World Food Crisis Looms. How Investors Can Help …
Investing

World Food Crisis Looms. How Investors Can Help …

Your parents probably told you to eat your vegetables so you could grow up strong and healthy.

Well, if you give the same advice to your children and grandchildren, you might be wasting your time.

That’s because our farms are turning into fields of junk food.

Cutting-edge research indicates that fruits and vegetables may become less nutritious as carbon-dioxide (CO2) levels rise in the atmosphere.

Higher CO2 levels in the air strip our crops of key micronutrients that we need to survive, according to a new Politico story by Helena Bottemiller Evich.

And that is an opportunity for investors.

It is not supposed to be this way. Sunlight gives plants the energy to create food from water and CO2. The process is called photosynthesis.

Higher CO2 levels increase photosynthesis. And you’d think that would help plants grow faster and healthier.

Yet something’s wrong. Plants are packing in more carbohydrates, which squeezes out proteins and key minerals like iron and zinc.

The result is fields of junk food …

These veggies may have been robbed of vital nutrients because excess CO2 has thrown their metabolisms out of whack.

It’s a concept Irakli Loladze first learned in 1998 as Ph.D. student in Arizona.

The primary food of zooplankton is algae. Scientists were able to dramatically increase algae growth with light. The result was an abundance of food for the microscopic sea creatures.

Except, the zooplankton were still starving. While plentiful, the algae lacked the nutrients that could keep the hungry microorganisms alive.

Loladze, now a math professor at Bryan College in Lincoln, Neb., has spent the past two decades researching these rising CO2 levels and their impacts on plant life.

His view is apocalyptic. He told Politico:

“We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history.”

Lewis Ziska, a plant biologist, spends most of his day studying the nutritional effects of plant breeding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As a wildflower, goldenrod has not changed much in 175 years. Its pollen is an important source of protein for bees.

But, Ziska found the protein content has been in steady decline since the Industrial Revolution. And bee populations are dwindling in lockstep. That’s because bees can’t survive if they don’t consume enough protein.

These discoveries indicate that overdosing the Earth on CO2 could deliver a fatal double-whammy to the human race …

One, humans could literally starve from eating food that has no nutrition. Two, bees could go extinct and our crops could die off because there are no bees to pollinate them.

None of this is good news. It has been the subject of TED talks, and a fair bit of hysteria. Some argue bees pollinate one-third of the global food supply.

For investors, this is opportunity.

It also helps that that this is the era of invention, the New Gilded Age.

The exponential progression of information technology, coupled with abundant capital and entrepreneurship, means anything is possible.

Add that to today’s ubiquitous, affordable access to supercomputers … plus advances in data analytics and modeling … and you have a recipe for new-level problem-solving.

Biotechnology companies are already on the case using CRISPR-Cas9 …

The gene-editing technique allows scientists to precisely edit an organism’s DNA, removing the bits that lead to unfavorable outcomes. This technology can even let scientists build life from scratch.

Organisms are constantly undergoing this process naturally. They evolve. It just takes time. Gene editing speeds the process — shaving off years, decades and, in some cases, millennia.

CRISPR-Cas9 has the potential to speed up new crop development by several orders of magnitude. And the process should be safe.

Agricultural technology companies are in the mix, too. Tractors use sophisticated tracking and self-driving systems. They have sensors to identify either pesky weeds or crops that need more water.

And everything is being networked so data can be crunched and methods perfected.

Related story: This Start-up is Planting the Seeds to Disrupt Farming for Good.

The environmental debate is a thorny subject. It has become politicized.

It’s hard enough to sustain momentum on discussions about climate-change, let alone begin discussion about what CO2 is doing to the food we eat. Yet, there is a growing body of evidence that our food supply is in peril.

There is a group of enterprising companies like Monsanto Co. (MON) and Deere & Co. (DE) that are rising to this challenge. Investors should begin getting acquainted with these firms, and many others, right now.

