The point of "early" 1914 was that by "mid" 1914 we had a horrific world war going on with massacres, huge numbers of death, and not long after that a worldwide plague that killed tens of millions of people.
Things are fine now... in "late" 2015. By "late" 2016, things could go all to hell and we could have billions dead. Things are 'so far so good".
On the food intolerance--
We process food differently- we sneak gluten into everything (mostly to save a few cents). People who get diarhea, who bleed, who lose villie, and who die from this must be the most incredible hypochodriacs ever. I have one friend who's entire skin (inside and out) peels when she gets exposed to the low levels in grain based vodka.
It gets cheaper all the time to work with diseases. A well designed disease which had a high infection rate but a slower mortality period would spread widely before it started killing people.
Low probably but catastrophic results.
The automation thing is different. Over half the population literally won't be able to work as well as a machine. Lots of luddites died homeless of exposure (and were killed when they turned violent when they lost hope of fair treatment). Picture that on a much larger scale. As in over 50% of the world's population being unable to trade labor for food and shelter.
On the fruit and vegetable thing... we have artificial estrogens causing young girls to start their periods at 9 and meanwhile male fertility has dropped by 95% in the last 100 years almost entirely due to environmental toxins. Likewise, many of the fruits would be unrecognizable as they are mostly cellulose to make it easier to ship them and to extend their shelf life. "real" fruits and vegetables are prohibitively expensive for most. Many people survive on a diet of empty calories since they can't afford the real stuff.
A financial panic is going to have a larger impact because the amount of world resources impacted will be larger. The number of people affected will be an order of magnitude greater. Recovering will take much longer than previously. It's 'good until if fails and then it's really bad". Things are much more brittle than they used to be. It's cheaper until you get a crisis and then you have no food on the shelves for a week (and no gasoline to leave the area) and no option to obtain food.
We really are sort of riding the chaotic wave these days. It is better in many ways- but it's much more brittle than it used to be. Redundancy has been removed from the system. It's like appliances. My A/C is 32 years old. A capacitor went out two years ago. The repairman said, "This is 20 years old. The new one I put in, will not last over 5 years. Also, if you get a new A/C unit, it won't last over 10 years. Probably 7."