Friday, January 11, 2013

The Coming Food Crisis

                           The Coming Food Crisis

                                                      The famous Matthew 24 signs |
UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013
The Guardian

• Global grain reserves hit critically low levels
• Extreme weather means climate 'is no longer reliable'
• Rising food prices threaten disaster and unrest

News headlines warn us about a food crisis in the near future.
We can't deny the fact that there are people that go to bed hungry every day. But in the other hand, in more "developed" countries, you can actually see abundance, instead of poverty, and excess instead of crisis...
Or do we?

This is the fourth part of the Matthew 24 signs series. Where we will examine each one of these signs which, according to Jesus, were going to take place right before His return to this planet.

It is very interesting how Mark, in this case, recorded the next sign. It is known that Mark wrote the first canonical gospel and it reads
Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

In this version one word is not translated completely and that is the word ' troubles'. In the Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010) says:
... and there will be famines and sedition;...

The original word in Greek is: 'tarache', and the Strong's dictionary defines it:
disturbance, that is, (of water) roiling, or (of a mob) sedition: -trouble (-ing).

You will see how that little detail will make a big difference.

So, Jesus predicted that, in the last days, one of the signs of His coming was going to be famines. If Jesus was right, we should be seeing famines, hunger, starvation, etc.
Now the big question again is: Was Jesus right? Are we seeing this sign being fulfill today?
And again the answer, of course, is Yes!
But since my opinion is not enough evidence, let me share with you what's going on today.
Number of hungry people in the world: 925 million hungry people in 2010
World Hunger

Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--five million deaths.

Hunger facts
Stop hunger now

In 2009, it was estimated that more than 1.02 billion people do not have enough to eat -more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union combined. That means one in nearly six people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life.

25,000 people (adults and children) die every day from hunger and related causes.

1 in 7 people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight.
Facts About Global Hunger

A child dies from hunger-related causes every 8 to 12 seconds.
Hunger is often passed from mother to child. Each year, 17 million children are born underweight because their mothers are malnourished.
More than 16,000 children die each day from hunger-related conditions.
The number of chronically hungry people worldwide grows by an average of four million people per year.

Now, before I continue, let me remind you two things:
1. Famine and hunger don't mean anything! Unless they are happening simultaneously along with the other signs, ALL the signs happening at the same time.
2. Remember the "birth pains factor". Meaning, that the sign will be increasing and more severe.
Matthew 24:8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.
Jesus compared the events with birth pains. And how are birth pains? You all know the answer, more frequent and more intense.

Considering that, let's take a look at these articles.

World hunger increasing
Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations

“Far from decreasing, the number of hungry people in the world is currently increasing –at the rate of four million a year,”

2012 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics
World hunger

The 2010 estimate, the most recent, says that 925 million people were undernourished in 2010 (FAO 2010)... the number of hungry people has increased since 1995-97.

World Hunger On The Rise Again
Voice of America

Three years after the 2007-2008 global food crisis, food prices are rising again. Increasing demand for food in developing countries and weather-related production losses are the primary reasons for the increase in food prices.

It is very sad to see this numbers and statistics. And to know that nothing is getting better, in fact the contrary is happening. Well, it shouldn't surprise you when you read articles like these :

US corn ethanol fuels food crisis in developing countries

So much food and feed is now diverted to produce fuel, and so much land is now used for biofuels feedstocks - corn and sugar for ethanol, soybeans, palm oil and a variety of other plants for biodiesel. This rapidly growing market was fuelled by a wide range of government incentives and mandates and by the rising price of petroleum. 

Nowhere is the impact clearer than in the diversion of US corn into ethanol production. Ethanol now consumes roughly 40 per cent of the US corn crop, up from just 5 per cent a decade ago. The biggest jump came after the US Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 then expanded it dramatically in 2007.

"That 40 per cent of the US corn crop being put into US cars represents an astonishing 15 per cent of global corn production."

Corn for Food, Not Fuel

More than one-third of our corn crop is used to feed livestock. Another 13 percent is exported, much of it to feed livestock as well. Another 40 percent is used to produce ethanol. The remainder goes toward food and beverage production.

The price of corn is a critical variable in the world food equation, and food markets are on edge because American corn supplies are plummeting. The combination of the drought and American ethanol policy will lead in many parts of the world to widespread inflation, more hunger, less food security, slower economic growth and political instability, especially in poor countries.

Incredible! Even tough there is a food shortage, mega companies sell almost have of their corn for fuel!
Never mind the increasing world and local hunger, they just care about their money.
Some of us can't even imagine what it would be like to be in this situation. In fact, many people reading this, don't even know how it feels to be hungry!
Yes, I know because today in our generation, you have news reports like this:

Americans throw away 40 percent of their food
NBC News

Americans are not cleaning their plates. Instead, they are tossing away 40 percent of their meals –“essentially every other piece of food that crosses our path” –or the equivalent of $2,275 a year for a family of four, according to a new report. Food waste has swelled by 50 percent since the 1970s in this country. A total $165 billion annually in leftovers gets trashed by homeowners and in unsold or unused perishables or scraps dumped by grocers or restaurants, according to research compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council released Tuesday.

Can you believe this? When so many die because they just wish they could eat just a portion of what we throw away. That is so unfair and wrong.
I feel very tempted to write about how can God let this happen, or what are the real reasons for this, or what can we do about it. But that is not what this article is about. But I will just say this; Jesus knew this was going to happen, He saw it, He didn't plan it, He didn't say: "before I come, I want wars and earthquakes and I want famines..." No! He just saw the condition of the world in the last days and told it to the disciples.

