasty.

I do take the point about the digestion of cellulose.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 17:02 | 3010209 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

I'd have to strongly disagree with this take: it represents Ecology about 40 years ago.

Firstly, Apex Predators are essential to ecosystems, and removing them often crashes your system (esp. in sensitive mega-ecologies such as reefs). All ecosystems require Apex Predators ~ the issue is how many to have, and what's the danger of allowing them to inter-act freely as those ecosystems are interfered with. Although yes; given the extinction rate is posited at near 1/6th, most won't make it.

Secondly, the largest groups of carnivores left (cats and dogs) are perfectly tasty ~ they're just more useful as companions / bioweapons than food sources.

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:46 | 3009184 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Knowing how to cook is absolutely the top survival skill. And if you can believe this stuff, humans weren't able to evolve with the enlarged brain pan until some hungry hominid came up with cooking. Which implies fire came before modern humans.

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/06/invention-of-cooking-drove...

Also, tip for the young male. If you know how to cook, it's a lot easier to break up with that bitch.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:20 | 3009146 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Black soldier fly larvae provide a well-balanced fish diet.

Soybean-based fish feed is growing.

A single-season Yellow Perch is close to marketability.

Together, these developments will grow zone 4 inland fish production in the midwest. This will take some pressure off ocean and Great Lakes production that requires more oil consumption for transportation.

These developments give farmers, who often already have available ponds, another crop option to help them diversify and compete against ever-expanding commercial farms.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:09 | 3009229 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Thanks for the PDF.

Personally, soya is rarely sustainable, given where it's grown, so I'm highly suspicious of investing in anything that relies on it. However, I'm sure that soya can be traded out for locally produced "beans", so there's some wiggle-room there.

 

Bookmarked, and forwarded for discussion on Monday. Thanks.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 11:52 | 3009709 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

that BSF compost blog is awesome...thanks a million.

here's a link i just found in the comment section on how they're using BSF to compost humanure in Africa.

http://www.tradeinvestafrica.com/feature_articles/1195983.htm

tho i wonder if/how the pathogens get killed in that type of system.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 19:30 | 3010392 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

You're welcome: looks like the South African Agriprotein (who I linked to) are active, which is a good thing. BSF lack omega-3's, however, so you'll need to factor that in.

 

Unrelated note: found out what the most likely solution for water treatment will be. GM'd soil bacteria that naturally digest them in the wild, key'd to the various types found in human-produced waste water (keywords: antibiotic functional-metagenomics soil). Estrogens, not so sure of. I discovered this by chance, watching through an old 2009 Edge / SpaceX talk series on Synthetic Genomics, worth 6 hrs of viewing if you've the time [and yes: GM is on the table, and unstoppable at this point, despite ethical issues around it].

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 23:54 | 3010680 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

"BSF lack omega-3's"   no worries, just add some purslane and voila! gourmet chickfeed.

synthetic genomics sounds downright diabolical, so probably best to give a listen.

fun fact while searching your keywords : over 99% of microbial species cannot be cultivated in the laboratory

http://www.functionalgenomics.org.uk/sections/programme/environmental.htm

if this is accurate, makes me suspicious whether playing around with them on a genetic level might unleash some unpredictable critters.

Mon, 11/26/2012 - 10:10 | 3010986 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Put it this way: bacteria swap genetic material like a Roman Orgy goes through olive oil. There's a fairly good case to be made that bacteria are all actually part of one living organism, merely specialised to their environment they find themselves in.That includes human fauna: including "Antibiotics have depleted our gut flora and possibly made us fatter. Researchers look for answers in the flora of humans who lived in an era before modern medicine" (note: they use flora for bacteria, which I find incorrect), which is current here on ZH; there's current (very positive) research being done on bacterial colon swaps to cure Chrones disease etc. The flip side to this is the mounting amount of Americans with MRSA (again, The Atlantic: I'm using this source as a demonstration of an "end populace -> meme filter", the science behind it is all older) and potential for a lot of humans to possess bad fauna (which is partly why I'd never eat a McDonalds).

Big players like DuPont etc have already dumped $400+ mn in creating specific critters, and the pharma-industry has put in more for "drug factories"; we presume that genetic propagation is tightly controlled. Church (heading that talk) is a nexus point of 16 companies [although 2009, so would need research updating] and frankly admits to the potential for disaster (in the talks, I think he specifically states "terrifying"); there's also some MSM back-chatter about "threats from lone biologists with genetic factories" (The Atlantic 2012, so current), which has made it into Oxford's Ethics circles.

