The Organic Prepper: Hits Against the American Food Supply System Keep On Coming

Spokane Valley firefighters responded to a fire at Spokane Seed (Courtesy of the Spokane Valley Fire Department)

Jeff Thompson at The Organic Prepper writes about ongoing problems in the food supply system with Hits Against the American Food Supply System Keep On Coming. The Organic Prepper previously wrote about these problems with Why Do All These Food Facilities Keep Catching Fire? While it may or may not be related (Food Processing says not), in April the FBI warned the food and agriculture sector about cyber attacks (link opens a pdf file).

Continuing the discussion on the current happenings within the American food supply chain, we have a series of strange events that have taken place over the course of the past week or two that you may want to catch up on.

Perdue Farms catches fire in Chesapeake, Virginia.

April 30 at 8:30 PM, a fire was reported at the Perdue Farms grain processing and storage facility in Chesapeake, Virginia. When firemen reported to the scene, they found a large soybean processing tank that was on fire. Crews were able to get the fire under control within an hour, and no injuries to employees of the facility were reported.

According to the plant manager, the damage from the fire will have a “minimal impact” on the facility’s production or operation capacities.

Spokane Seed Co catches fire in Spokane, Washington

Early on April 29, the Spokane Seed Co in Spokane, Washington, reported a fire just after midnight. The fire was in a multi-story seed storage silo. The company is known for its processing of chickpeas, peas, and lentils. Firemen responded to the scene and were able to contain the fire in two hours but apparently had a difficult time in doing so.

According to the fire department, “The difficulty involving the fire was that it was located in multiple locations as the origin was the auger unit that moved material from ground level and delivers it to the top of the silo; therefore, there was smoldering material located at the bottom of the auger and burning material that had been delivered to the top of the silo.”

(For the record, Powder Bulk and Solids published two pieces of late on April 26 and April 28 claiming that the uptick in fires at food processing facilities was a myth. They then reported the Spokane Fire on April 29 and the Chesapeake fire on May 2. They appear to have largely used Snopes to determine that the uptick in food processing fires was a myth and declared that “the continued spread of the rumor in the news media and on social media is perhaps attributable to a lack of awareness of industrial fire safety issues among the general public.”)

Oklahoma reports highly pathogenic avian influenza and will now monitor backyard chicken flocks.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, as well as the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a case of HPAI was found in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, at a commercially run chicken farm.

As of this past Sunday, all chicken swaps, sales, and exhibits have now been declared by these two agencies to be illegal in the state of Oklahoma until July 30. Oklahoma says that it is “working diligently with federal partners to prevent further spread of the virus.”

Both state and federal officials will now begin to conduct surveillance of all poultry flocks in the area around the Sequoyah County case – both commercial and backyard flocks.

Officials are asking chicken owners to alert them if their birds produce strange eggs, don’t produce eggs, have diarrhea, cough, sneeze, have low energy, die, or show signs of respiratory distress. (continues)

For more on worldwide dangers of food shortages, you may refer to Bayou Renaissance Man and his article The food crisis is showing the first signs of real famine.

Here in North America, we’re unlikely to face the full effects of the worldwide famine that appears to be developing, and that we’ve discussed in these pages on several previous occasions.  However, it’s biting hard in several regions and countries, and getting worse.  For example, see these articles (selected at random from many others I could have linked):

Even though I think we’ll probably still have food on US supermarket shelves, there are almost certain to be local and regional shortages of various products;  greatly increased prices;  and disruptions in normal consumption patterns, as people are forced to buy what’s available rather than what they really want.  It’s not going to be easy for anybody.

A few days ago, Michael Yon stuck his neck out with a more dire warning than he’s ever issued before on this subject.  I hope he’s wrong . . . but given his very extensive background in reporting around the world, I’m sure he absolutely believes what he’s saying.  Given my respect for his track record, I’m taking him seriously…(continues)

Bayou Renaissance Man: State Bailouts, Possible Violence

Peter Grant at Bayou Renaissance Man has written an article about states looking for bailouts via coronavirus funding and the exacerbation of the possibilities for violence from dwindling government assistance in Bailing out the states: the momentum – and the prospect for violence – builds

…Essentially, many state and local governments are using the pandemic as an excuse to suspend constitutional rights and liberties, and govern by decree.  They’re now trying to extend that to the federal government as well, by making it dance to their fiscally irresponsible tune.  As the American Spectator points out, “Now that officials have learned they can suspend our civil liberties by edict, expect such “emergency” measures any time there’s another crisis, real or perceived.”  I expect that’ll apply to bailouts as well.

I don’t think those agitating for a federal bailout, using the economic misery generated by the pandemic as a lever to apply pressure, have thought this through.  If their residents find that government largesse is no longer flowing (at least in the amounts they want);  and if they believe (or have been told, loudly and repeatedly, by their politicians) that they’re entitled to such largesse;  then they’re going to get out of control and try to take what they want.  The results are likely to be catastrophic for law and order, and civil society.

I think the ordinary people of America realize this.  After all, that’s why they bought more guns in March than any other month in previous US history.  They’re getting ready to defend what’s theirs – and I believe they’re right in anticipating the need to do so.  Again, bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

“Simply put: I wanted peace of mind when it comes to the safety of my family,” Eaton said.

. . .

“To me, it’s all about protecting my family, and if a gun makes that easier, so be it,” Scott, a California tech worker with a wife and daughter, said.

Many of the new gun owners cited concerns about personal protection as states began emptying jail cells and police departments announced they would no longer enforce certain laws. Jake Wilhelm, a Virginia-based environmental consultant and lacrosse coach, purchased a Sig Sauer P226 after seeing Italy enact a nationwide lockdown on March 9.

“[My fiancée and I] came to the conclusion in early March that if a nation like Italy was going into full lockdown, we in the U.S. were likely on the same path,” Wilhelm said. “Given that, and knowing that police resources would be stretched to the max, I decided to purchase a handgun.”

. . .

“I think a lot of people were afraid of exactly what’s happening now,” Viden said. “They’re afraid if it continues to go on longer, things are going to get worse.

. . .

The fear extended past the disease to how communities would bear the strain of job loss, lockdown orders, and law enforcement policies adopted in the wake of the spread. One Tampa inmate who was released over coronavirus concerns has now been accused of murder, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Brian, a 40-year-old living near Tampa, lost his full-time bartending job in March but was concerned enough about deteriorating public safety that he dipped into his savings to purchase a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.

“My biggest fear is that our local police force comes down with the virus,” he said. “If the good guys are all out sick, who is going to stop the bad guys? When people have no hope, they get desperate. And we fear the worst is to come.

More at the link.

You want to know why my friends want me to upgrade their rifles?  You want to know why I’ve been warning about COVID-19 as a threat to personal security, and suggesting ways to keep your shooting skills honed, even during the lockdown?  You want to know why I wrote my recent three article series about personal defense rifles?  Look no further.  To quote a sixties trope, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”  As I pointed out a few weeks ago, the grasshoppers are already coming after the ants.

I expect that problem to become exponentially worse during the next two to three months.  Other observers are even more pessimistic than I am.  (Try this one as an example:  “The economy is dead on arrival, the pin to the grenade has already been pulled, the majority of Americans simply don’t realize it yet.”)

I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as that, but it’s certainly going to be a very difficult few years ahead.  I can only hope and pray that the worst expectations and predictions are wrong.

Click here to read the entire article at Bayou Renaissance Man.