The Coming Food and Supply Shortages
by Shari Dovale
If you haven’t noticed any empty shelves in your local grocery store, you are likely either not paying attention, having someone else do your shopping for you, or are an employee of the current government.
The government will tell you that everything is hunky-dory and there are no problems at all.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, July 15th:
Q: Will there be food shortages?
A: There are currently no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no wide-spread disruptions reported in the supply chain.
USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores.
Yet, pending food shortage claims have gone from “dangerous conspiracy theories” to mainstream news topics. And the shelves are still empty, and people are still hungry.
The hunger-relief organization Feeding America estimated that our country would be short eight billion meals by late summer.
From Forward Observer, July 15th:
FOOD DISRUPTION: The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its monthly truck rate report with a dim outlook. Out of 23 specialty agriculture regions, 18 are experiencing a shortage in haulers. Nearly all domestically grown produce is impacted by these movement constraints which could lead to availability issues in some markets. We’ve previously covered the relatively short window for ag products to enter the food supply and meet USDA standards, so further disruptions could prove problematic. (Recommendation: Find a local farmers market and consider sourcing only seasonal items to better understand what sustained food disruption will look like. – D.M.)
The biggest reason for the food shortage is due to a severe shortage of drivers in the trucking industry. Consider that 73% of goods across the country are transported by truck. According to the ATA, the trucking industry was already 61,000 drivers short of demand back in 2019. Then the pandemic hit.
However the shortages are not just about food. Gasoline, computer chips, lumber, plastics, and paper products are all on the shortages lists. Chlorine for pools, oxygen for hospitals, plus labor workers are all in short supply.
Are you ready?
Related: More on The Coming Supply Shortages
Sources and further reading:
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