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Food shortages -- in the US?

Food shortages -- in the US?
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  • Food shortages -- in the US?

    Post #1 - July 13th, 2021, 4:59 pm
    Post #1 - July 13th, 2021, 4:59 pm Post #1 - July 13th, 2021, 4:59 pm
    Who knows how accurate this is? Seen on Facebook: "PSA for anyone who eats in the US or Canada. This year’s wheat harvest is shaping up as dreadful. Durum, used for pasta and bread flour, looks to be the worst in at least 60 years. Soft White Winter wheat, used for pastry flour, and Hard Red Winter [all-purpose] are facing the worst harvests since the 1988 drought. This is a good time to stock up and hoard, since the news is not widely known. Pasta keeps just about forever and a doubling in price is not inconceivable. Same with assorted flours if you bake at home, except flours should be stored in a freezer to prevent damage from Indian Meal Moth and other bugs. Bread also freezes quite well, and will do just fine for at least a year, probably two. Canola oil is also likely to see a price jump, as the crops across Alberta and Saskatchewan have also been clobbered. It also keeps well for years.”
    Last edited by Joy on July 23rd, 2021, 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - July 13th, 2021, 6:01 pm
    Post #2 - July 13th, 2021, 6:01 pm Post #2 - July 13th, 2021, 6:01 pm
    Joy wrote:Who knows how accurate this is? Seen on Facebook: "PSA for anyone who eats in the US or Canada. This year’s wheat harvest is shaping up as dreadful. Durum, used for pasta and bread flour, looks to be the worst in at least 60 years. Soft White Winter wheat, used for pastry flour, and Hard Red Winter [all-purpose] are facing the worst harvests since the 1988 drought. This is a good time to stock up and hoard, since the news is not widely known. Pasta keeps just about forever and a doubling in price is not inconceivable. Same with assorted flours if you bake at home, except flours should be stored in a freezer to prevent damage from Indian Meal Moth and other bugs. Bread also freezes quite well, and will do just fine for at least a year, probably two. Canola oil is also likely to see a price jump, as the crops across Alberta and Saskatchewan have also been clobbered. It also keeps well for years.”

    I can only wonder how many rolls of toilet paper the author of that Facebook post still has in their home. Some people are the absolute worst. We saw it at the start of the pandemic. No surprise people are ready to jump and do it again.

    Also, a quick Google search reveals that while there is likely to be less harvested than usual to drought, there doesn't appear to be anything to back up the claim that wheat will be hard to find, only that it would cost more.
  • Post #3 - July 13th, 2021, 7:55 pm
    Post #3 - July 13th, 2021, 7:55 pm Post #3 - July 13th, 2021, 7:55 pm
    Last year, we were warned of widespread meat shortages due to the pandemic affecting Tyson and other meat producers. Then six months later, we take a look at the annual reports and quarterly reports just to find out that the pork exports to China from Tyson reaches a historical high.


    Umm, very interesting.
  • Post #4 - July 13th, 2021, 9:23 pm
    Post #4 - July 13th, 2021, 9:23 pm Post #4 - July 13th, 2021, 9:23 pm
    Yeah, the 'news' is nearly complete and utter bullshit. The primary bottleneck in the global food supply chain is on the transit side and there definitely are delays. But crop outputs and forecasts are largely average to above average right now.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #5 - July 14th, 2021, 10:13 am
    Post #5 - July 14th, 2021, 10:13 am Post #5 - July 14th, 2021, 10:13 am
    From yesterday’s WSJ:
    “Global coffee prices are climbing and threatening to drive up costs at the breakfast table as the world’s biggest coffee producer, Brazil, faces one of its worst droughts in almost a century. Prices for arabica coffee beans—the main variety produced in Brazil—hit their highest level since 2016 last month. New York-traded arabica futures have risen over 18% in the past three months to $1.51 a pound. London-traded robusta—a stronger-tasting variety favored in instant coffee—has risen over 30% in the past three months, to $1,749 a metric ton, a two-year high.”

    The article has a brief but complete analysis of the causes of the price surge besides the drought. ”Two other major producing nations, Colombia and Vietnam, have had much better harvests than Brazil but are struggling with a different issue: Port delays have left beans sitting idle on the dock.”

    It is almost as if they knew what they were talking about! So, which is it? Is it "stupid to hoard" or is it a smart way to plan ahead and protect both your family’s pocketbook AND that first vice of your day every day?
  • Post #6 - July 14th, 2021, 10:27 am
    Post #6 - July 14th, 2021, 10:27 am Post #6 - July 14th, 2021, 10:27 am
    I thought we were talking about US-produced wheat. :?

