mdef metals defense energy food

What is MDEF™ Investing? Strategy before tactics. Strategic investments dictate tactical actions in the Metals, Defense, Energy & Food sectors.

- Jeffrey C. Borneman

Food News

Something Fishy with Beef and it Stinks

Jeffrey C. Borneman | October 25, 2016

Beef prices collapsing while, according to historic Supply & Demand, they should be rising. 

Herman Schumacher, co-founder of R-CALF USA, area cattle feeder and former owner of Herreid Livestock Auction, said the cattle-price freefall started soon after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that cattle inventories, which were at a 65-year low in 2014, had increased by just 1 percent in 2015.

Tri State Livestock News reports: “It’s impossible for a mere 1-percent increase in cattle inventories to compress our supply-driven price increase, which should have lasted three or more years, into a single year, but that is exactly what happened” asserted Schumacher.

So, what is disrupting a core industry? Schumacher is convinced that something is interfering with a market that has been well understood for decades. 

Schumacher notes that fed cattle prices fell by more than 40 percent during the past 18 months and calf prices fell even more, declining by over 50 percent during the same period. “The price of calves in September 2016 was more than one-third less than it was in September 2015,” he said.

However, though cattle prices have fallen drastically, the price of retail beef paid by consumers remains at near record levels, falling only about 8 percent from 2015 highs. Schumacher says this is convincing evidence that something or someone is interfering with U.S. cattle markets.

Rampart will be keeping an eye on the upcoming exploratory meetings of the cattlemen to be held in November. They will be seeking the "why" of the collapse of prices and may discover the "who" that is causing it.  

Investors should be aware of the term "manufacturing scarcity" in the upcoming months as it relates to normal essentials for living.

Read the Original Article

We Won a Big One Over the EPA - Water

Jeffrey C. Borneman | June 10, 2015

Too much, too fast even for the Progressive Republicans; a bipartisan group of senators today said "hell no" to the EPA's new regulation asserting control over small waterways like streams and wetlands.

RECAP - The original Clean Water Act is focused on navigable waterways; bays, rivers, etc. This is both a necessary and laudable function but the EPA has been relentless in its attempt to seize jurisdiction of all waters in the United States, saying "The federal government has long recognized that some upstream waterways must also be protected."

"Republicans complained that the rule released late last month by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act would extend federal control over large swaths of private or state-owned water and land, including puddles, dry creek beds, man-made ponds and many agricultural features," reported The Hill.

Why today's vote is good: “This bipartisan legislation would stop the final rule (italics mine) and make the EPA and the Corps of Engineers go back and redo it,” said Senator Inhofe. “This time, they cannot avoid consultation with states and local governments, they will have to do a full economic analysis, including an unfunded mandates analysis, they will have to review the impacts on small businesses and small local government.”

Essentially, the EPA got caught trying to appoint itself arbiter of all water in the country and this was just a step too far. Now every incremental rule the EPA wishes to create (on its own) will come under many different microscopes - all with the ability to stop federal control.

How did the vaunted EPA take today's ruling? EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia decided silence was preferable to embarrassment but an administration adviser Brian Deese managed to squeeze out a few sour grapes: “The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters who threaten our clean water."

The MDEF™ strategy was formulated with the expectations that scarcity will be manufactured by the powers that be. Couple this with collapsing DEMAND in non-essentials and Inflation, and investors are left with few options that provide secure value and consistent returns.

If you want to know more about how the MDEF™ Investing strategy is positioned in this, or other geopolitical possibilities, please contact us directly.

Read the Original Article

Senators vote to block Obama’s water rule
The Hill Original Article Date: 2015-06-10

Manufacturing Scarcity in 2015

Jeffrey C. Borneman | March 18, 2015

The effort to make all resources necessary for modern living, and even human survival, much more scarce (read: Harder to obtain and Expensive) by the self-appointed Planet-Saviors has taken a decidedly Orwellian turn.

The UN released the "negotiation text" of its United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Geneva, Switzerland over the Valentine's Day weekend and it is nothing short of UN oversight and control of world resources. This is not hyperbole.

As investors, let me set the stage for the goings-on. The "negotiating text" is hoped to be the baseline requirement for the UN's global climate summit of world leaders during November and December this year. It includes "Climate Reparations" from a calculation measuring the damage to the climate extending back to the year 1750.

From the Text (Via The New American)

* " … the total amount of greenhouse gases, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent, emitted by a Party to the Convention since 1750 A.D. shall be added and divided by the current population of that Party …" Which means its citizens will be assigned a 300-year "carbon debt" for the period 1750-2050 … "And called on to pay it."

* The April 2010 "Cochabamba Statement" will be the used as the standard by which "the equitable allocation [of] atmospheric space between developed countries and developing countries during the period 1750 to 2050."

*"Establishes the International Climate Justice Tribunal in order to oversee, control and sanction the fulfillment of and compliance with obligations of Annex I and Annex II Parties under this agreement and Convention."

* "The Compliance Committee shall have two branches, namely an enforcement branch and a facilitative (sic) branch."

What is being discussed is trillions of dollars of "reparations" for the audacity of using fossil fuels. Of course, the UN will gladly oversee the monies ($76 trillion by one estimate) and its redistribution to "developing countries" by also providing the required "enforcement branch" (read: Military) but any agreement would go further still by limiting world-wide fossil fuel usage via C02 emissions.

As my clients know, I am not a conspiracy theorist. Although I don't live on the conspiracy branch it is, nevertheless, my job to know every leaf of it … The current UN push to control resources is not a theory. Forget for a moment that the entire UN policy is based on flawed IPCC data meant to blame the use of fossil fuels for any aberration in weather patterns (How can we draw, with certainty, the "flawed data" conclusion? The IPCC refuses to release the raw data from which it draws its models). If raw data were made available, any competent climate scientist would see what the IPCC models project and all would be in agreement. Denying access to the raw data indicates a fear of potential ridicule or fraud or worse.

Investors should think through how a world-body would act with such power. Would the current world population of some 8 billion survive without the Energy from fossil fuels for Food production and distribution, heat and transportation?

Surely, our own government would refuse such extra-Constitutional powers, would it not? Surely, acquiescence to such an authority would rightly be seen as a surrender of national sovereignty? How far would our current government go to address UN demands?

Secretary of State John Kerry said just last Friday, that with "the danger of climate change, there is no Planet B" drawing a religious connection to the issue of climate change, adding that "when it comes to the fundamental health of Earth, folks, we'd better stick to the Creator's original plan."

