Call 540 672 5671  |  
Mon-Thur 8:30 am-5:30 pm; Fri 8:30-12:30 EST
These Times

These Times

A penetrating look at current events in light of Bible prophecy

Food Insecurity Rises Across the US

In 2023, across all regions and states in the US, food banks and food assistance programs experienced record-breaking demand from families unable to feed themselves.

The rising cost of food, the inability of wages to keep up with soaring prices, and the elimination of federal pandemic food assistance programs all combined to create an unprecedented demand for food.

Some food charities report a 50 percent increase in demand for their services from 2022 and a 30 percent monthly increase for food assistance from some who are unable to provide for their households for the first time. They’re scared and overwhelmed.

Not since 2014 have Americans been under this kind of food insecurity—reaching 44 million this year, a 10 million increase. “That figure represents the largest one-year increase in food insecurity since 2008, and includes 13 million children.”

Unfortunately, this historic level of need has hit just when donations are down and declining for all charitable organizations, and many food assistance programs are unsure how they will restock.

Bible prophecy reveals that the economy will only worsen before Jesus returns. Sharing what we have, practicing frugality and economy, and growing as much of our own food as possible makes good sense under these circumstances. Simplicity coupled with generosity provide us with opportunities to be faithful representatives of our loving heavenly Father. In God’s Word we are assured, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” Ps. 41:1.

Demand at food banks and pantries reaches ‘catastrophic’ levels,PennLive, Dec. 4, 2023.

Fighting Climate Change with Insects?

On October 17, 2023, Tyson Foods, Inc., one of the world’s largest food companies, and a major producer of beef, pork, and chicken, announced a new partnership with Protix, a leading global insect ingredients company. The partnership gives Tyson both a stake in Protix and the opportunity to build the first US at-scale, enclosed system insect ingredient facility. 

Animal waste will be used to feed black soldier flies that will be bred, incubated, and hatched at the facility. The facility will upcycle animal manufacturing byproducts into “high-quality insect proteins and lipids” to be added primarily to pet food, livestock feed, and aquaculture.

“The insect lifecycle [sic] provides the opportunity for full circularity within our value chain, strengthening our commitment to building a more sustainable food system for the future,” said John R. Tyson, CFO of Tyson Foods.

The CEO of Protix, Kees Aarts, also sees a bright future for the collaboration: “Tyson Foods’ and Protix’s strategic partnership advances our joint work towards creating high-quality, more sustainable protein using innovative technology and solutions.”

The World Economic Forum elites and policy influencers claim that incorporating insects into our food supply will reduce the carbon footprint, slow climate change, and increase sustainability in our food systems. But saving the planet by breeding bugs in a closed animal waste/animal factory farming feed loop doesn’t sound good for humanity or for nature.

Sounds like there never was a better time to grow your own food and become a plant-based vegetarian—the original diet given to us by God and the healthiest plan for the planet! See Gen. 1:29. God later allowed animal foods after the Genesis Flood rendered plant production more difficult; yet He strictly limited food animals and insects to the cleanest of every species and described them and their preparation in great detail. See Lev. 11 and Deut. 14. 

Tyson Foods Announces Partnership with Protix for More Sustainable Protein Production,Tyson, Oct. 17, 2023.

Organ Trafficking Among Migrants

A new and grisly market in human trafficking has recently come to light—the sale of human organs. The market is small but growing and exists because the legal supply of organs for organ donation cannot meet the desperate demand for them.

In a heartrending presentation before the US Congress on November 14, 2023, Jarrod Salduski, a criminology expert and an associate professor at American Military Institute, explained that organ traffickers along major migrant smuggling corridors throughout Central America, Venezuela, and Colombia are especially interested in juvenile organs.

Salduski has spent significant time in these countries researching modern trafficking trends and educating police and humanitarian workers fighting all forms of human trafficking. On one of his visits, he met a rehabilitated gangster who shared openly about the market for human organs. The ex-gangster explained how traffickers frequent homeless places, shelters, encampments, and drug houses where families camp with their kids. He remembered a particular organ trafficker who operated out of Mexico, Venezuela, and the Philippines who had kidnapped a 12-year-old boy because someone had paid him $15,000 for the child’s eye.

Organ trafficking involves a high level of medical sophistication. Criminals who operate in this sphere are connected to highly skilled medical practitioners—perhaps even doctors and nurses—who sell their souls in this tragic crime against disadvantaged minors.

The problem of global trafficking can seem overwhelming. What can you do? We aren’t all called to global efforts like Jarrod Salduski is, but we are called to local ones. There are at-risk people and children around us. Ask God to open your eyes to their needs and show you how you can offer them kindness, love, and connection. This can go a long way in providing safe relationships and a reference point for them to question unhealthy situations.

Organ traffickers prey on migrants seeking U.S.; kidnappers find lucrative market for juveniles,” The Washington Times, Dec. 3, 2023.

FedNow, a US Precursor to a CBDC

In July 2023, FedNow was launched in the United States. Developed by the Federal Reserve (the Fed), the FedNow payment system allows financial institutions to provide instant payment services to their customers. Promoted as being safe, efficient, and instant, it allows customers and recipients to send and receive money instantly, and to fully access funds immediately.

While FedNow is not a central bank digital currency (CBDC), it’s a fast financial infrastructure upon which a CBDC could potentially be built. 

Presently only 223 financial institutions, service providers, settlement and liquidity providers, including the US Treasury, are participating in FedNow. But the Fed envisions expanding that number to 10,000 financial institutions.

The Fed website clearly states that it envisions programming additional features into the FedNow platform. If and when a retail digital dollar or US retail CBDC is incorporated into the FedNow system, this could include features such as placing limits on your spending or even freezing your spending power. It could control where and on what your currency can be spent, whether it can be spent, and when the currency would expire.

A retail CBDC in the United States poses substantial risks to financial privacy, financial freedom, free markets, and cybersecurity. While the Fed hasn’t said that a CBDC will become a part of FedNow anytime soon, it does plan to introduce new features and functionality in FedNow in the coming months, like risk management and additional fraud prevention tools, as well as more direct access to important account information. 

The Fed anticipates that its new FedNow technology and infrastructure will, in time, revolutionize the banking industry and eventually replace traditional financial transaction settlement methods, such as checks, ACH, and wire services.

FedNow® Service: Frequently Asked Questions,Federal Reserve, Nov. 17, 2023.

Image credits

  • ©