Soon Glenn Beck may start boasting of his “coat of many colors” much like Jospeph from the Bible. Today Glenn Beck continued to try and sell Food Insurance by warning his audience of a coming disaster of Biblical proportions. Beck actually went as far as to say his audience should invest in Food Insurance rather than putting their money in a savings account. To support his argument, Beck cited the prophecy of Joseph from Genesis, when Joseph warns a coming famine. Under Beck’s claim, America is about to experience a famine just like Egypt, and Beck is warning the county much like Joseph did in ancient Egypt.
For those unfamiliar with the story of Joseph from Genesis chapter 41, Joseph, who is a Jew from Israel, interprets a dream to warn the Pharaoh of Egypt about a coming famine in the land. Joseph tells the Pharaoh to store up grain in order to prepare. The Pharaoh listens to Joseph and the country is saved. Joseph is subsequently appointed to a high post under the Pharaoh.
Beck urges his own audience to store food like the Pharaoh of Egypt, but there are some differences between current day America and ancient Egypt to say the least.
In the story of Genesis the people of Egypt suffered a famine in which there was not enough food for the population. Currently food prices are increasing as Beck states, but those higher prices are driven by demand, fuel prices, and speculation more than supply. In addition, food prices have not got up nearly as much as Beck has predicted. In 2010 Beck predicted that Americans would pay $15 for a Hershey bar and $23 for a loaf of bread. Anyone who goes to their local grocery store will notice that food prices have not risen near those levels.
Beck cites other countries like Chad that have higher food prices, but those countries do not have the same access to crops as the United States. Beck also neglects to mention the fact that much of the United States farm land remains purposefully dormant. Farmers do not grow on all their fields because it is either not worth it economically or because they receive federal subsidies in order to not grow too many crops. If food prices truly started to rise rapidly this land would once again be put into use, which would increase supply and subsequently decrease prices.
Beck also never refers to the prices of the sponsor Food Insurance. A one year supply of Food Insurance for a family of five costs $6,499 excluding tax. That is much more than many families would spend on food in one year. If Beck’s prophecy did not come true, the family would need to actually eat their own Food Insurance in order to avoid a complete loss. Food Insurance is made up mostly of freeze-dried packages which include meals like “chicken ala king” and “beef stroganoff.”