Last fall (then) Secretary of Defense Hagel called climate change a "National security issue" and "Threat multiplier".

In this year's State of the Union Address in January, the president said, "No challenge -- no challenge -- poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change", further warning that, "I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts."

Let us not forget our EPA and its effort to shut Energy production and control all water on the continent, using various laws and appointments which affect our food production.

This administration has told us repeatedly, from every level, that it considers climate change a threat greater than terrorism. If this is the "fundamental change" promised us, change cannot be more fundamental than changing modern human existence by its reliance on fossil fuels.

Do I think the US will jump at the chance to write a check for trillions of dollars to the United Nations? No – at least not all at once, but the current administration seems eager to sign on by signing away American control of its own resources and standard of living.

But "slow" is the key: Like any social change sought, the seekers understand very well the 'generational approach' but reparations to Mother Earth are already underway. The (perceived) social justice is being promulgated from early schooling, media/movies and peer pressure. The UN plan will take a bit longer so why is the UN pushing it now?

Manufacturing scarcity is a grand business model and second only to War as a profit generator. Manufactured scarcity gives monetary value to almost any thing. Think de Beers' diamonds. If de Beers let out one tenth of one percent of its diamond horde, diamonds would be utterly worthless. Horde them and add a slick advertising campaign, and you've got a winner.

The takeaway for investors is to understand what is being made scarce now. We are entering a period of higher Inflation (in general) coupled with dwindling employment (limiting the ability to buy) and expectations that, if not dealt with now, death from fossil fuels is right around the corner.

The MDEF™ strategy was formulated with the expectations that scarcity will be manufactured by the powers that be. Couple this with collapsing DEMAND in non-essentials and Inflation, and investors are left with few options that provide secure value and consistent returns.

If you want to know more about how the MDEF™ Investing strategy is positioned in this, or other geopolitical possibilities, please contact us directly.

Drought Update From The New York Times

Jeffrey C. Borneman | October 2, 2014

If the New York Times covers it, the angle will be a human-interest story of woe while avoiding the root cause(s). True to form; the article below depicts personal woes and avoids mentioning the human contribution, billions in lost crop production and higher Food costs.

But the New York Times did add a nice interactive drought map ...

Now in its third year, the state’s record-breaking drought is being felt in many ways: vanishing lakes and rivers, lost agricultural jobs, fallowed farmland, rising water bills, suburban yards gone brown. But nowhere is the situation as dire as in East Porterville, a small rural community in Tulare County...

Read the Original Article

Thirst Turns to Desperation in Rural California
nyt Original Article Date: 2014-10-02

Food Inflation - Beef Breaks $4 Pound First Time

Jeffrey C. Borneman | September 17, 2014

The MDEF™ Investing strategy is simple: Own companies that will thrive as the pivot of DEMAND takes place. Consumer DEMAND is a fickle thing, and as Inflation rises (for too many reasons) consumers must face the choice between "needs" and "wants." Investors must ask: Where will future capital rotate? 

Ground beef is becoming a luxury protein for some Americans. The Inflation in beef prices to record levels is also becoming a self-perpetuating cycle. The less beef sold, the smaller the herd. The smaller the herd, the higher the price due to sheer scarcity.

In just the past five years, beef prices have risen a staggering 88.1% and by this July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "the average price for a pound of ground beef had been $3.884 per pound—which was the record price up to that point. From July to August, the average price jumped 12.9 cents, an increase of 3.3 percent in one month," reports CNSNews. 

As Inflation is rising here in the States, Food Inflation in particular is becoming a substantial burden to many other countries as discussed here. The situation in Russia is of particular concern as US and EU sanctions have sent the ruble into a tailspin Ordinary Russians said the weakening ruble was putting the squeeze on their finances.

"The purchasing power of our ruble is dropping. It means I will rest less, work more and have worse medical care. I don't know what's behind this fall but I very much don't like it. Nearly all my money now is spent on food and utilities," she told AFP. 

Investors take NOTE: " ... money spent on food and utilities ... ". Average citizens of the world do not have the luxury of opting for the newest iPhone when Food and Energy costs are destroying their standard of living. Americans have repeatedly been told that Inflation is the key to recovery because a prolonged period of Deflation is unacceptable (contact me for a detailed explanation of this point). 

There are market sectors that will always be in high DEMAND regardless of economic conditions. As the economy continues to contract and Inflation continues to rise, capital will rotate into areas of secure DEMAND and sound investor returns. 

If you want to know more about how the MDEF™ Investing strategy is positioned in this, or other geopolitical possibilities, please contact us directly.

Although the overall Consumer Price Index dropped by 0.2 percent in August, the price index for food rose 0.2 percent.

Read the Original Article

New Record: Pound of Ground Beef Tops $4 for First Time
CNSNews Original Article Date: 2014-09-17

EPA Water/Land Grab Crystal Clear in Maryland

Jeffrey C. Borneman | September 2, 2014

The EPA says " ,,, new rules would not enlarge the scope of its authority under the Clean Air Act (CWA), and that the rule would clarify its authority and provides regulatory certainty in the face of recent Supreme Court decisions."

The EPA got caught red-handed with maps outlining its Water/Land grab, essentially giving the agency defacto ownership of most of the state of Maryland. This is not hyperbole (see article and map below). So what does the EPA do once caught? It does what it does best, obfuscate.

The opening quote above is very telling. The EPA understands the authority given it by the CWA is already firmly established. It assumes the CWA has given it the authority to claim even semi-damp areas in the country and plans to use that authority in deciding allowances for such basics as agriculture, manufacturing or housing. It merely seeks to "clarify" (ensconce) this authority now before the expected Supreme Court challenges. 

No one said the EPA was run by stupid attorneys.

This is a part of the CWA saga which began to get press this June as described here. Lawmakers are not amused and are threatening to cut EPA's funding but the EPA is undeterred and pressing ahead as if congress is just another bump in the road.

In a joint letter from both Republicans and Democrats to the EPA the lawmakers say, “Although your agencies have maintained that the rule is narrow and clarifies CWA jurisdiction, it in face aggressively expands federal authority under the CWA while bypassing Congress and creating unnecessary ambiguity.”

The lawmaker's letter adds, “The rule would place features such as ditches, ephemeral drainages, ponds (natural or man-made, prairie potholes, seeps, flood plains, and other occasionally or seasonally wet areas under federal control.”

The EPA means to control all waters in the United States whether private or public. Collecting rainwater is now illegal in several Western states and no effort to 'protect' water and watershed areas will be overlooked. 