Best wishes,

Jon Markman

 P.S. Owning “tech giants” is a good way to build wealth. But it’s not the only way. More importantly, it’s certainly not the best way to build a big fortune. New technology is being developed every single day that can change our lives … and our fortunes … forever. Want to be among the first to receive my timely buy signals on some of the most-innovative — and certainly overlooked — companies in this exciting space? Click this link here.

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Comments 17

Sean Taylor September 25, 2017

It’s the likes of supergiant Monsanto (MON) that the looming food crisis can be attributed. The extent to which their scientists have modified plant DNA structure with the perception of solving our problems is in fact, a well planned monopolistic blueprint for a $multi-billion making future.
Production of ‘sterile’ hermaphrodite crops which produce a harvest without the need for pollenisation BUT PRODUCE NO SEED is just one of many activities already in operation. Farmers are forced to return to the mother company indefinately. Crops which do seed are OWNER by Monsanto and farmers are often visited to see if any crops BELONG TO THEM but not been purchased.
The story has many closets so whilst investment may look good, when tshtf and food becomes a privelidge, you can’t ear dollar bills!

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David R.(Canada) September 24, 2017

Sir Albert Howard was writing about low levels of nutrients in food in the 1930s and 1940s. It was then, as now, due to the severely depleted soils. If he was warning about this problem 70-80 years ago, how bad must it be now?
This so-called study sounds bogus to me. There are still those who buy into the “global-warming” myth; we actually have global-cooling, and all real scientific evidence proves it.
By using scare tactics this study is just another attempt to keep the myth going a little longer.

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Dennis September 21, 2017

“Cutting edge research INDICATES….”. An typical leftist introduction. Grow your own food. If you are really concerned about nutritional values, stay away from the genetically engineered seedless crops which are using nicotineoids (spelling?) for pest control.

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David R.(Canada) reply_all Dennis September 24, 2017

Anyone with any sense at all is growing at least some of their own food.
It’s time to dig up that “perfect lawn” and to plant some spuds.

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Bob September 21, 2017

Dear Jon,
Articles from POLITICO……..really?? You use articles from FAK news establishments!!
Vegetation absorbs CO2 and expels O2, CO2 makes plants healthy, removing CO2 kills plants!!
Air Pollution is not CO2, it is a lot more of other air born poisons.
The Pairs Agreement is BAD for America because it demands America to go into a SUPER CLEAN ENVIROMENT MODE while China and many other nations are allowed to go or stay in a SUPER POLUTION MODE until 2030!! Why do the Chinese people wear breathing masks when outdoors??
As for MONSANTO, they are facing a landmark lawsuit of billions of $ for causing cancer and tumors in humans.
Jon, I am going to assume someone wrote this article for you because I think you are more intelligent than this article provides.
Bob

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Tommy Tolson September 21, 2017

The only things Monsanto is enterprising about is making poison and perverting government. Roundup is a known carcinogen in California, but nowhere else, which speaks to Monsanto’s power over government – one of their guys, former Monsanto lobbyist and vice president Michael Taylor, is now the “food safety czar” at the USDA. Monsanto owns the FDA because the Clintons traded it for campaign funding. Hillary was Monsanto’s lawyer when she worked at Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. Before Roundup it was napalm, and before that it was PCBs, which now hold a spot in every living thing on the planet. In Anniston, AL, where PCBs were made, Monsanto had to buy people’s houses so they could move out and have a chance of avoiding the cancer PCBs caused. Monsanto’s enterprise is manufacturing death,

The way the planet is going to be repaired, if we survive the Sixth Mass Extinction, now in progress, is for humans who love the planet to restore it with regenerative methods of farming like agroecology. The body of evidence for the effectiveness of agroecology began in the 1970s and continues to show its excellence.

