Post collapse, just what will we eat…..?

21 11 2017

Further to my post where I explained how Australia’s poor soils are largely incapable of growing much more than meat, this article landed in my news feed…

Here’s a list of what Australian farmers produce:

  • Each year, on average each Australian farmer feeds 600 people.
  • Agriculture powers 1.6 million Australian jobs.
  • Australian farmers manage 48 per cent of the nation’s landmass.
  • Cattle, wheat and whole milk are our top three commodities by value.
  • More than 99% of Australia’s agricultural businesses are Australian owned.
  • Out of the $58.1 billion worth of food and fibre Australian farmers produced in 2015-16 77 per cent ($44.8 billion) was exported. 
  • 6.8 million hectares of agricultural land has been set aside by Australian farmers for conservation and protection purposes.
  • Australian farmers are among the most self-sufficient in the world, with government support for Australian farms representing just 1% of farming income. In Norway it is 62%, Korea 49%, China 21%, European Union 19% and United States 9%.

Farm facts by commodity

  • In total, Australian beef cattle farmers produce 2.5 million tonnes of beef and veal each year. Australians eat an average 26kg of beef per person, per year. 
  • Australians consume an average of 45.3kg of chicken meat per person, per year. This not only cements chicken’s position as Australian consumers’ favourite meat, but also makes Australia one of the largest consumers of chicken meat in the world!
  • In a normal year, Australia’s cotton growers produce enough cotton to clothe 500 million people.
  • Australia produces about 3 per cent of the world’s cotton but is the fifth largest exporter, behind the USA, India, Brazil, Uzbekistan.
  • Australian dairy farmers produce 9,539 million litres of whole milk per year with the farmgate value of milk production being $4.3 billion.
  • On average, each Australian eats 3.08kg of dried fruit per year. Total Australian dried fruit exports in 2015–16 totalled 5,000 tonnes and was valued at $19.4 million.
  • The Australian forestry, logging and wood manufacturing industry employs 64,300 in the forest products industry. At the end of 2010, 13,067 million tonnes of carbon was held in Australia’s forests and harvested wood products in service and in landfill. Almost all this carbon 12,841 million tonnes – 98% was stored in living forest.
  • Australia’s grains industry accounts for more than 170,000 jobs across Australia from farm to export dock. About 65% of Australia’s grain is exported, including up to 90% of that grown per annum in Western Australia and South Australia.
  • Australians consumed more than 27kg of pig meat per person in 2015–16; ranked second behind poultry.  The Australian pig herd is free from many serious viral and bacterial diseases afflicting other pork producing countries.
  •  In 2016–17 there were 772 farmers who harvested rice, a significant increase on the 347 growers from the year prior. Australian rice growers use 50% less water to grow one kilo of rice than the world average.
  • Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheepmeat, and is the world’s third largest producer of lamb and mutton. In 2016–17, Australians, on average, ate 9.5 kg of mutton and lamb per person.
  • The sugar industry directly employs some 16,000 people. The world’s principal sugar exporters in 2015–16 were Brazil, Thailand, Australia and India.
  • Wool production for 2016–17 is forecast to increase by 4.3%, to 339 million kilograms (greasy) from the estimated 2015–16 production period. The increase is largely the result of excellent seasonal conditions in many areas resulting in higher fleece weights.

So, I ask you, WHERE do our fruit and veggies come from?

We may export 77% of what we produce, but it’s all meat, dairy, grains, and wool or cotton……  the money earned therefrom pays for the importation of fruit and veggies not farmed here. In a post oil crash, most of that stuff we export will no longer be made, because it all utterly depends on fertilisers and tractors and harvesters……. If we can’t afford to import non meat/dairy food, will we all turn into carnivores…?

These are serious questions to ponder…..

The mobile butcher came this afternoon, and cut up our two sheep, which are now in the freezer.  We won’t be starving, that’s for sure!