How should investors continue to see this issue? Manufactured scarcity intersecting with high DEMAND dictates escalating prices. This is the purpose of the MDEF Investing strategy.

The proposed Waters of the United States rule, which would give the EPA jurisdiction over millions of miles of streams across the United States under the Clean Water Act, has generated bipartisan backlash in both chambers of Congress.

Read the Original Article

WatchDog Maryland Original Article Date: 2014-09-01

Food Inflation Unceasing - Investors Take Note

Jeffrey C. Borneman | August 20, 2014

“The food index rose 0.4 percent in July, its fifth increase at least that large in the last 6 months," (emphasis mine) reports the BLS. On June 17 of this year I said: "Most articles I've seen on Inflation dismiss previous Food price hikes ...  repeat the line that Food Inflation does not exist; that Inflation is low, too low, according to the NYTs ... ".

The seasonally-adjusted price index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs also hit an all-time high in July, according to BLS.

What's the line from that Don McLean's song? " ... perhaps they'll listen now"? 

"The average price for all types of ground beef per pound hit its all-time high -- $3.884 per pound -- in the United States in July ... A year ago, in July 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.459 per pound. Since then, the average price for a pound of ground beef has gone up 42.1 cents--or about 12 percent."

I can hear the NYT's now saying 12 percent is "nothing" and "we eat too much red meat as it is." Think this through: "Five years ago, in July 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.147, according to the BLS. In those five years, the average price has climbed by $1.737 per pound--or almost 81 percent."

Eighty One percent Inflation in beef does take a major protein source out of reach for many struggling Americans. What do investors do with this information?  Discussed recently (here) is an ever-growing (pardon the pun) expectation of both acquisition and consolidation of Food companies. 

If you want to know more about how the MDEF™ Investing strategy is positioned in this, or other geopolitical possibilities, please contact us directly.

American West Without Water

Jeffrey C. Borneman | July 26, 2014

"Thanks to an ongoing mega-drought, Lake Mead’s water level will continue to fall for the indefinite future," says a joint report from NASA and University of California at Irvine.

"Colorado River basin—which supplies water to 40 million people in seven states—lost 15.6 cubic miles of freshwater in the last 10 years," and that is unprecedented.

For thirty years money managers have heard the clarion call that "water is the new oil." Few saw the value in investing in "Water Works" if they landed on it playing Monopoly, but that time is finally here. Few investors seem to grasp the severity and ramifications of 25% of America without water. 

According to a New York Times interview with John Entsminger of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, “If Lake Mead goes below elevation 1,000, we lose any capacity to pump water to serve the municipal needs of seven in 10 people in the state of Nevada.” 

The report continues: "We don't know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don't know when we're going to run out," said Stephanie Castle of UCI, the study's lead author, in a press release. "This is a lot of water to lose. We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking."

What is truly shocking, however, is how little press this potentially dire situation has received. The economic ramifications are game-changing to say the least. Investors take note:The MDEF™ Investing strategy considers both Food and Water as crucial market sectors which to invest in now. If you would like to discuss the DEMAND for Water and, do contact me directly.

Here's another money quote (full article with pictures follows):

One NASA scientist and co-author of Thursday’s study, Jay Famiglietti, said in a press release that the new research on overuse of groundwater could be the nail in the coffin for water out West. "Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico."

Read the Original Article

Lake Mead Before and After the Epic Drought
FutureTense Original Article Date: 2014-07-26

Food Inflation Hitting Fast Food - Beef At All Time High

Jeffrey C. Borneman | July 22, 2014

CNN's cute line is: "Fast food fans, we've got some bad news. Wholesale prices on a bunch of your favorite food products have seen sharp increases this year." Price spikes in beef, avocados, coffee and chocolate are being blamed on drought. Which drought, and what else is afoot?

California's drought is first. I written here about the expectations of Food Inflation and that droughts know no borders. The Brazilian drought is causing Food Inflation there as well. As we all know, countries export Inflation via products-shipped, be it Food or other, so any Food now shipped to the US will be more expensive. I've also noted here that the World Bank has declared Food Inflation a disaster around the globe.

While droughts around the world are partly to blame for this wave of Food Inflation, they are not the only reason. I've noted here regarding the correlation between Food Inflation and Energy Inflation. There is too, the incessant printing of currency by central banks that is driving the overall Inflation rate but Food most notably (Reported at 22% in May, 2014 - noted here). 

So as long as we have drought, high Energy prices and loose monetary policy. we can only expect Food Inflation to continue its climb. 

It does not surprise me that CNN or any other network refuses to cover the reasons behind this Inflationary spike but investors should be keenly aware and position portfolios now to weather this particular Inflation storm. If you'd like to discuss how the MDEF™ Investing strategy is positioned, do contact me directly.

Here's the CNN piece (no money quote)

Read the Original Article

World Drought & Bandits Who Kill For Water

Jeffrey C. Borneman | July 21, 2014

Read the Original Article

Original Article
Original Article Date: 2014-07-21

Water Emergency in California/Nevada

Jeffrey C. Borneman | July 15, 2014

"This is a genuine crisis situation," Mr. Quinn said the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies. "The state board is appropriately trying to grab Californians by the lapels and saying, 'This is an emergency.' "  

California has shot itself in the foot and real people are suffering. It's heartwarming to know Mr. Quinn calls this a "genuine crisis" as opposed to the faux crises that is exacerbating the natural drought. Yes, I'm referring to the Endangered Species Act that considers a two-inch fish to be of more value than humans, Food and property. 

How should investors see this crisis as billions and billions of gallons of Water purposely flow (still) directly to the sea to protect a fish too small to bother to use as bait? 

It is not too early to tally the costs of this self-made environmental disaster. To date: About $1 billion in lost Food production; over 20,000 jobs (property values); the threat (fear) of literally millions of people without Water, and; the added Inflation to Food costs country-wide. 

It is so bad in Nevada the outflow values for Lake Mead are almost above the Water line. What to do? Its been decided to install another one below the historically low Water line (as mentioned here). This is equivalent to punching a hole in the bottom of an empty bucket to get the last few drops. What will be that cost of this passed onto consumers? 

Food Inflation can no longer be hidden and the Water crisis will become world news if hordes of people leave both California and Nevada as, what Water is supplied, becomes too expensive. Water is well on its way to becoming more valuable than oil.