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #7 - July 14th, 2021, 10:37 am
    Post #7 - July 14th, 2021, 10:37 am Post #7 - July 14th, 2021, 10:37 am
    Joy wrote:It is almost as if they knew what they were talking about! So, which is it? Is it "stupid to hoard" or is it a smart way to plan ahead and protect both your family’s pocketbook AND that first vice of your day every day?

    Easy. It's stupid to hoard. And immoral, especially if the shortage is going to be especially severe (much more severe than the WSJ says or even implies).
  • Post #8 - July 14th, 2021, 11:17 am
    Post #8 - July 14th, 2021, 11:17 am Post #8 - July 14th, 2021, 11:17 am
    Hoarding causes other issues. Don't like it. Reminds me of Y2K. My boss at the time was convinced there would be trouble. We were talking and he asked if I had prepared by getting a generator, guns, food, water, etc.... I told him that if indeed there is trouble, I don't want to be the only guy in the neighborhood with lights on. I would rather be part of the crowd descending on his house, the only one with lights.
  • Post #9 - July 14th, 2021, 11:42 am
    Post #9 - July 14th, 2021, 11:42 am Post #9 - July 14th, 2021, 11:42 am
    Last time I bought coffee a few weeks ago at Jewel, they had a large can of Hills Brothers on sale for $4.99, and they had a coupon for $2 off, and so I got a can of half caff for $2.99, but I only had one $2 off coupon, and so I could not hoard. I think I could have gotten more $4.99 coffee, but Jewel puts Hills Brothers, Folgers or Maxwell House on sale at least once a month for $4.99. On a Facebook group I belong to though there are a few people that get more than one can for $2.99 by entering in somebody else's phone number at the register. I won't do that. I am still working on the can of Folgers half caff I bought last month for $2.99, and once I finish that this week, I will move on to the Hills Brothers while I look for another deal.

    I will load up on stuff like toilet paper when I can get it really cheap, but a year ago, you were lucky to even find toilet paper in the store, and when I did I only took one package. Monday I did not need it, but I got a carton of Crest Gum and Sensitivity on clearance at Jewel for $1.99. I could have gotten another one and I was tempted but I decided to let somebody else have the last one. The same with the Head and Shoulders I got for $1.99, and the Ricola sugar free cough drops I got for $.99. I did get two of the Ricola though because it was such a good deal, and they had lots of them. This was in the seasonal aisle at the Chicago Ave. Jewel. I am still working on the six boxes of Puffs I got for $2.75 at the same Jewel right before the pandemic started. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #10 - July 14th, 2021, 11:58 am
    Post #10 - July 14th, 2021, 11:58 am Post #10 - July 14th, 2021, 11:58 am
    Ronnie Suburban says: "I thought we were talking about US-produced wheat. :?"

    Yes and also Alberta and Saskatchewan Canada, two of the main wheat suppliers.
  • Post #11 - July 14th, 2021, 4:26 pm
    Post #11 - July 14th, 2021, 4:26 pm Post #11 - July 14th, 2021, 4:26 pm
    With the way that farming works in the US, crop yield and food supply are barely tethered. A lot of crops are grown just to get subsidies, so anything about potential shortages would be based on other factors like people have said.
  • Post #12 - July 23rd, 2021, 6:56 pm
    Post #12 - July 23rd, 2021, 6:56 pm Post #12 - July 23rd, 2021, 6:56 pm
    Whhhaaaa...? No taco sauce?
    "My husband is a Shift Lead," a user named PhoenixxFyre wrote. "Trucks are coming late or not coming at all. The last truck that came 2 days ago only fulfilled 1/3 of their order! He can't even go to a neighboring [Taco Bell] because they're out of everything too. Just an hour ago he texted me to say they're out of beef, sour cream, tomatoes, 10 inch tortillas, Cinnabons, Pepsi and Mountain Dew."

    Out of Mountain Dew? Okay, now this has gone too far.
  • Post #13 - July 24th, 2021, 10:08 pm
    Post #13 - July 24th, 2021, 10:08 pm Post #13 - July 24th, 2021, 10:08 pm
    ^^^^

    Where?
  • Post #14 - July 24th, 2021, 11:31 pm
    Post #14 - July 24th, 2021, 11:31 pm Post #14 - July 24th, 2021, 11:31 pm
    6 days ago, a sign was posted at Whole Foods Deerfield indicating that they were temporarily out of Topo Chico due to "supply chain issues," a phrase that now carries with it the connotation of being covid related. 4 days ago the sign was gone and the display was once again fully stocked with 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles.

