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Food stockpilling in the us

April 28, 2008

The Daily Show puts the idea that Americans are now hoarding and stockpilling basic supplies like rice, into very sharp focus.

Sam’s Club now restricts rice purchases to four bags per visit.

Of course, we know The Daily Show’s stock in trade is satire, but the WSJ?

“I don’t want to alarm anybody, but maybe it’s time for Americans to start stockpiling food.

No, this is not a drill.

You’ve seen the TV footage of food riots in parts of
the developing world. Yes, they’re a long way away from the U.S. But
most foodstuffs operate in a global market. When the cost of wheat
soars in Asia, it will do the same here.

Reality: Food prices are already rising here much
faster than the returns you are likely to get from keeping your money
in a bank or money-market fund. And there are very good reasons to
believe prices on the shelves are about to start rising a lot faster.

“Load up the pantry,” says Manu Daftary, one of Wall Street’s top investors and the manager of the Quaker Strategic Growth
mutual fund. “I think prices are going higher. People are too
complacent. They think it isn’t going to happen here. But I don’t know
how the food companies can absorb higher costs.” (Full disclosure: I am
an investor in Quaker Strategic)

Stocking up on food may not replace your long-term
investments, but it may make a sensible home for some of your
shorter-term cash. Do the math. If you keep your standby cash in a
money-market fund you’ll be lucky to get a 2.5% interest rate. Even the
best one-year certificate of deposit you can find is only going to pay
you about 4.1%, according to And those yields are before

Could Americans be so scared and fearful of rising prices that this Summer we will see mile long lines at gas stations and riots in the grocery aisles over bread, pasta and rice?

Posted by Ed Cotton

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