Investors should know the MDEF™ Investing strategy addresses the basics: Metals, Defense, Energy and Food - Yes, it addresses Water in the Food sector ... If you'd like to know how your portfolio might benefit from MDEF™, do contact me directly.

Finally - Clever & Useful News On Food

Jeffrey C. Borneman | July 11, 2014

The MDEF™ Investing strategy is not merely a 'look back' to what propelled mankind through time. A company in Japan has can now grow 10,000 heads of lettuce per day indoors with one-tenth of the water. That is progress ...

A Japanese plant physiologist named Shimamura says that "the systems allows him to grow lettuce full of vitamins and minerals two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm. He is also able to cut discarded produce from 50 percent to just 10 percent of the harvest, compared to a conventional farm. As a result, the farms productivity per square foot is up 100-fold," he says.

It's a wonderful achievement: a balance of space, soil, light and temperature with exceptional results. As Food (production, transportation, availability and affordability) is already a major issue for a world pushing 8 billions people, Mr. Shimamura's technique is not only applicable to other types of produce, it does so with a minuscule water requirement (Water is the new oil). Read the article below for a better understanding as to why this type of Food production advancement is of interest to the MDEF™ Investing strategy.

Here's one more money quote:

By controlling temperature, humidity and irrigation, the farm can also cut its water usage to just 1 percent of the amount needed by outdoor fields.

Read the Original Article

Water and Las Vegas - It's Not Pretty

Jeffrey C. Borneman | July 2, 2014

Imagine losing the GDP of Las Vegas - it is no longer a far-fetched possibility - but becoming more clear each day.

“The situation is as bad as you can imagine,” said Tim Barnett, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “It’s just going to be screwed. And relatively quickly. Unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere Las Vegas is out of business."

And this from a UK paper because no paper in America would run this particular quote. 

Lake Mead supplies water to over 2 million residents in Nevada and according to the water-table, it's 90% empty and no way to replenish it (it took six years after construction of the Hoover Dam to fill Lake Mead to capacity). Water stories rarely replace War stories as hot-news items until something drastic happens; like the taps running dry in, say, Las Vegas (population 600,000+).

Two favorite quotes come to mind: "We're not in Kansas anymore" and this is sure "not your Father's Oldsmobile" stock market. The takeaway for investors in this story is the mental exercise of how an event like this would logically unfold. Will the environmentalists relent and "allow" new water wells to supply the city? If so, would it be enough and in time? And which companies must rise via DEMAND in such a scenario? If you would like to know how the MDEF™ Investing strategy is positioned in the critical area of Food (and Water), contact me directly. 

Here's another money quote on a well written piece re Las Vegas and its dire needs (full article follows):

The drought is like a slow spreading cancer across the desert. It’s not like a tornado or a tsunami, bang. The effects are playing out over decades. And as the water situation becomes more dire we are going to start having to talk about the removal of people (from Las Vegas).

Read the Original Article

The race to stop Las Vegas from running dry
UK Telegraphl Original Article Date: 2014-06-28

A Lesson In EPA Obfuscation

Jeffrey C. Borneman | June 22, 2014

"The EPA is seeking to redefine what bodies of water fall under the agency’s jurisdiction for controlling pollution." Okay, simple enough. So why the groundswell of opposition from lawmakers? Because it is illegal.

Lawmakers rightly fear that the EPA is engaged in a massive and illegal “land grab.” The new Clean Water Act (CWA) rules go far beyond the fear of merely "stop(ping) farmers and others from building fences, digging ditches or draining ponds." 

The EPA means to control all waters in America - including rainwater. It goes without saying that water resources are vital to America - but no more so than to farmland - so now we're discussing Food. The EPA tells us plainly by its proposed CWA rules that this is, in fact, a "land grab" if one is precluded from using water on one's land.

Of course the EPA is aghast there is opposition to its valiant effort to fight pollution. These are its vocal tactics: Calling any opposition a "vocal minority" that is "misguided" claiming any fear of  possible CWA's abuse a "major misconception." That "the country is behind this" and, of course that "We're not changing anything, really ... ".

Did we hear of the EPA's CWA effort before now? "The House has held a series of hearings on the water rule to highlight the fierce opposition from agriculture groups, the stone industry, developers and local governments." Yes, I pointed it out but apparently the lawmaker's who have read the CWA also see it for what it is, and are furious.

The MDEF™ Investing strategy highlights Food as one of the "must own" market sectors; this includes water resources. Contact us for more details.

Here's a money quote (full article follows):

On the other side of Capitol Hill, lawmakers are using the power of the purse to stop the EPA in its tracks. The House Appropriations Committee passed a bill on June 18 that funds the Energy Department and the Army Corps, and included a provision that would prohibit the Army Corps from working on the water rule.

Read the Original Article

China's Voracious Food DEMAND - Every Acre of California Insufficient

Jeffrey C. Borneman | June 18, 2014

A money quote first: "Between drought conditions, soil pollution, and a raging dustbowl, China doesn't have anywhere near that much quality land available to grow crops and raise livestock. They have to look abroad." 

The sheer size of the land masses necessary to supply China's population will require a world effort. Wealthier countries have been cavalier about cheap Food but investors should see Food as they do Energy. All major geopolitical conflicts today have roots in DEMAND for Energy, expressed via the Defense sector. China is currently purchasing Food companies and products worldwide and establishing growing areas in Africa. The DEMAND for Food (and water) supplies may well be added to the reasons for future conflict regardless of current or future Food Inflation. 

Here's another money quote from a timely article (link below):

So as nations become wealthier, it takes much more land per-capita basis to feed them. China is experiencing this growth right now. And this demand is only the tip of the iceberg ... (of) substantially higher food prices. This is what makes agriculture THE no-brainer investment for the coming decade.

Read the Original Article

Food Inflation (Protein) At All Time Highs - Can You See It Now?

Jeffrey C. Borneman | June 17, 2014

Here's the money quote:"The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs has risen 7.7 percent over the span [last year],” says the BLS. “The index for food at home increased 0.7 percent, its largest increase since July 2011." This is why investors must own Food companies.

Most article I've seen on Inflation dismiss previous Food price hikes. Authors buy and repeat the line that Food Inflation does not exist; that Inflation is low, too low, according to the NYTs ... Like children who have no concept of world history before they were born, the meme is perpetuated as the new highs in Food pricing are getting much harder to ignore - here's another money quote: "Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in May. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.4 percent in May after a 1.5 increase in April, with virtually all its major components increasing." Can investors ignore this market sector?