If you are vegan, you might also like (or not..!) to read this…



13 responses

21 11 2017

WHERE do our fruit and veggies come from?
Cadmium clean up operations transferring heavy metals from polluted lands to graveyards one body at a time. Those frozen veggies from NZ vis China yum cha-cha.

21 11 2017
leonard dieckmann

alls good till the freezer dies,or no power

22 11 2017

I expect that when this becomes the norm, we’ll return to communal feasting, where an animal is killed, then cooked all at once with a gathering of however many people will be required to consume the beast before it goes off…… like a Maori hungi. Not sure if that’s how it’s spelled…

21 11 2017
Shirley Olsen

Thanks to the Invaders who murdered everyone and everything and destroyed all the topsoil and turned so called Straya into a living waste dump not many of the best fruit and veg and wildlife remain. But hey keep patting yourselves on the back for Genocide as what the Invaders have done to us they have done to themselves. Not long now before the worst cancer on the planet will be eradicated by themselves.

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22 11 2017

Destroyed what topsoil exactly….? Just why do you think Aborigenes never developed agriculture? It wasn’t stupidity…….

21 11 2017

Australia is unusual in being a large food exporter, but all the export channels rely on shipping with fossil fuels. A prolonged fuel shortage or lack of peace in the shipping lanes would shut that down. Inside the country the food needs to be grown, processed and transported into the cities were almost everyone lives. Given almost all of our locally produced oil is exported to refineries in places like Singapore before coming back as finished products loss of access to the shipping lanes would mean our own local oil production is stranded. If the next phase of the oil crisis comes on slow enough we might be able to re-establish local refineries. If that happens and we manage to maintain political cohesion a shift to a command economy should see us avoid widespread malnutrition and starvation until the remaining population can be deurbanised. The size of the country will probably work against the centralised command economy in time and lead to a devolution of power to regional centres.

22 11 2017

It really shows up the political incompetence of our politicians. According to the Harvard index of economic complexity Australia lies in 77th place. Even Guatemala rates higher at 75. But we are the champions at residential money laundering!

22 11 2017

We still do have refineries (four I think) but we’re fast running out of oil, we’re pretty much on target to completely run out some time in or after 2020. I doubt we still export any…. we need every drop that’s left.

21 11 2017

I expect the last place having troubles producing produce (ha!) is Australia, provided they have some coal or installed solar-electric left over to fuel a nation/continent wide railway system. Their flat country shouldn’t be a problem, the heat will be. But along the coast lines there are areas where temperature differences aren’t this big and the North is humid enough to produce a lot for the whole country. A lot of ifs and whens.
Water, energy distribution and normalcy within cities will be their problem.
I pondered if a split up into three to four nation states would kick off this development, because internal state transfers ceased.

22 11 2017

Coal and solar electricity doesn’t produce food. Fertilisers are made of oil and gas (gas mostly), but gas production needs oil – at the moment – because we virtually have no gas powered vehicles here except taxis.

22 11 2017

So maybe if and when we stop exporting food, we could be self-sufficient, but then there’s the problem of getting it from where it’s grown to where it’s eaten without oil-powered transport. Plus, loss of artificial fertilser, plus wrecked soils, plus…plus. There isn’t time to solve all the problems, even if TPTB wanted to.

Food grown and consumed locally on regenerating soils, but who understands that’s how we have to go, while there are still supermarkets.

1 03 2022
Steve Bull

I have asked a similar question for my Canadian province of Ontario that currently import over 80% of its food needs for almost 15 million people but has less than 9 million acres of farmland mostly dedicated to the industrial production (that, of course, is destroying the soil fertility) of corn and soybean for ethanol and animal feed. Add to the mix a very short growing season and northern lands that cannot easily (or ever) be converted to food production. We are so far past our natural carrying capacity here that any marginal shift in the long-distance supply chains that we depend upon (mostly from the US) will see us in deep trouble.

1 03 2022

NOBODY gets it…..

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