There are places where the profit motive is harmful: food, health care, and real news come quickly to mind. The profit motive ruined the soil, turned it into dead dirt that’s toxic to soil life that farmers pump full of petrochemicals in order to bring a crop.

The food problem is going to be when mean temperatures stay higher than 95 degrees while plants are setting fruit. Plants stop setting fruit at 95 degrees. So we’re going to have these huge swaths of dead soil that now has to have petrochemicals to make it make a crop, so we EAT oil, basically, where once living soil was 50 feet deep. Now it’s in the Gulf of Mexico wreaking havoc with marine life. The Gulf is a breeding ground for a type of whale and for tuna. Well, it WAS.

At some point, technology can no longer save us. The Problem is named Ecological Illiteracy. The US leads the world in it. Ecological Literacy is The Solution – and enough democracy to allow people to do the things ecology teaches them to do. Now, we are economic captives of the neoliberals who care only for profits and staying in power over the majority.

Research The Constitution, if you have balls enough. James Madison, a slaveowner, wrote the Constitution that was adopted almost word for word at the Constitutional Convention, chaired by George Washington, who owned more than 100 slaves, at one time. Basically, we are slaves of a minority government. If we don’t make Massa some money, we don’t get to eat or get out of the weather. This is sometimes called the country’s Original Sin, but it’s just what birthed the Constitution to save slavery from the majority, who were trying to get rid of it under the Articles of Confederation. Check it out.

The sole opportunity to restore the planet so we can stay here after the rest of the large mammals are gone in the Sixth Mass Extinction is to become Ecologically Literate and base social meaning on ecological truth. Capitalism and all Cartesian (false) reality are pre-ecological. They’re anachronisms. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it may mean you are ecologically illiterate. It’s not terminal, if you’re willing to fix it. Climate Change denial preys on the ecological illiteracy of the least educated society of the First World, the global North. The reason for the denial campaign (a superbly successful PR campaign) is for neoliberals to continue extracting wealth out of the Life System and giving nothing back.

Look up a carbon footprint calculator online and see how many acres of Earth you require. That’s where I (a displaced oil field hand) started into becoming ecologically literate. It’s easier now. Still in print, amazingly for a scholarly book, Willam Catton’s “Overshoot” or Howard Odum’s “Power, Society, and Environment” are excellent primers that, especially Odum, will take you as far as you’ll go. I’m 67 years old, and I went to a Permaculture Design Course in 2001 where I had my ecological awakening. It was all in my head, before then. Despite what this post might be to you, I say it because everyone who will learn it should get as much cognitive control of ecology as they can. The Pre-Ecological world dies before our eyes, faster and faster. We either adapt to what’s being born at this moment, or we don’t, and the Sixth Mass Extinction will take us out in a long, slow death.

I’m not a doomer. I’m ecologically literate, a permaculture designer, still learning to live within the constraints of the life system, and finding The Sacred in this adventure, which isn’t always pleasant but is worth the hard inner work.

In the end the technology that will save us is what we had before we started farming and making deserts – life lived with nature rather than seeing The Garden this planet once was as only a storehouse of wealth to extract. Money won’t help us any more than industrial technology, once the Pre-Ecological world is gone.

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L.A. Henderson September 21, 2017

Monsanto? Are you kidding me? This sounds like plan B for our Globalist controllers. It will soon be crystal clear that Climate Change now means that a serious episode of Global Cooling is approaching. The Grand Solar Minimum just passed its major 400 year cycle peak (see Maunder). Climate and Geo chaos is symptomatic of the transition from warming to cooling due mainly to Solar and Planetary changes.

Oops, we need a new narrative to justify NWO control of every transaction that involves CO2. Oh, except for China and India. No Matter, we got a cool $Trillion from the US if we can flip that idiot Trump. In the meantime lets get this “bee thing” off the ground. Never mind that CO2 levels have shown to be higher (than today) many times over the past millennia. Without even one car!