Now, if you think you are safe in your part of the world, be very careful, remember how the verse ends;
...and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

My friends, if things are bad now, they are going to get worse. As you saw, hunger is increasing worldwide and at the same time we have more wars, more corrupt politicians and leaders and more natural disasters.
Few months ago the U.N. warned,

UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013
The Guardian

World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned.
Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974.

"We've not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year," said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The figures come as one of the world's leading environmentalists issued a warning that the global food supply system could collapse at any point, leaving hundreds of millions more people hungry, sparking widespread riots and bringing down governments. In a shocking new assessment of the prospects of meeting food needs, Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington, says that the climate is no longer reliable and the demands for food are growing so fast that a breakdown is inevitable, unless urgent action is taken.

"We are entering a new era of rising food prices and spreading hunger. Food supplies are tightening everywhere and land is becoming the most sought-after commodity as the world shifts from an age of food abundance to one of scarcity," says Brown.

"We are beginning a new chapter. We will see food unrest in many more places."

Wow, I felt like I was reading a detailed commentary on Mark..... That's exactly how Jesus described the world at the last days. But there is another very important point mentioned in that article: "widespread riots", "food unrest".
That is exactly what Mark wrote! Remember what we saw earlier?
and there will be famines and sedition;...
Strong's dictionary:
disturbance, that is, (of water) roiling, or (of a mob) sedition: -trouble (-ing).
And of course, that part of the prophecy is being fulfilled today also.

In 2008 the world witnessed one of the worst food crisis and riots,

2007–2008 world food price crisis

World food prices increased dramatically in 2007 and the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2008 creating a global crisis and causing political and economical instability and social unrest in both poor and developed nations.

Global food riots turn deadly (2008)
The Washington Times

Anger over spiraling world food prices is becoming increasingly violent. Deadly clashes over higher costs for staple foods have broken out in Egypt, Haiti and several African states, and an international food expert yesterday warned of more clashes with no short-term relief in sight.

Across globe, hunger brings rising anger (2008)
The New York Times

That anger is palpable across the globe. The food crisis is not only being felt among the poor but is also eroding the gains of the working and middle classes, sowing volatile levels of discontent and putting new pressures on fragile governments.

Food price rises threaten global security -UN (2008)
The Guardian

As well as this week's violence in Egypt, the rising cost and scarcity of food has been blamed for:

· Riots in Haiti last week that killed four people
· Violent protests in Ivory Coast
· Price riots in Cameroon in February that left 40 people dead
· Heated demonstrations in Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal
· Protests in Uzbekistan, Yemen, Bolivia and Indonesia

UN staff in Jordan also went on strike for a day this week to demand a pay rise in the face of a 50% hike in prices, while Asian countries such as Cambodia, China, Vietnam, India and Pakistan have curbed rice exports to ensure supplies for their own residents.

As you see, the prophecy is being fulfilled. But if you think: "well, that was 4 years ago", let me tell you what's coming my friend.

Food Inflation, Food Shortages And Food Riots Are Coming (2012)
Prison Planet

A devastating global food crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern times is coming.
The truth is that we are not just facing rumors of a global food crisis –one is actually starting to unfold right in front of our eyes. The United States experienced the worst drought in more than 50 years this summer, and some experts are already declaring that the weather has been so dry for so long that tremendous damage has already been done to next year’s crops.

The Express

We are facing nothing less than the onset of a global food war leading inexorably to riots, geopolitical tensions and global inflation as well as increasing hunger.
According to a study published yesterday, pressure on the world’s resources is becoming so great that the situation could trigger warfare.

American Free Press

Researchers at NECSI found that “the timing of violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 as well as earlier riots in 2008” both coincided “with large spikes in global food prices” that sent the FAO to a high of 238. They now say that conditions are ripe for a repeat, and predict that soaring food prices will again lead to worldwide food riots by August 2013.

Cost of food 'not going to stop' rising, warns UK chief scientist (2013)
The Telegraph

Food price inflation will only get worse as the rising global population and climate change add to the volatility faced by British consumers, the government’s chief scientist warned today.
In a new blow to families struggling to pay their grocery bills, Prof Sir John Beddington said the cost of food was “not going to stop” rising in the foreseeable future.

"The concern [on rising food prices] has been there for some time and I think the message I got, is this is not going to stop,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme. “The volatility … is also going to get

All this doesn't sound very encouraging, but, hey! Look at the bright side of the crisis:

Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists
The Guardian

Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.

Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said.

Well, at least the animals are going to be happy with this crisis :p

Now, seriously, after analyzing all this info, I ask you again;
Is this sign being fulfilled today?
And the answer once more is, YES! Yes it is. This, once again, reaffirms our belief in the imminent return of our savior Yeshua to this world.

So let's add this one to the list Signs being fulfilled today:

False christs
Wars andrumors of wars
Great earthquakes in diverse places
Famines and troubles √

So hold on tight, because the fulfillment of all these signs will shock you out of your chair. My dear readers, my purpose is not to scare you or amaze you, or give you something interesting to read. My only objective is to help you and others, to realize the times we are living in. So you can prepare your life and others' spiritually, physically and mentally for the hard times that we have ahead, to finally meet our Creator and Redeemer Jesus Christ, the son of God.

Are our lives in order with God? Are we ready to receive Jesus our Messiah? Is the Holy Spirit convincing us of sin and justice?
May the Lord bless everyone of us and our families in this starting year, let's ask for wisdom, peace and strength for the times ahead. Let us pray for these hungry people around the world, and help the needy any way we can. Remember our King Jesus' words: 
Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Have a great and blessed week :)

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