The US is exporting this Inflation abroad which can only add to the unrest in already weak and unstable countries. Investors will look with envy at the Food Inflation chart below and wish their stock portfolios mirrored this growth. Contact me for information on what the MDEF™ Investing strategy has been on Food:

Read the Original Article

Acquisitions in Food Only Beginnig

Jeffrey C. Borneman | June 17, 2014

Should Food be in every investor's portfolio? The question will answer itself if you're human (must eat) and buy your own Food. Health care acquisitions are in the news so it seems a comparison of the industries is timely. First, investors should know that when an industry begins a consolidation phase, it's because there is no organic growth ...

"No organic growth." What does that really mean? It means an industry, be it airlines, insurance, manufacturing or Food, is mature; that it has saturated its market (think a Starbucks on every corner) and DEMAND for its goods or services has plateaued. Consolidation isn't the only answer when a saturation point is reached. New products can be introduced for organic growth, but the return is never certain - new products often fail. Mature companies with massive cash on the their balance sheets often return cash to shareholders in increased, or special, dividends; they can (and do) buy their own stock back (faster ROI). Or a mature company can acquire a competitor and consolidate operations while expanding their portfolio of products - essentially buying another company's DEMAND.

Tyson Foods just acquired Hilllshire Brands for $8.5B to expand an existing portfolio of protein products. Medtronics just acquired Covidien for $43B (and is planning on reincorporating in Ireland to avoid US taxes). While the Medtronic acquisition dwarfs Tyson's, replacement hips are not edible. Tyson broke up a pre-arranged acquisition of Pinnacle Foods by Hillshire. The dinner-bell of consolidation has rung and investors should see the Food sector as a double winner in the ultimate game of DEMAND.

 Here's a money quote re Tyson (full article follows). Note how the word DEMAND is used:

Tyson Foods said it would expect to realize annual synergies in excess of $300 million through the acquisition of Hillshire brands, driven by operational, purchasing, distribution and supply chain efficiencies. In addition, the company said its pork processing operations would benefit from a consistent source of demand for its raw materials for use in Hillshire’s value-added products.

Read the Original Article

Tyson Foods wins the bidding for Hillshire Brands
Food Business News Original Article Date: 2014-06-09

Utah Sues BLM For Stealing Energy/Food Assets With Pen

Jeffrey C. Borneman | June 12, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is hell-bent on adding to its 'conservation' portfolio legally or illegally. The result? Effectively neutering production of Energy and Food by "unlawfully foreclos(ing) oil and gas leasing on unprotected lands."

Utah is suing the BLM for designating 'wilderness criteria" on state land it does not own or control. BLM attorney's apparently just redrew the map with a government issued pen. The question will be who has the deeper pockets for these lawsuits? Contracts for Energy and Food exploration/production are in place but, as we might know some ex-GMAC bond holders, contracts can be broken by the federal government. Investors must see this example of government, through it's alphabet agencies, as a continuance of its effort to constrain production of Energy/Food. We're waiting to hear what obscure critter's future depends on breaking the existing contracts. Here's a money quote and fuller story below:

Western lands have provided cheap, abundant and often renewable food, energy, minerals, timber and reaction for the entire nation for generations. Who better to conserve and steward those resources than the people who live in the lands and have tended them for generations?

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Bureau Of Land Management Forecloses Oil Leasing, Utah Sues
DailyCaller Original Article Date: 2014-06-12

The Misery of Food Inflation in Japan

Jeffrey C. Borneman | June 7, 2014

"Unlike the scores of paid actors ordered to pitch Abenomics and to spread the gospel of rising asset prices, Mieko shares a most rare commodity in this day of pervasive propaganda: the truth."

We don't have paid actors in America "spreading the gospel of rising asset prices" - yet. We were taught that propaganda was something the enemy did; what we received was an education. So far the education we're receiving is limited to academic studies claiming our daily calorie intake is too high by a third, or that Food is just too darn cheap. The recent flurry of Food Inflation stories has quieted but the upward cost spiral is global and different countries are weathering them in their own way. The story below is sobering: Japan thought a bout of high Inflation would aid its economic recovery but brought only intense pain. Whether in the headlines daily or not, the most basic of shared human needs is Food - is it in your portfolio? Here's the money quote (full article follows):

As Bloomberg shows, Tatsunami’s concerns stem from the price of food soaring at the fastest pace in 23 years after April’s sales-tax increase. Rising prices helped push the nation’s misery index to the highest level since 1981, while wages adjusted for inflation fell the most in more than four years.

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Abenomics' Legacy: Japan's Greatest "Misery" In 33 Years
ZH Original Article Date: 2014-06-07

War on Food - Straight From the Top

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 31, 2014

Presented without comment other than to say that I haven't heard anyone say: "That could never happen in America ... " for a long time now.

Michelle Obama's Crazy, Embarrassing Potato Manifesto

By Susan D. Harris

It was eleven o’clock at night and the lady in front of me in the supermarket line was buying jars of baby food and bottles of Pedialyte. The cashier pulled some of the jars aside and told the lady they weren’t covered under the WICprogram. “But you didn’t have the ones I can buy, the shelf is empty. I can’t buy the other ones because he won’t eat them,” the customer said.

“I’m sorry, maybe if you call WIC you can get permission to buy these, but I can’t do anything about it,” the cashier responded.

“I’ve been trying to call them for two days and left messages. I can’t get a return call,” the woman said, now visibly shaken, her voice quivering. “My baby is sick and he’s not going to keep down anything but strained peas and maybe these,” she said pointing to some other jars. “He’ll vomit up anything else.”

Personally I had never realized there were strict guidelines with regard to what kind of baby food you could buy with WIC. Allowed brands vary from state to state. That night was a learning experience.

I’ve never told anyone this before because I don’t believe in trumpeting good deeds; but I bought that woman’s groceries for her that night. We talked briefly about her little boy; she was embarrassed to accept help but conversely desperate to help her child. I went away silently praying the baby would keep his food down.

There isn’t much difference when feeding the elderly. When we are young and healthy, most of us can eat just about anything, if we need to. But both the young and elderly are much less able to gulp down anything that is offered them, often based on real physiological reactions, mouth or dental problems, or dietary restrictions.

When I was on Family Medical Leave Act to care for my elderly father, I got my first taste of the local food pantry. The guidelines were strict, and I was required to leave with about ten boxes of cereal to fulfill the pantry’s crazy grain requirements. You could not refuse any food, or you would be banned from all food pantries.