Look for investments in the area of mass indoor farming techniques. Vast tracts of Northern farmland will become unusable do to cold and/or wet conditions. Look at DBA (etf) as food prices will surge.

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Karen Tremper September 21, 2017

I think Jennifer Christiano summed it all up pretty well. I wouldn’t invest one dime with Monsanto and I hope the farming revolution sends them into bankruptcy!

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H. Craig Bradley September 21, 2017

Scientific Community Admits Man Can NOT Alter Climate

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-were-wrong-worst-effects-of-climate-change-can-be-avoided-say-scientists-k9p5hg5l0

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Tommy Tolson reply_all H. Craig Bradley September 21, 2017

We could have avoided climate change, though, and becoming ecologically literate (if you aren’t) shows us the path that can allow those who organize their settlement patterns so they’re ecologically supported. 17th century social standards will not survive the Sixth Mass Extinction.

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Doug Jaeger September 21, 2017

Thanks for the horror story Jon. This would make a great sci-fi movie…As a young boy, I spent the weekends working on my parent’s farm. It was a small farm and we had 3 or 4 bee hives. One year the bees were infested by a mite which it turns out that, along with industrial agriculture (pesticides) has been decimating the bee population. Monsanto is one of the worst offenders in industrial agriculture – you should do some research on glyphosate and how it is EVERYWHERE. If those local/warehouse farms you spoke of in a previous article take off (and don’t use pesticides and chemicals) we will be much better off than having companies playing God and modifying the genetic code and as you stated “SHOULD be safe”.

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ed the grocer September 20, 2017

Lord love a duck Jon. I didn’t even read the entire article. Do two things. check to see what CO2 actually does for plants. It is actually critical for growth. Second check to see how Round-Up /glyphosate works. The insidious weed killer works by tying up minerals. Simple as that. Round-Up works so well that there are now a few million acres in the US that are totally sterile. Nothing, plants, bugs bacteria, viruses, nothing survives.
Sincerely,
Ed the Grocer

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George September 20, 2017

Math Professor is a specialist in carbohydrate/protein ratio in plants?

Somebody measured protein contents in plants since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (early XVIII century)?

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richard September 20, 2017

Food contains fewer nutrients due to depletion of the soil from farming, the use of GMO farming practices which include spraying the farmland with toxic chemicals so only monsanto seeds grow, and the constant aerosol spraying from planes we’re not supposed to talk about both of which are killing the bees. Increasing CO2 does the same to plants as increasing oxygen intake in humans, these make both healthier. Why does every good recommendation have attached with it bogus reeducation teachings? Isaiah 9:16

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Jennifer Christiano September 20, 2017

Thank you for a timely article pointing out a sobering fact. Your have done your readers an important service by explaining the little known connection between the changing climate and the decreasing flavor and nutrition in our food. Unfortunately, you have also pointed your readers to a very bad conclusion from the data. Putting Monsanto – the poster child for the development and deployment of horrifyingly deadly agricultural technologies – in charge of developing even MORE ag technology? You might as well put the convicted multiple arsonist in charge of putting together the 4th of July community fireworks display!

Just the assumption that our problems will be solved by new technology developed by the same minds that brought us to our current problematic place, is simplistic in the extreme. It would be laughable except for the fact that masses of people – especially people in leadership positions – actually can’t make the connection and careen around creating all sorts of real world havoc. It’s a deadly flaw of many often otherwise smart human minds, that they are incapable of learning from history and prior mistakes. And they regularly overestimate their own power to understand what’s going on. Gene editing, for example, is not the “precise” technique you claim it to be, nor are its long-term effects understood at all. Indeed, the whole notion that monkeying with the DNA in the cell nucleus (while ignoring the DNA in the mitochondria as well as epigenetics) can “speed up evolution” in ways that lead to more robust, stable systems, is fundamentally flawed. We can already see the failure of that line of thinking in the failure to achieve greater long-term crop productivity and resiliency with ‘classic’ gene editing. The appearance of unexpected side effects and unpredictable traits in the field has led to the need to ‘stack’ multiple gene edits in a fruitless, never ending chase of magic combinations of traits that will provide everything a farmer and his corporate master could hope for, in perpetuity, without any negatives for either themselves or the consumer. (Or just for the corporate master, really. Screw the farmer and the consumer if Big Ag can get away with it. After all, the goal of business is to make money, not to make the world a better place.)