    Maybe the driver who was supposed to make the delivery went on a bender, stopped at a strip club and spent the middle of the week enjoying non-stop lap dances. I guess that technically speaking, that still counts as a "supply chain issue."

    I'm not saying there won't be shortages and/or delays in all sorts of areas but I'm going to be skeptical, considering how easy it has now become for some businesses to hide behind the excuse of covid.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #15 - July 25th, 2021, 12:45 pm
    Post #15 - July 25th, 2021, 12:45 pm Post #15 - July 25th, 2021, 12:45 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Maybe the driver who was supposed to make the delivery went on a bender, stopped at a strip club and spent the middle of the week enjoying non-stop lap dances.

    Does he need a drinking buddy?
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - July 25th, 2021, 5:38 pm
    Post #16 - July 25th, 2021, 5:38 pm Post #16 - July 25th, 2021, 5:38 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Maybe the driver who was supposed to make the delivery went on a bender, stopped at a strip club and spent the middle of the week enjoying non-stop lap dances.

    Does he need a drinking buddy?

    LOL! Line forms behind me! :D

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #17 - July 25th, 2021, 9:06 pm
    Post #17 - July 25th, 2021, 9:06 pm Post #17 - July 25th, 2021, 9:06 pm
    I have a number of farmers I follow on YouTube, and more than a few of them have reported that most if not all of their crops have been wiped out by recent hail storms. This is mostly winter wheat, but also peas, lentils, and barley. So while stockpiling may not be necessary, it might not be a bad idea to pick up a couple of extra packages of whatever you rely on, just as a hedge.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #18 - July 25th, 2021, 11:40 pm
    Post #18 - July 25th, 2021, 11:40 pm Post #18 - July 25th, 2021, 11:40 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:6 days ago, a sign was posted at Whole Foods Deerfield indicating that they were temporarily out of Topo Chico due to "supply chain issues," a phrase that now carries with it the connotation of being covid related. 4 days ago the sign was gone and the display was once again fully stocked with 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles.

    I'm not saying there won't be shortages and/or delays in all sorts of areas but I'm going to be skeptical, considering how easy it has now become for some businesses to hide behind the excuse of covid.

    =R=


    One of my acquaintances is an owner-operator out of South Carolina. In the past six months, about 75% of his hauls have been bottled water and beverages, toilet paper and paper towels, and solar panels. In order to book loads, he uses Uber Freight and a variety of other brokers.

    A lot of the brokers will play the "low ball" game on a lot of their freight. He will counter for what he expects to make for the load. For example, one load is scheduled for $900; he bids $2400 on Tuesday. It gets rejected. Then he gets called for the same load on Thursday and is given it for $2200. He is prepared to only take profitable loads and can do it as he is debt-free.

    Some companies are terrible in the way that they treat truckers. If the truck driver goes on duty at 6 am, he has to be off the road by 8 pm. So lets say that he has a load going to Walgreens scheduled for 8 am. He gets there early at 7:30 am. However, he might not get out of there until 3-4 pm as their distribution center takes forever to unload and process the road. The trucker gets a very small stipend for the time wasted. Target has a similar reputation. (My company hauled much of own product; to make if profitable, we did a lot of backhauls bringing full trailers back to Chicagoland. We learned real quickly which operations would take the load quickly and the ones that would cost us money. Retailers are the worst.)

    There is a real shortage of truckers these days and that will cause some supply chain issues. Also, retailer's refusals to stock additional inventory to cover for these disruptions also adds to this.
  • Post #19 - July 25th, 2021, 11:59 pm
    Post #19 - July 25th, 2021, 11:59 pm Post #19 - July 25th, 2021, 11:59 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:There is a real shortage of truckers these days and that will cause some supply chain issues. Also, retailer's refusals to stock additional inventory to cover for these disruptions also adds to this.

    Most definitely. On the other side of the coin, I have a friend who used to work for a very big trucking outfit. He and his co-workers had lists taped to their cubicles of all sorts of pre-fab excuses they would dispense to customers when things didn't go as they had promised. Through it all, everyone made a ton of money padding rates. The company was eventually acquired and the owners cashed in big-time. So . . . supply chain issues? I guess you can call them that. Real problems? Not so much. Food shortages? Again, I'm skeptical.

    p.s. I'm also familiar with plenty of trucking companies that are unbelievably good at what they do and that treat their customers very well.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #20 - July 26th, 2021, 8:26 pm
    Post #20 - July 26th, 2021, 8:26 pm Post #20 - July 26th, 2021, 8:26 pm
    Funny that this should be the Washington Post's headline tonight:

    From ports to rail yards, global supply lines struggle amid virus

    "... The overseas work stoppages are just the latest twist in almost 18 months of pandemic-related manufacturing and transportation woes. The new infections come as two of the largest U.S. railroads last week restricted shipments from West Coast seaports to Chicago, where a surge of shipping containers has clogged rail yards."
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #21 - July 26th, 2021, 8:41 pm
    Post #21 - July 26th, 2021, 8:41 pm Post #21 - July 26th, 2021, 8:41 pm
    Katie wrote:Funny that this should be the Washington Post's headline tonight:

    From ports to rail yards, global supply lines struggle amid virus

    "... The overseas work stoppages are just the latest twist in almost 18 months of pandemic-related manufacturing and transportation woes. The new infections come as two of the largest U.S. railroads last week restricted shipments from West Coast seaports to Chicago, where a surge of shipping containers has clogged rail yards."

    Quoting myself from way earlier in the thread . . .

    ronnie_suburban wrote:Yeah, the 'news' is nearly complete and utter bullshit. The primary bottleneck in the global food supply chain is on the transit side and there definitely are delays . . .

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #22 - July 30th, 2021, 1:31 pm
    Post #22 - July 30th, 2021, 1:31 pm Post #22 - July 30th, 2021, 1:31 pm
    No Crabs, No Scallops: Seafood Is Vanishing From Menus in U.S.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... nus-in-u-s
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #23 - July 30th, 2021, 8:55 pm
    Post #23 - July 30th, 2021, 8:55 pm Post #23 - July 30th, 2021, 8:55 pm
    Hmm, that may be why the scallop and clam basket I had a couple weeks ago at a Boston clam shack was $26. Delicious, though. And the nice frozen scallops that Jewel used to promote for $9/lb are now $18.

    I wonder if the substitution effect will drive up prices for high quality shrimp if restaurants can't get scallops or crab.
  • Post #24 - July 31st, 2021, 12:10 pm
    Post #24 - July 31st, 2021, 12:10 pm Post #24 - July 31st, 2021, 12:10 pm
    This is from the AP. The number of reasons for shortages just keeps growing!
    "At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market.
    Animal welfare organizations for years have been pushing for more humane treatment of farm animals but the California rules could be a rare case of consumers clearly paying a price for their beliefs.
    With little time left to build new facilities, inseminate sows and process the offspring by January, it’s hard to see how the pork industry can adequately supply California, which consumes roughly 15% of all pork produced in the country.
    “We are very concerned about the potential supply impacts and therefore cost increases,” said Matt Sutton, the public policy director for the California Restaurant Association.
  • Post #25 - August 2nd, 2021, 5:09 pm
    Post #25 - August 2nd, 2021, 5:09 pm Post #25 - August 2nd, 2021, 5:09 pm
    S. Rosen’s bun star of Chicago style hot dog:
    Tight labor market, flour-hungry China, make turning out five million buns a week even more of a challenge.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #26 - August 3rd, 2021, 7:25 am
    Post #26 - August 3rd, 2021, 7:25 am Post #26 - August 3rd, 2021, 7:25 am
    Hi, Cathy,

    Interesting that Rosen's buns have been a sale item at several chains this summer for $2 or $2.49 while in the past they have been over $3 for an 8 pack. Maybe they're trying to take advantage of an industry-wide problem to increase retail market share.
  • Post #27 - August 3rd, 2021, 8:36 am
    Post #27 - August 3rd, 2021, 8:36 am Post #27 - August 3rd, 2021, 8:36 am
    tjr wrote:Hi, Cathy,

    Interesting that Rosen's buns have been a sale item at several chains this summer for $2 or $2.49 while in the past they have been over $3 for an 8 pack. Maybe they're trying to take advantage of an industry-wide problem to increase retail market share.

    Loss leaders are the option of the retailer, especially when this is high tide for hot dogs. BTW Costco sells Rosen's without seeds, except at their Chicago location south of Midway which offers seeded.

    In this article, they appear to have stopped sales in the Detroit area due to labor shortages related to no sales force.

    I think we are hearing the same story over and over again from different angles: labor shortages, supply issues (to the producer) and distribution (to the customer). Of course, transport costs rising are obvious from filling your car.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    Circa 2008 posts
    - Rice and cherries
    - Visit to Fancy Food Show, 2008
    The conversation that made the whole day worthwhile:
    I stopped at a booth of bulk sellers of rice and grains. I inquired about the rice shortage, was it really real? I asked a guy who represented two different rice co-ops whose membership was 500 and 1500 (possibly 2000) rice growers. While in the USA and Canada, there is no shortage of rice. There are rice shortages worldwide due to crop failures in Australia and Asia.

