As Putin ‘Weaponizes’ Food, Global Crisis Worsens

I suppose you could call it the ultimate food fight. But no one is laughing like they did while watching food fight scenes in movies such as Animal House, The Great Race, and Fried Green Tomatoes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been “weaponizing” food. His war in Ukraine has negatively affected the global economy, especially when it comes to food. 

Russia and Ukraine were the world’s top producers of wheat, barley, and sunflower seeds prior to the start of the war. The crop reductions affected low-income countries first, but now it has become a worldwide problem. 

Both countries are also leaders in the global fertilizer industry. And there is now a shortage of that important commodity, which is crucial for the world’s food security.

One Starvation Every 4 Seconds

Svein Tore Holsether is CEO of the Norwegian chemical company Yara International. They are one of the world’s largest fertilizer producers and suppliers.

He said, “If you look at the role that we have allowed Russia to have in global food supply, we depend on them. How did that happen? What kind of weapon is that? And Putin is weaponizing food. 

“It is sort of a perfect storm for the whole food system right now: very challenging in Europe, of course, with higher prices; even worse in other parts of the world where a human being dies every four seconds as a result of hunger.”

Fertilizer prices have dropped recently but are still high compared to historical standards. And the global supply is limited due to the war, production cuts in Europe, and stricter export controls in China. 

Food & Energy Are Intertwined 

The food crisis ties in with the energy crisis that Russia launched with its unprovoked attack on Ukraine. With fewer oil and natural gas exports from Russia to the West, the fuel crisis worsened around the world. 

“Putin has weaponized energy and they’re weaponizing food as well,” Holsether told the BBC recently in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. “It’s the saying, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’”

The rise in natural gas prices following the start of the war resulted in higher prices for fertilizer. Yara and other manufacturers are dependent on ammonia and nitrogen – both byproducts of natural gas – to produce fertilizer. 

The lack of fertilizer means farmers around the world may not be able to keep their soil fertile enough for crops. Africa, which could face its sixth consecutive year of drought, is suffering the most, due to its reliance on Russian food imports.

We’re Feeling It Here Too

The U.S. has stepped up to help Africa – including a recently signed $2.5 billion food assistance package – and has sold nitrogen to Europe to replace Russian imports.

But we have our own problems when it comes to food production and distribution. Including soaring food prices, customer limits for some items, and empty shelves at some stores.

Americans such as Matthew in Florida are concerned about food security. Fortunately, some of them like Matthew know what to do about it. Check out this 34-second video.

We're Done Worrying About Food Security

Image of Five Stars

“We've been very concerned about food security in the last few years. There've been plenty of shortages, so ultimately we decided this 1-Year Kit would give us the peace of mind to get by. We used to try and overstock on frozen foods but now we don't have to worry about that."

Can Nations Lessen Their Dependence?

Holsether says the ultimate solution is for all countries to become more self-sufficient with food production.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Especially when extreme weather and pandemics enter the equation and contribute to disrupting the supply chain.

He also suggested that more effort be placed on creating “green fertilizers” that use hydrogen and renewable energy rather than natural gas for the production of ammonia.

In other words, the less dependent we are on a country that can cause a food and energy crisis by attacking another country, the better.

Crop Yields Will Decrease

A recent CNN website article says, “the world is still in the grips of the worst food crisis in modern history, as Russia’s war in Ukraine shakes global agricultural systems already grappling with the effects of extreme weather and the pandemic.”

Cary Fowler is the U.S. special envoy for global food security. He told CNN, “The ranks of the food insecure are growing faster than our ability to provide humanitarian assistance. We can’t get out of this crisis by supplying food aid.”

As the war in Ukraine continues, Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports delivers another blow to the already strained global food system. 

And as farmers use less fertilizer due to costs and availability, it’s likely their yields will be reduced in upcoming harvests.  

1-Year Survival Food Kit

If you watched the video above, you heard Matthew mention a 1-Year Survival Food Kit from 4Patriots. It’s part of our Presidents’ Day event. Here’s the deal on that. 

Our 1-Year Survival Food Kit features 2,752 total servings of nutritious, great-tasting, easy-to-make food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and beverages. All in disaster-resistant packaging. And it’s designed to last 25 years under proper storage conditions. 

Here’s the best part. For a very limited time, I’m knocking $300.00 off the prize of this Kit, and tossing in $1,273.60 worth of free gifts. Yes, you read that right. I’m even including an easy monthly payment plan to boot. 

Just imagine not having to worry about what you’re going to eat for an entire year if things go south in a hurry. Don’t be one of the 38 million Americans who don’t have a reliable emergency food supply.

Here’s how to get yours…

Leave a comment

*Required Fields