The crushing economic destruction of the American people is to borrow one of those great Orwellian terms from the oligarchy’s media shills “picking up steam”.  Food prices, in particular meat prices are currently exploding into the stratosphere in inverse proportion to the purchasing power of American wage slaves who continue to be sucked dry by the corrupt government, the permanent war machine and the ongoing subsidizing of Wall Street casinos. It is a long holiday weekend and the traditional BBQ’s that will take place will likely feature more cheap hamburger cut with pink slime and additive packed hot dogs than actual steak and beef ribs. The next leg down on the collapse is under way and it is going to hit Americans in the pocketbook as well as their stomachs.

A recent post from libertarian financial blog Zero Hedge  “The Meat Crisis Is Here: Price Of Shrimp Up 61% – 7 Million Pigs Dead – Beef At All-Time High” (originally at The Economic Collapse by Michael Snyder) provides the following grim news:

As the price of meat continues to skyrocket, will it soon be considered a “luxury item” for most American families?  This week we learned that the price of meat in the United States rose at the fastest pace in more than 10 years last month.  Leading the way is the price of shrimp.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of shrimp has jumped an astounding 61 percent compared to a year ago.  The price of pork is also moving upward aggressively thanks to a disease which has already killed about 10 percent of all of the pigs in the entire country.  And the endless drought in the western half of the country has caused the size of the U.S. cattle herd to shrink to a 63 year low and has pushed the price of beef to an all-time high.  This is really bad news if you like to eat meat.  The truth is that the coming “meat crisis” is already here, and it looks like it is going to get a lot worse in the months ahead.

A devastating bacterial disease called “early mortality syndrome” is crippling the shrimping industry all over Asia right now.  According to Bloomberg, this has pushed the price of shrimp up 61 percent over the past 12 months…

In March, shrimp prices jumped 61 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The climb is mainly due to a bacterial disease known as early mortality syndrome. While the ailment has no effect on humans, it’s wreaking havoc on young shrimp farmed in Southeast Asia, shrinking supplies.

This disease has an extremely high mortality rate.  In fact, according to the article that I just quoted, it kills approximately nine out of every ten shrimp that it infects…

Cases of early mortality syndrome, which destroys the digestive systems of young shrimp, were first reported in China in 2009, said Donald Lightner, a professor of animal and comparative biomedical sciences at University of Arizona in Tucson.

The disease, which kills about 90 percent of the shrimp it infects, traveled from China to Vietnam to Malaysia and then to Thailand, he said. Cases also were reported in Mexico last year, Lightner said.

A different disease is driving up the price of pork in the United States.  It is known as the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and in less than a year it has spread to 30 states and has killed approximately 7 million pigs.

The price of bacon is already up 13.1 percent over the past year, but this is just the beginning.

It is being projected that U.S. pork production could be down by as much as 10 percent this year, and Americans could end up paying up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of 2014.

The price of beef has also moved to unprecedented heights.  Thanks to the crippling drought that never seems to end in the western half of the nation, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has been declining for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.

Over the past year, the price of ground chuck beef is up 5.9 percent.  It would have been worse, but ranchers have been slaughtering lots of cattle in order to thin their herds in a desperate attempt to get through this drought.  If this drought does not end soon, the price of beef is going to go much, much higher.

As prices for shrimp, pork and beef have risen, many consumers have been eating more chicken.  But the price of chicken is rising rapidly as well.

In fact, the price of chicken breast is up 12.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Not ones to in the words of the slimy mayor of Chicago never let a good crisis go to wastethere is money to be made off of the rising cost of meat and with drought raging through California the cash register bells are ringing as big food corporations rush to increase production of chicken which will further drive up prices. There are very tough days coming, especially as the government offsets costs in programs – such as food stamps to continue to buy more jets, drones, tanks, bombs, armored personnel carriers as well as keep the gamblers who run the financial markets afloat perhaps there is the day coming where the convergence of forces sparks a new growth industry in providing an alternative food source.

The reference to Soylent Green may be lost on some but any person of my age, science fiction movie fans and others whose knowledge of popular culture isn’t mired in the era of reality trash television is of course one to the classic – and like so many others of the era – now prophetic 1973 movie. The film starred macho man Charlton Heston while he was between his most famous gigs as Moses and head of the National Rifle Association and predicted a dystopian future of overpopulation, poverty and food shortages. Someone in the future had an innovative idea on how to solve the food shortages and that was Soylent Green. Considering the stupid, demented, unimaginative and psychotic qualities of our political elite it would be no surprise whatsoever if this idea is already bouncing around in the hallowed confines of the best and the brightest in Washington and New York. I saw the movie as a young teen and it has stuck with me ever since, when it comes to a grim depiction of the future it only lags behind “The Road” and “Idiocracy” in terms of terrifying scenarios.

The weekly trips to the grocery store keep adding up as do gas, electric and housing costs – all of which are not included in official government calculations of what constitutes inflation as“Core Inflation” omits food and energy costs. For the past few years portions have been shrinking as big food conglomerates design packaging that is ever smaller while not lowering prices and luxury items continue to rise in price. With the meat price spike it is going to become imperative to alter my diet and finally appease my cardiologist who has been advising me to cut down on the consumption of meat for years now. Hey, I like vegetables, beans and rice and have a damned good and reasonable local produce stand very close to me so a change in eating habits is doable. What is troubling is that with the growth in pre-prepared convenient food over the last couple of decades that others may not be able to make the transition as easily as I.

I suspect that at this rate that in some households across the fruited plain that the family dog may soon end up on the menu out of necessity as meat becomes increasingly priced out of the budget of the beggared masses.

Soylent Red, White and Blue anyone?