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At first I was happy with the meat they offered: Tubes of plain hamburger or frozen chicken. My parents were both on salt restricted diets, and I could prepare the food the way I wanted. One day I walked in and saw that all they had in the meat category were Bar-S hotdogs… loaded with salt. I groaned and looked at another pantry visitor as I said, “Is that really all they have for meat?” The pantry worker heard me and gave me a very loud dressing down in front of everyone. “If you have to ask what kind of meat we have then you don’t really need to be here. I’ve been instructed to ban anyone who asks about meat from all food pantries! If you leave here right now without taking the food, I’ll see to it you are banned!”

I sputtered and stammered and was panic stricken, quickly taking all the food I was required to take. It wasn’t worth explaining to someone who clearly wouldn’t listen.

I was quietly fuming at the same time. Fuming as I wondered what poor people do when their bodies can’t tolerate salt; when their bowels can’t tolerate grain or seeds or gluten. What about people with food allergies?

Around this time, I also lived through a period when seeing someone buying a 10 lb bag of potatoes caused feelings of resentment. So much so that I wondered if I was guilty of breaking the commandment, “Thou shall not covet.”

When you are poor, potatoes are like gold. I remember anxiously waiting in line to advance to the table that held potatoes at the food pantry: Would I be allowed to take two…four…maybe six?

So when I began reading Michelle Obama’s “potato manifesto” in the New York Times yesterday, I found myself sputtering and stammering again; but there was nothing quiet about my anger. “Institute of Medicine be damned!” I grumbled. “Why is Michelle Obama writing an opinion piece on white potatoes? Stay out of our lives! Stay out of our children’s lives!”

Obama’s piece also made me think back to my childhood. I had a sensitive stomach. I only ate a few bites of food and took a couple of swallows of milk at lunch. The lunch lady took this as a personal affront, and would often instruct me to take my tray back and eat more; whereupon I would inevitably get a stomach ache. One day she insisted I drink my entire carton of milk. I did, but she regretted it when I vomited it all over her shoes. My mother visited the school the next day with a clear message: “Don’t you ever, ever, tell my child what to eat again. That is between me, her father, her pediatrician, and her. It does not involve you.”

As a child, I also had hemangiomas which caused minor bleeding in my digestive tract -- a condition which is not uncommon, and children eventually outgrow. Through those brief years however, raw vegetables, fresh fruit, any kind of seed, popcorn or grains were carefully monitored by my mother under the guidance of my pediatrician. Some foods were completely off limits. One time, when the teacher told us to bring our own popcorn to watch a movie in class the next day, I brought mine too. My mother had taken on the monumental task of sitting and picking out every hull from the popcorn. I ate mine happily from my little brown bag, blending in with everyone else, and no one was the wiser.

I understand there need to be restrictions on government food programs; I just don’t understand why everything is turning into a government food program.

The comments under Obama’s NY Times potato piece were almost worse than the article. There is nothing more sickening than a bunch of rich people who think they are experts on what poor people should eat. Liberals think conservatives are the condescending “rich people,” but it wasn’t conservatives who were vehemently condemning the potato in defense of Obama. It was, as usual, the Birkenstock, hybrid car, solar panel, legalize pot, liberal crowd who can spend ten minutes lecturing anyone who will listen that McDonald’s french fries and 7-Eleven Big Gulps are the gateway to hell. These are the same people that say they want wealth redistribution to “raise up the poor,” while simultaneously lobbying to wipe out our food supply in an effort to abolish cow flatulence and those nasty smelling pig and chicken farms. And of course they are the same people who forcefully took the corn from the bread basket of America and put it in our gas tanks.

The worst part about Michelle Obama’s piece was the fact that the first lady of the United States once again exposed herself as nothing more than a growling, snarling political animal; assailing the House of Representatives for trying to defy her personal decree to keep potatoes from poor women and children. I don’t think it gets any more embarrassing or crazier than that.

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Michelle Obama's Crazy, Embarrassing Potato Manifesto
AmericanThinker Original Article Date: 2014-05-31

World Bank Finally Acknowledges Food Inflation Crisis

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 30, 2014

As countries race to devalue currencies causing overall Inflation, it is Food Inflation that has the greatest and most direct impact on the global population. 

"According to the World Bank, internationally traded food prices increased by a sharp 4.0 percent. The leap was led by wheat and maize, up 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively." We understand the correlation of Energy costs with Food pricing. We also understand the drought conditions in many of the breadbaskets of the world. Combine these factors with the war in Ukraine (yes, I'll say it: It is a war) and possible conflicts in Asia and the mix is ripe for more Food riots similar to the Arab Spring. Investors must prepare now for the wave of consolidations in the Food chain (pardon the pun) as organic growth is non-existent - it will be a game of mergers and acquisitions based on the most important of human DEMANDs. The money quote is below regarding civil unrest and Food Inflation but play a round of Spot the DEMAND in the article:  

According to the lender, 51 food riots have occurred in 37 countries since 2007, most of them linked to a jump in food prices and aimed at local authorities. This was the case in the crises in Tunisia in 2011 and in South Africa in 2012, the bank said.

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World Bank sounds alarm on rising global food prices
Yahoo News Original Article Date: 2014-05-30

Oil/Food Price Correlation - The Other View of Spiraling Food Costs

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 28, 2014

Charles Hugh Smith ( is one of my favorite thinkers and he has helped us all with the his latest piece regarding oil (Energy) costs and our Food bill.

The concept of eating oil may be unpleasant but it is accurate but Food production requires enormous amounts of Energy. Smith says that until we stop eating oil (10 calories of fossil fuels are consumed to put one calorie of food on the table), oil is the master commodity in the cost of food, and he's correct. Regardless of the massive discoveries of oil, nat-gas around the globe, it is the geopolitics of Energy-posturing that will force Energy prices ever higher. If the correlation of Oil/Food prices hold, investors would be wise to understand the history of Food as a Weapon. Here is a great quote from Smith (full article follows): 

While these factors undoubtedly influence the cost of food, it turns out that food moves in virtual lockstep with the one master commodity in an industrialized global economy: oil.

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Why Are Food Prices so High? Because We're Eating Oil
Oftwominds Original Article Date: 2014-05-28

The Flood of Food Inflation News Continues

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 27, 2014

Excellent question: "... how long does it take the Street to identify an elephant in the room? Apparently the answer to that question is a time period longer than should be the case."