    He then outlined what was happening using the Phillipines as an example. The Filippinos eat rice 3X a day, it is an essential element in their diet. They normally buy their rice from Vietnam or Australia, where both had rice crop failures. Their need for rice is so great, they now turn to the United States for rice. They are willing to pay a premium to the domestic price to get this rice. It is his responsibility to get the best price for his rice co-ops, which presently is the international market. To sell domestically, he can only do this responsibly by offering the export price to domestic customers. While we have no shortage per se, the world market forces are influencing the final price of our domestic rice

    Domestic rice customers are now being granted allotments instead of buying all that they want. Domestic customers who may have abandoned contracts in the past who may be revisiting his co-ops as a source are being turned away. Sam's Club and Costco are not used to being given allotments. They also don't accept price increases less than 60 days advance warning. The rice market is so dynamic that price increase of 15% in a month is not unheard of presently. When one of his regular customers advised they will accept no more than a 2% increase, then he declines to sell them rice. He advised the U.S. market, due to these allotments, will have no shortage of rice though it will be paying more for rice.

    Recognizing these events run in cycles, I learned the next rice harvest is not until October 15th. He was of the opinion this worldwide shortage of rice will likely not ease for a few years. If there is another crop failure, then I can see that may continue. If there isn't, then I cannot see how this could carry on for years. We both agreed we would have to wait and see what happens.

    I commented I had not seen bananas at Costco for the last few months. He suggested it could be a similar issue like for the rice. A cost increase Costco would not accept, which meant the product was withdrawn from their offerings.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #28 - August 3rd, 2021, 2:41 pm
    Post #28 - August 3rd, 2021, 2:41 pm Post #28 - August 3rd, 2021, 2:41 pm
    I've heard that there is a shortage of seafood right now, and in particular scallops, lobster and crab. Some restaurants have been forced to take those items off of their menu. Younger people do not want to work on the boats. It is kind of like farmers. A lot of farmers don't have any younger family members that want to take over their farm. There is also a problem with not enough truck drivers to get the seafood to the distributors.
  • Post #29 - August 4th, 2021, 11:14 am
    Post #29 - August 4th, 2021, 11:14 am Post #29 - August 4th, 2021, 11:14 am
    With the wildfires still raging, I was wondering about the almonds....

    "According to the California Farm Water Coalition, water cuts have already caused farmers to plant less tomatoes, rice, grapes, corn, garlic, beans, asparagus and almonds.
    The water board’s next warning shot came in June when it notified thousands of farmers in the state’s delta watershed that curtailments were on the horizon. Though delta farmers had already been cut off from the state’s two main delivery systems — the Central Valley and State Water projects — those with direct rights could continue diverting from delta tributaries.
    But with dropping reservoir levels and dire predictions about catastrophic salmon die-offs, the water board felt compelled to follow up on the June warning letters and issue the comprehensive cutbacks on Tuesday.
    Agricultural groups have coined the directive as the “largest surface water supply cut in state history” and argue it could cause crops already in the ground to spoil and go unharvested this fall. They accuse the state and feds of mismanaging supplies, noting that just a few years ago many reservoirs like Lake Oroville were spilling over.

    https://www.courthousenews.com/california-farmers-to-lose-access-to-the-states-largest-watershed-as-drought-worsens/
  • Post #30 - August 4th, 2021, 2:29 pm
    Post #30 - August 4th, 2021, 2:29 pm Post #30 - August 4th, 2021, 2:29 pm
    Joy wrote:This is from the AP. The number of reasons for shortages just keeps growing!
    "At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market.
    Animal welfare organizations for years have been pushing for more humane treatment of farm animals but the California rules could be a rare case of consumers clearly paying a price for their beliefs.
    With little time left to build new facilities, inseminate sows and process the offspring by January, it’s hard to see how the pork industry can adequately supply California, which consumes roughly 15% of all pork produced in the country.
    “We are very concerned about the potential supply impacts and therefore cost increases,” said Matt Sutton, the public policy director for the California Restaurant Association.



    And who pays for those regulations? Mostly the California consumer who pays 20-30% more for groceries than the average Midwestern consumer. To a lesser extent, so do Nevada consumers and the consumers in the three western counties in Arizona.

    Recently, I was in an ALDI store in El Centro, CA and the prices there were at least 20% higher than Cincinnati area prices, even for the dry goods. They are also 20% higher than the in the new stores in the Phoenix market.

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