TPTB are taking things seriously, which is at least a "good" sign; and yes, The Atlantic is a sanctioned mouth-piece, it would seem.

 

But, at this point, the genie is definitely out of the bottle.

Mon, 11/26/2012 - 14:13 | 3011811 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

all the more reason to drink kombucha :)

thanks for the links...enjoy your comments...tho i disagree about the magic hemp (all smoking aside)...the plastic substitutes alone are worth the development, not to mention the fuel potential...your point is taken, however, couldn't the suppression be due to the petrol mafia protecting its turf?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 14:35 | 3008556 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Food revolutions will lead to nationalized farmlands around the world. Quickly.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:50 | 3009190 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Serf's up!

Prithee, couldst thou give me a ride to the castle, that I might pay my taxes to the lord whose lands we all are allowed to till?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:38 | 3008565 homonohumanus
homonohumanus's picture

In my opiniom that article is completely desillusional, modern agriculture is the art of transforming petrol into food according to A.Bartlett, I would go further and say the art of transforming cheap oil into food.

 

Is that article stating that shale gas are to replace cheap oil in the process of create enough food for an ever growing population, doing so sustaining the Dollars position as the only reserve currency?

 

It is a pipe dream, shale gas are not in the quantity so called experts spoke about, out of coincidence during the US presidential campaign, they have a terrible environmental cost. Worse than socializing loss, is to pollute the single most essential resources for human survival... clear water... and that among other niceties and significants risks.

Truth is that companies, motivated by greed only, know the price for gas and oil are going to raise soon. There are more and ore noise surrounding the possibility that we are already in the peak oil (and it is not like a few years make that much of a difference). They want to be allowed to make insane profits, at a terrible cost be it for a few years... and let the commoners deals with the consequences...

 

Then you have to consider the RIE of shale gas (putting aside for moment for how long the production can be sustained) and the consequence on prices.

 

We are entering a new era, even educated people blind them selves on the nefarious consequences of our cult of "growth". For all the people here that understand the attribute of an exponential growth, be it for compund interests, PM, energetic resources but have a tendancy to put the issue aside I advice you to watch Bartlett's video about the "bacteria and the bottle" which is a great and simple way to visualize the issue we have at hand.

 

YOu can't tromp maths on the matter, that is far from rocket science, crazily complex financial vehicles and so many others human constructs.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:29 | 3009160 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Stop that. You're rocking the boat and making a lot of sensitive people queasy.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:06 | 3008581 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 The Netherlands sure likes it's tobbaco ;-)

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:16 | 3008596 steveo77
steveo77's picture

MEH girl, Hawaii Bikini Girl 
Completely Gratuitous Fibonacci Curves 
 
http://oahutrading.blogspot.com/2012/11/meh-girl-hawaii-bikini- girl.html

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 15:23 | 3008604 news printer
news printer's picture
Egypt ends fuel subsidies as part of IMF deal

Egypt's cabinet has approved the ending of subsidies on 95-octane petrol and said it would set quotas for the sale of other subsidised fuel from April, the planning minister said.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 16:48 | 3008731 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

The US has used food exports as a key source of foreign policy to the developing world since the 60s really.  It was just accelerated under Butz and the Nixon administration.  Sometimes we use it as a cudgel but other times we use to as more of a soft-power tool to grease things we want done.  

Earl Butz is arguably one of the most prominent 20th century Americans who had a profound impact on the way Americans eat and live yet a majoirty of Americans don't know who he was and what he helped to implement. 

 

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 17:19 | 3008771 wilijones
wilijones's picture

doesn't usa just grow a bunch of crap corn to make sunglasses and cancerous chemicals?

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 17:39 | 3008804 Hulk
Hulk's picture

We manufacture 47 million corn based EBT cards yearly. WHen the card expires, they can be eaten like a cracker...

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 21:31 | 3009163 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Don't try eatin' a cracker. He'll shoot your ass a'for you kin get 'im.

Go for a nerd. They're not usually armed and they move slower. Tender too.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:17 | 3009245 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Crakas are tougher than wild Turkey, which should only be served in a glass...

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