August 28, 2012 “Food for thought”

A few weeks ago I was sent a picture of the painting “Food for Thought” from a New Zealand art gallery owner I had done some business in the past with.  Now I am no fan of abstract art and at first impression, the big banana filled with corn, seductively being peeled…well it led me with all the wrong impressions.  The title, however, has stuck with me the whole summer.

Food for thought…?  Looking over the barren drought ridden landscape with the burnt corn and podless beans that is the American cornbelt this year leaves one with lots of thoughts…especially on food.  Do we have enough?  Should we divert 40% of our corn crop into fuel?  Does ethanol even make any sense?  Will we be forced to become vegetarians as a species?  Will there be famine?  These questions are just the ones that come to mind at the moment.  I’m sure I could have more if I thought about it.

First, our government does not understand the depths of the current failure of this harvest.  One of the reasons is that farmers are not crying as due to easy crop insurance, I have actually heard that at $8.00 a bushel corn, the farmers will actually do better from the insurance payments plus the little of corn they do have than at the same price with a normal harvest.  They fail but even do better!  What a deal.  Talk about a generous safety net, can I have a net like that too?  So the farmers aren’t hurting, so who is?

Well the taxpayers will be hurting as the government will stand to lose quite a bit from the insurance payments as will some insurance companies.  Drivers will also be hurt as the mandated ethanol usage will make the ten percent of ethanol in our tanks higher priced than gasoline.  What about food costs?  The big hits will be the costs of chicken and meat, but not now.  As I speak, neighbors of mine are liquidating the herds due to high costs but as the glut of meat works through the system, supply will drop and with constant demand, prices will soar.  Eggs and poultry are already going up, but does anyone even seem to care?  Since the food and energy are not part of inflation, even inflation indexing will not be allowed to creep up with it.

Here we are in an election year and we are talking about some idiot Senate candidate from Missouri who doesn’t know anything and we seem to worry about Romney’s taxes and Obama’s birth certificate.  GET OVER IT!

We got bigger issues, like no jobs, a big tax increase, and a food shortage of monumental proportions looming like the grim reaper over an ICU bed.  Has anyone even noticed that Obama is holding EPA hearings about the waiving of the ethanol mandate?   Why are we holding hearings?  It should be done tomorrow.  When will they make a decision?  The Friday after the election in November is the target date.  It is too easy to rant about our government as if the government was in the sand business and they inherited the Sahara desert, they would in five years time, find themselves with a shortage of sand.

So what is Olaf doing?  The teachings of the LDS church (Mormon) state that you should have 1.5 years at least of non-perishable food stockpiled in case of problems.  Somehow I can’t see Romney hoarding food in giant plastic tubs in his basement.  Despite not being a LDS follower the idea of putting a little away seems like a good idea.   I don’t think we will end up having a year’s supply, but we are putting away something.

Have you looked at the shelf life of canned food?  Pitted olives in a glass jar have a expiration date of over three years from now.  It turns out they have the farthest future expiration of anything I’ve seen.  Couple that with a cache of Absolute Vodka which doesn’t have an expiration date and no matter what the calamity, with our supply, we should be good to go for martinis for many years to come.

Hopefully, we can also freeze up a half of a grass fed steer this fall, and we should be fed through the next harvest.  So I’ll be ok but can we actually have famine in America, the land of plenty?  It is hard to believe, and I am not one to preach on doomsday, but it seems a crash in the corn crop in 2013 could be really dire.  Again, anyone waiting for our government to proactively do anything to protect us need better drugs.

Let us not just rag on the good old USA.  The Europeans seem delusional if they think that the Greeks are going to suddenly find thrift, taxation, and free enterprise as their national mantra.  What are they smoking?  They can kick the can almost as good as we can and they don’t even have an election right now.

I don’t know if I should encourage you to do as we are doing or what?  It is not something I like to think about.  I don’t like thinking about a tomorrow that isn’t filled with hope and opportunity.  My “Food for thought” thoughts are really kind of depressing, too depressing, and maybe that is why our politicos ignore them.

I somehow don’t think the artist was thinking of my thoughts when he painted the corn in the banana.  To be honest I don’t know what he was thinking.  Maybe the goal of the artist was to just make me think and in that he did a very good job.  Now I will not be buying the painting and if you like it I can give you the referral.  It doesn’t go with the rest of my art collection.  There are also paintings of fish and two birds from the same artist that I have been given pictures of, and after being depressed thinking about this stupid banana, I’m now afraid to even open the attachments.    Birds and fish…?  I can only imagine what thoughts they could instill in me and a guy needs to sleep at night.

Keep thinking my friends,

Olaf

11 thoughts on “August 28, 2012 “Food for thought”

  1. Hi Oalf – I do think that Roger (the artist) has accomplished his goal beautifully !!
    It appears that you have definitely given it a lot of meaningful thought!! Goal accomplished!
    Don’t be afraid to look at the birds and fish – LOL – they don’t provoke that much thought – you will sleep. I might send you some images of the Lemon Onion or Beetroot Apple from the same series of paintings – The beetroot Apple in my mind is even scarier then the Banana Corn!
    Enjoy those Vodka soaked olives – Cheers !!

    • oh those sound scary, you never know what odd thoughts i might have. I’m still loosing sleep from the vortex in the last blog

    • I don’t know how to save tonic water, as we prefer gin and tonic and rum and cokes, but we’ll have to become martini drinkers should the end be upon us

  2. Brad,

    Your thoughts echo our own. We’re also filling the freezer and cupboards when things are cheap and plentiful. I wonder if the artist was commenting that corn, like bananas is not genetically diverse and can easily be hit by a single bug that would wipe it out.

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