This is part four in a five-part series. Read part one here.
Who controls the world’s food supply?
When the United States was founded in the 1700s, about 90% of the U.S. population was employed in agriculture. By the time of the Civil War, that number dwindled to about 50%.
After the industrial boom, brought about by World War II, the percentage of those employed in agriculture started dropping significantly. Today, less than 1% of our population is employed in agriculture. A handful of companies now control most of the food sold in the U.S., and even around the world.
At the bottom of the food chain, of course, are the seeds. No seeds, no food.
This is where the most consolidation has occurred in the past few years. Research from GMWatch, an independent organization committing to countering mainstream narratives about GMOs, found that top 10 seed companies account for 67% of the global proprietary seed market.
More so, The world’s largest seed company, Monsanto, accounts for almost one-quarter (23%) of that market. They also found the top 3 companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta) together account for 47% of the worldwide proprietary seed market.
Finally, they found that the top 3 seed companies control 65% of the proprietary maize (corn) seed market worldwide, and over half of the proprietary soybean seed market.
Weaponizing the control of food is an ancient practice.
One finds the practice in ancient Babylon/Mesopotamia 4,000 years ago. In Greece, the cults of Apollo, Demeter, and Rhea-Cybele often controlled the shipment of grain and other food through the temples. In Imperial Rome, the control of grain became the basis of the empire.
Rome was the center. Conquered outlying colonies in Gaul, Brittany, Spain, Sicily, Egypt, North Africa, and the Mediterranean littoral had to ship grain to the noble Roman families as taxes and tribute. Often, the grain tax was greater than the land could bear. In that case, areas of North Africa, for instance, were turned into dust bowls.
In the early 1200s, the city-state of Venice took over grain routes. The main Venetian thirteenth-century trading routes had their eastern termini in Constantinople, the ports of the Oltremare (which were the lands of the crusading States), and Alexandria, Egypt.
Goods from these ports were shipped to Venice. From there, they made their way up the Po Valley to markets in Lombardy, or over the Alpine passes to the Rhône and into France. Eventually, Venetian trade extended to the Mongol empire in the East.
By the fifteenth century, although Venice was still a merchant empire, it had franchised some of its grain and other trade to the powerful Burgundian duchy, whose effective headquarters was Antwerp.
This empire encompassed France and extended from Amsterdam and Belgium to much of present-day Switzerland. From this Venetian-Lombard-Burgundian nexus, each of the food cartel’s six leading grain companies either founded or inherited a substantial part of its operations today.
By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British Levant and East India companies had absorbed many of these Venetian operations. In the nineteenth century, the London-based Baltic Mercantile and Shipping Exchange became the world’s leading instrument for contracting for and shipping grain.
Ten to twelve pivotal companies, helped by another three dozen, run the world’s food supply. They are the key components of the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss-American food cartel, which is grouped around two families.
Led by the six leading grain companies, this food and raw materials cartel has complete domination over the world’s cereals and grains supplies. This includes wheat, oats, corn, barley, sorghum, and rye. But it also controls meat, dairy, edible oils and fats, fruits and vegetables, sugar, and all forms of spices.
Each year, tens of millions die from starvation. This is the result of the work of the BAC cartel. As the ongoing financial collapse wipes out bloated speculative financial paper, the oligarchy has moved into hoarding, increasing its food and raw materials holdings. It’s prepared to apply a tourniquet to food production and export supplies, not only to poor nations but to advanced sector nations as well.
Today, food warfare is firmly under the control of London and New York. Today’s food companies were created by having a section of the ancient set of Mesopotamian-Roman-Venetian-British food networks and infrastructure carved out for them.
The oligarchy has built up a single, integrated raw materials cartel with three divisions – energy, raw materials, and increasingly scarce food supplies.
Consolidation of the world food supply
Those who know anything about the principles of economics know the world is on a crash course to a total financial collapse. As part of the Great Reset, we see evidence of this impending crash by simply watching the world’s top billionaires move at a great speed to sell off significant amounts of their stock holdings before the Big Crash comes.
