There is an important concept in psychology called “normalcy bias” which refers to the idea that because something has always been one way, it is difficult for people to conceive of it being a different way. It is a simple concept but exceedingly difficult to notice when it is happening to you.
For example, the act of seeing food in the grocery store every day programs our brains to believe that groceries will be there tomorrow no matter what. But this may not always be the case.
Experts are sounding the alarm that the Russian sanctions, placed upon the country because of the war in Ukraine, threaten the fertilizer supply. And a shortage of fertilizer could cause a global food crisis.
Fertilizer is not the only area that may cause instability in the food supply. Supply chain issues and the rising cost of grain will impact dairy cows and different types of meat production. The United Kingdom has already predicted a shortage of meat due to rising gas prices even before the war.
Even if enough food can be produced, inflation may force families to buy less, especially in poorer countries. Inflation is at a 40-year high. Nothing will destabilize a government or society faster than food insecurity.
There is an old saying that every civilization is only nine meals away from anarchy.
It is important to heed these warnings and prepare for the possibility of food shortages now, while supplies are plentiful and affordable. Consider planting a garden, it is spring conveniently, and connect with local farmers. Regardless of if the food crisis occurs or not, the current situation is showing the need for a decentralized food supply.
An increased emphasis on local crops and meat production would make for a more robust supply chain, able to resist instability of all types. Much like we are seeing with energy, our systems work fine when everything is going smoothly in the world, but break down if there is any chaos.
It is time to start rethinking how we feed ourselves and increase our focus on going local. But it is also time to rethink the Biden administration’s policy on just about everything — including its Russia policy.