Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, May 15, 2022
ISSUE #1111
Food Shortage, Fighting Inflation, and an Eclipse Tonight

We have been told to expect a shortage of food because of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Nobody told us the first major shortage would be baby food.

And where were our news media three months ago? On February 17, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Abbott Nutrition to recall products and shut down a Michigan facility that produces 40% of the infant formula consumed by babies in the US.

Let that sink in. Four out of every ten babies, except the ones being breastfed, depended on that facility for 100% of their food supply.

On February 17, the loss of 40% of our baby food supply should have been the No. 1 headline story on every TV network and newspaper in the country. And it should have stayed No. 1 until a 24/7 “warp speed” effort tracked down the problem and got the plant back at full capacity. Unbelievably, it took 3 months for the FDA to clear the plant.

Can you imagine the reaction to an immediate 40% reduction of any other essential product? Suppose 40% of households had the electricity shut off for 3 months. Or 40% of farmers had no diesel fuel for their tractors at planting time for corn and soybeans.

Please don’t consider me callous for mentioning this shutdown occurred because 4 babies got sick and 2 died. How many babies have suffered from a lack of approved formula or from a poor substitute?

Parents have been warned to not substitute any “homemade concoctions.” But you have probably seen social media postings of a typical “formula” from many years ago. It is a precise mixture of evaporated milk, water and Karo syrup. Of course, the ones bragging about it are the ones who survived. (I may have thrived on it myself.)

President Biden announced he is attacking inflation. Since diesel and gasoline prices are primary sources or causes of price increases for many products, the President took immediate action to reduce production of diesel and gasoline.

What? Yes, he eliminated oil-rich areas of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico from production and made it harder to construct pipelines to economically transport fuel. And instead of allowing the experienced geologists and engineers to test, calculate and decide the best locations to drill, the Secretary of Interior in Washington, DC will tell the companies where they should drill.

President Biden announced a way to add to our food supply. He is encouraging farmers who grow wheat to plant soybeans after harvest. It’s a good idea. Many farmers already do that. The only problem is that most wheat is grown west of the Mississippi River. Much of that region is in a severe drought that will likely cut wheat yields drastically. Kansas, the leading wheat state, will harvest about 20% less than the 10-year average, according to USDA estimates.  Not much chance of growing soybeans planted into parched ground in July.

A special treat for you tonight, if you read this quick. A total lunar eclipse will occur across the country tonight, around midnight on the East Coast. It’s called a blood moon because it’ll be mostly red.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“It’s all right to fix the world, but you better get your own smokehouse full of meat first.” DT #2636, Jan. 6, 1935

“The big event for people who go in for outdoor amusements was the Eclipse… It was also the only thing that went off on schedule. I wish those scientists would run the railroads.” WA #112, Feb. 1, 1925


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