I’m going to repeat this piece from the pinned post and add a fair bit of extra information to it. There’s so much about shopping that’s going to change…
We’ve had the Great TP Stampede of 2020. (Probably.) The Pasta Prohibition followed it, along with All Your Yeast Are Belong To Us and the Say It With Flours incident.
I’ve said my piece a few paragraphs back where I make the case to
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build up a pantry stock that can last a week or two. Seriously. Not just now but for all time, get into that one habit and you’ll be able to ride right over crises like the ones a handful of people have caused us.
But I’ve noticed that the shelves are slowly coming back into stocked situations, and a few times we’ve just done without rigatone pasta for a fortnight rather than try to catch up a shortfall when new stocks arrived.
That seems to be the secret. Slowly build your pantry up, and if something goes out of stock, don’t madly buy it as soon as there’s new stock – just buy as per normal, and slowly everything will recover.
I replace my instant yeast once a year and the bit I have left is actually due to be replaced. But I won’t go out there and grab two tubs of it when it comes back into stock. In fact I might just eke out the life of the yeast I have for another few months before buying a new tub, and if it lasts me 18 months then from now on I’ll just switch to replacing it every 18 months rather then annually as I’ve been doing. In the process – look, I’ve saved myself the cost of a new tub of years every three years.
There are going to be shortages of just about everything, going forward from this point. The climate hasn’t been kind to growers and farmers, the SARS-cov-2 disease has laid workers low at every step of the supply chain, and to top it off some of us abuse those same people working tirelessly and bravely to put what there is on the shelves for us – and then try to buy it all for themselves. Don’t be a dick like that.
Be frugal, be adaptive. No rigatone? You know you could use just plain penne don’t you? And instead of cooking up that whole pack, cook up half of it and save the other half for another meal. Or do one of my favourite things – to hell with the store-bought pasta and either visit the small local store that still carries fresh pasta, or make some dumplings or spaetzle or gnocchi yourself. You’ll save yourself money – and the aggravation of not having pasta available at the drop of a dollar today…
Things That Won’t Bounce Back Well.
Meat. The End Of Cheap Plentiful.
I can tell you right now that people’s attitude to and access to meat will change. There are a number of reasons for this.
- As I said, farmers and farm workers unable to manage large herds and flocks of food animals. That’s leaving a hole right now that’ll flow on down the line.
- Climate changes have decimated animal stocks. Think we can cover the food deficit by foreign trade? Think again. Most of our trading partners are also hit with the same double whammy, bad season followed by this virus outbreak.
The pig meat market is pretty much wiped out by Asian swine flu. In Asia as well as the USA, and other countries sitting on an epidemic-free porcine population are going to be playing a very coy game. Yes, it’s another virus pandemic, funny old world innit?
There may be some relief from poultry and / or other meat from China but come on – how much did anyone ever trust Chinese meat since it was revealed that they have a huge trade in forty-plus year old and quite rotten meat? (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/world/in-china-stomachs-turn-at-news-of-traders-peddling-40-year-old-meat.html)
Most Processed Products That Depend On Cheap Corn And Soy.
Corn crops have taken a hammering in the changed climate. Soya crops have also been reduced. With processing relying heavily on corn and soy fillers, corn syrup, corn oil, and soy products, we won’t see many cheap processed foods on the shelves. And good riddance to them, but still, they were a food group in their own right to many people.
Rice. There’s Gonna Be Competition For This One.
Rice crops are very sensitive to climate changes, and many of the places rice has been a traditional staple that’s been around for generations are seeing crops fail or fail to thrive. The competition for this is the Middle East, The Orient, India and Pakistan, North Africa, and they are ALL losing a staple food.
There have for years been (pretty much certain to be fake) stories of plastic rice. But as desperation for rice rises, and local sources in some of the poorer of those rice growing locations gets better prices overseas in the wealthy countries, watch for this to become a thing unscrupulous suppliers attempt to pass off.