The entire chemical/technological ag movement has nothing to do with ‘improving’ food from the points of view of the farmer or the consumer, or with protecting and enhancing the environment. The one thing it DOES have to do with is enhancing, protecting and developing bigger and better lines of revenue for those who control the technology. It also has everything to do with driving the politically restive farming class either out of business or under the thumbs of the business class. (Remember Earl Butz’s famous quote, “Get big or get out?”) Putting farmers under further economic and cultural burden by ratcheting up the technological ante (now farmers need satellites to plow their fields – I mean, really? Who’s actually making out on THAT deal?) is no way to proceed in the face of climate change. The ONLY strategy that can possibly work is to go back to farming by nature’s rules, regardless of whatever temporary parameters we have pushed her into, rather than trying to override her to an even greater extent. We must get farmers back to, well, farming, rather than trying to act as factory managers turning out infinite quantities of biological “widgets”. Restoring the small, independent family farmer to the historically small, economically independent farm; re-integrating farms into the built landscape, getting the farmer off the chemical/tech-driven economic treadmill, and basing future farming on permaculture/regenerative techniques is the ONLY way by which we can possibly survive climate change. Permaculture farming is quite able to decrease the carbon levels in the atmosphere to historically safe levels. Indeed, it is currently the ONLY technique known to do so, and it can do so rapidly and with no unwanted side effects – except to spell the death knell of the pharma/chem/tech companies that now control most of the world’s food supply.

Fortunately, leagues of concerned and active citizens are mobilizing to take back farming and integrate the production of food into every conceivable niche where average people have access- urban cores, suburban backyards and basements, desert villages, community plots, school yards and even wild forests. Forward-looking commercial-scale farmers and ranchers are even getting in on the act. While they are having massive success economically and environmentally, the movement as a whole is up against decades of brainwashing, propaganda and frank assault by the establishment at all levels. Unfortunately, the financial industry has accepted the Big Ag nonsense because it meshes with what the financial industry is all about – growing financial wealth. The problem is that there are situations in which the acquisition of wealth comes at the expense of things that are far more important. The ROI of Big Ag, in the long run (which is ‘long’ only to the next-quarter mentality), is catastrauphically negative. Consider how that 9%, 15%, 200% or even 1,000% gain is going to feel when all that it can buy you is plate after plate of tasteless, astronomically expensive, corporate-designed food that will no longer keep you alive. Will it seem like such a good investment then?

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H. Craig Bradley September 20, 2017

PICKING CHERRIES

I don’t believe CO2 or “Global Warming” is a “scientific” reason for fresh produce to be less nutritious than before. There undoubtedly are other factors, among them agronomic practices, soil fertility ( dominant factor), water quality, growing season, and plant genetics. To simplify something into a single cause or influence is just not believable, and there are many differing opinions on the subject of whether CO2 has drastically increased or not and what the possible effects would be Opinion is not fact and cause does not equal causation, as it is often said. Only by “cherry picking” the literature can you suggest its conclusive, given the scientific disagreements on the subject.

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Steve September 20, 2017

I would not recommend making investment decisions based on Politico stories. The problem with our crops is chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides and GMO tinkering. The long term effects are causing health issues at a rate not seen before. We are poisoning ourselves.

In agriculture, the next biggest investment is in local warehouse farming. Highly efficient, local transport, and less susceptible to disruptive events like Hurricanes. A network of Organic Warehouse farms would be a buy for me.

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