So Wall Street has finally recognized the severity of Food Inflation here in the US. For a bunch of guys 'n girls whose get paid large sums to have missed what each pays for daily is surprising - some might say it had to be intentional. Investors will remember the Arab Spring and its cause. That kind of reaction could happen in any country that mismanages its fiscal policy - that includes the United States. The MDEF™ Investing strategy reflects only what States and individuals need most; and need daily - Food is just one of the four critical market sectors. Here's the money quote to a very good recap (full article follows):

And we can assure you that the internet cannot produce a single soybean. Still requires a farmer in the field using equipment, fertilizer, and seed. Still requires someone to gather, process and move those soybeans around the world in order to feed global consumers. In that process money, our real interest, flows from consumers to farmers. Agri-Equities are the ultimate benefit of this flow of money, and they remain largely ignored by the investment community.

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Agri-Foods Dramatic Price Rise During 2014
The Market Oracle Original Article Date: 2014-05-27

For Those That Don't Understand Why It's a Man-Made Drought

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 26, 2014

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California Drains Reservoirs in the Middle of a Drought
WSJ Original Article Date: 2014-05-26

The Real Food Inflation Rate - 22%

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 26, 2014

Has the title grabbed your attention? This story only concerns those who eat Food in America or investors interested in the direction of DEMAND. 

"Given the lag in commodity costs impacting prices on grocery store shelves, annual U.S. food inflation is now running at +22% and rising." The author of the story below is right on-target. I know because I am the shopper in our family and measuring the effects of QE since 2009. DEMAND for Food cannot abate but the types of Food in DEMAND will be affected; more expensive categories are being abandoned for cheaper alternatives. Remember my earlier post today from Pew shaming us into shedding 450+ calories per day. It will become much easier as Food Inflation, now at 22%, must continue its rise as the lag in prices catches up to the check-out counter. The MDEF™Investing strategy is tailored for where DEMAND must rotate predicated upon either Inflation or Deflation. Here's the money quote (full article follows): 

The real culprit for food inflation is the $940 billion of additional monetary stimulus from the United States Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing over the last twelve months. Inflation has been in hibernation for a long time, but it is wide awake now.

Read the Original Article

Breitbart Original Article Date: 2014-05-26

Disinformation & How It's Used to Manage the Meme of Food Inflation

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 26, 2014

Every premise in the article below is false with one minor exception. It is "studies" like this funded and published to alter our perceptions; in this case Food Is too Cheap ...

Yes, Food prices have come down since the 1970's as American farming techniques improved to feed the world's burgeoning population. Using the grain of truth that some Americans are obese, we are to collectively admit and submit that Food costs must rise for the benefit of the collective. Food prices are rapidly Inflating (noted here almost weekly) as the multi-pronged effort to Inflate the economy lifts all costs. Oh, the proof cited for the obesity epidemic? It is laid at the feet of an extra 459 calories per day by Americans since the 1970's. This is the kind of data we are to accept as scientific. It is crucial to the meme that we are not competent enough to manage our Food choices so we should look at the bright side: We can't afford the extra calories! Good for us! Investors understand the real reason Food production and distribution cost's are rising and should invest accordingly. Here's the money quote (full article follows):

The average American’s total caloric intake (adjusted for spoilage and other waste) rose from 2,109 calories in 1970 to 2,568 calories in 2010, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data — the equivalent of an extra steak sandwich every day. Little surprise, then, that more than 78 million U.S. adults, or 34.9%, were obese in 2011-12 — more than twice the rate found in a 1976-1980 health survey.

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Chart of the Week: Is food too cheap for our own good?
PEW Original Article Date: 2014-05-26

Memorial Day Update on Food Inflation

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 23, 2014

Add rising cost to a dwindling source-of-production; mix thoroughly with constant DEMAND, and the result is consumer sticker shock.

It was a given that Food costs would rise dramatically. The causes are too many to list here but the article below cites the droughts in various locals. Those watching California's drought know the lack of water for farming was intentional. For the 50 million people on Food Stamps, the actual cost of Food is a non-issue. For the "rich" any increase is inconsequential. Rising Food costs hit the middle-class hardest and DEMAND for Food will only abate as the population shrinks. Investors would be wise to compare what actual Food costs are before assuming any data coming from the USDA is correct. Here's my pick for the money quote from them, see if it correlates with your experience as a consumer (full article follows):

That is up from 2013, when retail food prices were almost flat, but in line with historical norms and unchanged from April's forecast.

Read the Original Article

Food Inflation & The Last Man Standing

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 22, 2014

Cheap Energy has exploded the populations of middle east countries and now, coupled with weather patterns, will cause a population crash (or clash).

Cheap Energy equates to affordable food. The American Thinker piece below discusses the Arab Spring but not its root cause: it was not a cry for democracy (as the MSM said at the time), but a defiant and desperate cry for affordable Food. Since 2009, the US has exported it's Inflation in massive waves. What Inflation we experience at home is felt in degrees of magnitude higher abroad, and the IMF is begging for more. It was this Inflation that toppled two governments and caused intense misery in countries that mean nothing to the average American. Good article nonetheless and worth the read to see how Israel could outlast everyone - simply because it can afford to feed itself. Here's the money quote (full article follows):

At some stage the cost of keeping everyone fed will overwhelm one of the MENA countries and it will collapse in mass starvation. There will then be a mad scramble around the world to stockpile grain, sending prices yet higher.

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Israel Will Be The Last Man Standing in the Middle East
American Thinker Original Article Date: 2014-05-22

It's All About Water Rights ... Man-made or Not

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 20, 2014

The EPA has declared war on private property owners who create water-trapping systems for cattle or irrigation.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 was never envisioned to become the on-ramp for a terror-inducing federal agency to bankrupt individual property owners - but that is exactly what it has become. The Bundy situation in Nevada was, at its root, a water-rights issue and many other confrontations are occurring around the country. Controlling water is the ultimate effort to control all commerce and negate the basic premise of private property, which is the most important leg in the stool of free enterprise. Here's the money quote (full article follows):

"If ... the [Johnson] Compliance Order stands as an example of how EPA intends to operate after completing its ... rulemaking, it should give pause to each and every landowner throughout the country."

Read the Original Article

Agri-Biz: Crop Planting on Schedule - Now We Watch the Weather

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 17, 2014

The horrendously cold and long winter had agri-conomists fretting about the preparation for, and implementation of, this planting season. Those fears are now allayed, at least temporarily, according to

Now it is up to the weather. We're hoping for a normal season of heat and rain to produce bumper crops and bring prices down. As investors we seek the greatest return possible but when it come to our Food, most investors would settle for an average return and lower pricing throughout the Food chain. Prices will be up due to the Fed's "Inflation at all cost" mantra, but a bumper crop of corn, soy beans and wheat can offset the Inflation lunacy. Here's the money quote - remember a "bearish" call can actually be very good:

This is very bearish for these two crops, as the delayed planting is no longer an issue in corn and soybeans (and any other crop grown in the southern two thirds of the U.S.).

