I have been hearing rumors of food shortages caused by the rains and floods this past spring. Several folks have told me about Walmart stores posting signs about shortages in their canned vegetable aisles. So I decided to do my own research.
I have seen several pictures posted of the Walmart signs. I have read many articles about the flood damage to farms, fields, livestock and grains that were stored in grain bins that are now ruined.
I have watched opinion videos and read blogs on the subject. Opinions range from "We're all gonna die!" to "Move along. Nothing to see here."
Me...I go by facts.
The fact is that millions of acres were flooded in the middle of planting season. Some farmers were able to finally get into their fields to plant and others could not. Whether we have a decent harvest is going to depend on the weather come fall.
The fact is that many, many cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry were killed by the flood waters and much of the reserved livestock feed was lost. Whether the livestock industry can recover remains to be seen. But I do expect meat prices to go up. It takes longer to build up a herd of cattle than it does to raise a field of corn. I would guess that eggs and dairy prices may also be affected.
As far as the shortages in the vegetable aisles of Walmart, it could be that the company is actually unable to keep their shelves full.
Or there could be a clever person in the corporate office marketing department who knew that if the stores posted signs alluding to shortages, people would rush to stock up 'while they still could.' I was reminded of the 'Great Toilet Paper Scare of 1973' when Johnny Carson, host of the then popular Tonight Show, made a joke about a toilet paper shortage. Within a week the store shelves were empty of TP.
So how will I handle these rumors? Well, I do not believe we are headed into famine territory. I do believe that we may see real shortages and more likely, corporations taking advantage of the rumors to raise prices. I will not dash out, hair on fire, to grab what I can from store shelves. I have, however, asked my youngest son to do some shopping at Sam's Club for me, picking up fairly large quantities of chicken, hamburger and beef roast to be canned in various ways. I may add to the list some link breakfast sausage and brats, as I want to can those as well. With what I already have on my shelves, that will give me plenty of meat to use in making all sorts of meals.
Many of you who visit here often know that due to physical limitations, I use a grocery delivery service every two weeks for my normal grocery shopping. My order that will be delivered this coming Thursday includes twelve 1 lb. bags of dry Great Northern beans, half of which will be used to make and can another batch of baked beans. The rest will be saved for ham and bean soup to can later. I also am ordering 6 bags each of frozen whole kernel corn and cut green beans, both to dehydrate. And 10 lbs. of potatoes to slice and dehydrate.
My crystal ball is broken, so I have no real way to know what the future holds. So on the chance that the predictions come true, it makes sense to me to go ahead and get food now while prices aren't through the roof. And if nothing happens, I am still ahead with more food added to my food storage.
For the life of me, I just can not understand why so few refuse to plan ahead when it comes to food. We saw pictures and video on the news showing the devastation the floods caused. Even the main stream media carried interviews with farmers who lost everything. And long before that, there were the pictures of people digging in dumpsters looking for food after a hurricane. When will it occur to some that after a disaster, someone from the government is not going to show up with a sandwich and a bottle of water. The government is in charge of politics. We are in charge of feeding our families.
Keep on prepping.