Throughout history, importing food has been normal. It might not be the smartest move strategically, but it has a place economically and demographically. The ancient Greeks had to import most of their grain, probably as a result of over farming marginal land, and most of their wars until empire collapse had a strong component of protecting their food imports. Egypt has its share of problems food wise, but even that might not be as big a deal as when a country upstream decides to divert the Nile ( Egypt has long ago declared that action a cause to declare war, not to say she can win ). The Russian Communists had to import grain many times to offset its poor central planning disasters, although now she is doing well with a energy surplus in a oil starved globe. Britain long ago gave up on food security, foolishly choosing her colonies as her bread basket. Naturally, she no longer has them. The US has focused on nothing but population growth as a cure for her economic ills, but that soon will backfire as a single swath of land growing corn on ruined soil feeds most of the masses. Already, up to thirty percent of food is imported ( right now it might only be produce, replacing a drought plagued California’s product, but it puts to shame the myth of cornucopia to the planet ).
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The point is, that food self sufficiency is desirable but rarely practiced forever. And so with a nation, perhaps with a prepper. You might believe that your six months food supply and a garden are sufficient to weather a coming storm of biblical proportions ( be it whatever disaster you wish, the coming Perfect Storm Meets Black Swan should be a record breaker ). I do not. I believe you need to be realistic. I understand that in your fantasy world, neighbors hold hands, pledge eternal allegiance, and respect each others property. OMMFG!!!! Oh My Mother Flipping God!!!! Naïve, much? You all fear the unprepared, the jerk with a hunting rifle and forty rounds, no deer to be had but plenty of stewpot meat handy at your address. Or, the city mayor that commands the cops, reserves, deputies and left over National Guardsmen, and they go house to house killing and impounding. Yet, you must also fear your fellow preppers. I don’t care how well you got along at first, or how prepared you both are, in the future alliances shift with need. The future will NOT be small land holders self sufficient in food production. It will merely be a reshuffling of borders by the new war lords. You might keep your land, but only after you pay the Kings Fifth. And with this new feudal map redrawing, there will once again be a lot of places that don’t grow enough food for themselves. Because marginal land is a buffer, or must not fall into others hands. Or is strategically important ( Afghanistan can’t feed itself, even after thirty years of depopulation through war- they trade opium for wheat- but it is valuable real estate strategically ).
You might consider that shortly after the cards are reshuffled, trade once again is encouraged and protected because it has to be. Food must be imported. And, you can benefit somehow from this. You might not be able to totally feed yourself, perhaps because you chose an area unable to be farmed but ideal because of lack of population and cheap land, but you can trade skills or that areas unique product for imported food. No guarantees of course. You can’t know how the future unfolds ( we might actual go global with a decentralized government totally isolated from each other with no trade ). But all futures DON’T have to be self sufficient farms. There are historically based options.
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