Read the Original Article

Corn, Soybean Planting Progress Catches Up to Normal Original Article Date: 2014-05-17

Faux DEMAND & Biofuels

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 16, 2014

Not all DEMAND is natural. Unnatural DEMAND is making consumers purchase products and usually requires coercion of some kind (legislation), but the production of the product of unnatural DEMAND is an entirely different animal.

Producers recognize DEMAND; they fill needs with the hope of profit. If biofuels were in DEMAND, the producers would eagerly risk their own investment capital to fill the DEMAND. I am sorry to be so sophomoric but this point is lost on too many intelligent investors. The EPA has, without fanfare, admitted defeat in biofuels. The elimination of the subsidy for biofuels is collapsing the biofuels market as faux DEMAND always evaporates without coercive funding. The EPA will not be held responsible for the Inflation it caused in the Food chain through the diversion of corn - or the wake of bad debt from new, but idled plants. We will hear continued cries about lost jobs but should not be swayed that job creation was ever a government responsibility - referees do not play in the game ... No money quote:

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"Holy Cow" Takes on New Meaning

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 16, 2014

If you eat, this story concerns you. If you're an investor, you'll know what to do with this data.

Meat prices (known simply as "protein" by Food economists) are up 3% last month and the hurricane flags are flying (go ahead an annualize that). I could write pages more on why Food is in the MDEF™ strategy and why the price must rise further, but the money quote is such great snark, you should read it instead (full article with great charts follows):

The Fed 'meme' that low-flation is as dangerous as high-flation (thus providing them an excuse to keep priming the pump) is about to run into a problem as the hedonic manipulation of government-provided inflation data runs into the ugly reality of things that we need actually soaring in price...

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Meat Prices Surge Most In 11 Years
Zero Hedge Original Article Date: 2014-05-16

Prospects for the 2014 Wheat Crop

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 14, 2014

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Prospects for the 2014 Wheat Crop
ProAg Original Article Date: 2014-05-14

How Did Cattle Prices Get So High?

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 14, 2014

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How Did Cattle Prices Get So High?
ProAg Original Article Date: 2014-05-14

Food, M&A and Meat n' Pickles

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 12, 2014

Apparently our friends at JPM cannot quite understand the synergy in Hillshire's bid to purchase another Food company.

It certainly fits the MDEF™ strategy of DEMAND perfectly and $4.23B is very hard to ignore for your shareholders. Let's see the logic from Hillshire and NOTE the reference to reduced sales due to Inflation. Here's the money quote (full article follows):

Given its reduced reliance on meat, the new Hillshire is expected to have significantly higher profit margins. Rising prices for fresh meat have hurt margins and led the company to increase prices in stores.

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Food Inflation - The New Numbers are Out (and they are not good)

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 11, 2014

Every sentence in the article below is important for the investor seeking DEMAND that cannot dissipate during Inflationary times.

Every sentence in the article below is important for the investor seeking DEMAND that cannot dissipate during Inflationary times. As posted last week, Food Inflation has several causes beside the quantity of USD being pushed into the economy, and we now have a convergence of Inflationary events that is sending Food prices dangerously high for many.

Read the Original Article

Original Article
ZeroHedge Original Article Date: 2014-03-19

Food - The Bee Problem Explained Further

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 11, 2014

All of mankind will not vanish without the bees - just most of us, as we can't afford whatever Food products are left.

All of mankind will not vanish without the bees - just most of us, as we can't afford whatever Food products are left. Food Inflation has so many causes and the bee problem is one that discussed enough, so, here's an update from November - money quote first (full article follows):

Bee populations are so low in the US that it now takes 60% of the country’s surviving colonies just to pollinate one California crop, almonds. And that’s not just a west coast problem—California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, a market worth $4 billion.

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Original Article
WorldTruth Original Article Date: 2013-11-15

Food Production & Temperatures

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 9, 2014

Even an urban dweller can makes sense of the graph below.

Even an urban dweller can makes sense of the graph below. It's just a graph that makes the entire article. Consider what the USDA will be telling us a few week's hence about expected crop yields and what that will mean to investors, much less those who actually buy groceries. The title says is all (graph follows):

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Coldest Year on Record so far in the US
Wordpress Original Article Date: 2014-05-08

Slowing DEMAND - Q1 GDP

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 1, 2014

It is not a question of "if" a market rotation into "need" from "want" will take place - DEMAND dictates it

Watching heads explode on MSM on the terrible Q1 GDP print. Buried in the details we find two key pieces of data. The first: " ... investment on equipment (Cap-Ex), another key economic cog, fell 5.5% to mark the biggest drop in almost five years." CEOs are paid real money to protect their companies (not waste money on non-returning investments). CEOs see much lower DEMAND, hence lower Cap-Ex. NOTE: Always look at the comparisons to '08-'09, a particularly bad economic environment.

The second is the export numbers: "Exports (-7.6%) fell faster than imports (-1.4%) to push the trade deficit higher and also act as a drag on growth." This number speaks to dwindling world-wide DEMAND and with no catalyst for growth across the globe (with the exception of "conflict[s]"), we can expect continued layoffs, calls for higher minimum wage and cover for the Fed to continue - if not raise - the QE. 

It is not a question of "if" a market rotation into "need" from "want" will take place - DEMAND dictates it. Here's the story:

Read the Original Article

First-quarter U.S. GDP barely rises, up 0.1%
By: Jeffry Bartash Market Watch Original Article Date: 2014-04-30

Why DEMAND is in Free Fall

Jeffrey C. Borneman | May 1, 2014

This should surprise no investor. It is certainly no surprise to the Fed as it sees these numbers in real-time. Investors don't need that particular luxury as trajectory is just as valuable.

This should surprise no investor. It is certainly no surprise to the Fed as it sees these numbers in real-time. Investors don't need that particular luxury as trajectory is just as valuable. There are many money quotes, here's the one I chose:

One-fifth of the families in the entire country do not have a single member with a job. That is absolutely astonishing.'

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The Real Unemployment Rate: In 20% Of American Families, Everyone Is Unemployed
By: Michael Snyder Zero Hedge Original Article Date: 2014-04-29