With the move towards a cashless society on the horizon, where are these billionaires putting their cash as they liquidate major portions of their assets?
A lot of it is going into agricultural land, a major clue as to what’s on the horizon.
As I pointed out earlier, Bill Gates is now the largest owner of farmland in the United States. Meanwhile, fellow billionaire Ted Turner owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests, and Jeff Bezos owns 420,000 acres.
Agriculture researcher Colin Todhunter published an article highlighting the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). This gives us a glimpse into their future plans.
In the article, Todhunter notes how the UNFSS “claims it aims to deliver the latest evidence-based, scientific approaches from around the world, launch a set of fresh commitments through coalitions of action, and mobilize new financing and partnerships.”
However, what he found was that the UNFSS merely facilitates “greater corporate concentration, unsustainable globalized value chains, and agribusiness leverage over public institutions.”
This has caused more than 300 global organizations of small-scale food producers, researchers, and indigenous peoples to mobilize against the pre-summit. One group, the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM), works with the United Nations Committee on World Food Security to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition.
But “according to the CMS, the UNFSS – founded on a partnership between the UN and the World Economic Forum (WEF) – is disproportionately influenced by corporate actors, lacks transparency and accountability, and diverts energy and financial resources away from the real solutions needed to tackle the multiple hunger, climate and health crises.”
Further, Todhunter writes that those given important roles at the UNFSS support “ultra-processed production, industrial foods, intensive food systems deforestation, that industrial promote livestock pesticide use, and commodity crop monocultures, all of which cause soil deterioration, water contamination, and irreversible impacts on biodiversity and human health.”
The corporate concentration of land, seeds, and natural and financial resources threatens smallholder producers the most, even though they “contribute most to world food security.” Worse, high-tech corporations including Amazon and Google have joined with these agribusiness mammoths in a bid to “impose a one size fits all type of agriculture and food production on the world.”
Ever-evolving technology is helping the rich grab resources and restructure food systems. Unsurprisingly, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also involved. Todhunter writes that this is through “buying up huge tracts of farmland, funding and promoting a much-heralded (but failed) ‘green revolution’ for Africa, pushing biosynthetic food and new genetic engineering technologies, or more generally facilitating the aims of the mega agri-food corporations.”
One question I always receive after outlining these dire circumstances is, “What can we do?” I have one simple answer that I believe in, “Start living as your grandparents did.”
All my grandparents were strong pioneering people. They survived the Dust Bowl, gold confiscation, two World Wars, and the Great Depression. Despite those social and global crises, they flourished.
No, not with cash riches. The wealth they obtained was the ability to live off the land and feed their families with a generational set of skills passed on to them by our ancestors.
In the 1800s, one of my grandfathers came to the Texas panhandle in a covered wagon. Mind you, this part of Texas was still wild and untamed. The Texas panhandle went through a transition phase from the 1830s to the late 1870s. This period included wars, independence, merging with the union, and the great Comanche wars that mostly took place in the Texas panhandle.
I tell you this because I want you to understand that farming and ranching is a tough life. It takes strength and a spirit that most everyone doesn’t have, let alone understand. As the years go by, the work and determination of my grandparents and earlier ancestors remain in the modern-day farmer and rancher.
Yes, we have modern equipment and luxuries, but I know no tougher man than a cornfed farm boy or the true grit of a Texas Cowboy.
Despite that, they are entirely powerless against the massive power and system enslaving them. Their strength and grit must evolve into a form of information warfare. This information needs to be understood, and the crisis we’re about to experience needs intentional focus and agency.
It is time for you the reader to take a step back, look at the environment you live in, and re-evaluate your daily consumption decisions. This will take some education and work. However, if you start making just a few changes in your consumption habits, you’ll create an empowering awareness.
Your conversations will begin to change and evolve into more informative discussions, and you’ll start putting art into the act of food growth and preparation.
To be concluded in Part Five…