Just the other day I was doing my typical perusal of news articles and came across one from CNET, “Food Shortages in 2022: These Grocery Items Will Be Scarce.” In the article, it stated that these products are harder to find, and in fact WHEN you do find them, you’ll notice the prices have increased drastically thanks to shortages and inflation.
Here are the items they mentioned facing shortages this year
- Baby formula
- Sriracha sauce
- Wheat products
- Pet food
- Hershey candy
The things that really struck me were the wheat products & pet food. Both of these will have an effect on my family.
And if you are like me, the odds are that it will have an effect on your family as well.
Why Is Pet Food a Concern When It Comes to People Food?
Like it or not, as things get tighter, gradually supplies will get redirected to people food from the pet food’s raw ingredients.
That is why when I saw that “wheat products” was on the list as well as pet food. It gave me some serious pause for thought.
See, wheat is also an ingredient in pet food. It is also a primary ingredient for people food too.
Do you get what I am trying to point out here?
If they are having problems NOW producing pet food, how long will it be before they start having real problems producing people food?
What Is Causing The Pet Food Shortages?
In several of my articles that I have researched, it seemed that like with people food, pet food is also having problems getting the basic ingredient, packaging sourcing, finding and retaining employees, managing freight, and then throw into the mix just getting meat and poultry products has been hard due to livestock diseases.
For example, avian influenza has been hitting the poultry growers across the country and this is concerning because it could further reduce the availability of poultry-based ingredients in pet food.
This is also going to affect the people food as well. Have you noticed the price of chicken going up a lot?
I mean just the other day I was looking at simple chicken wings. These used to be inexpensive, now a two-pound pack is about $18.00.
YEAH! $18 stinking bucks for a two-pound pack of wings!
FOLKS… we are talking chicken wings here! Back in the day you could easily get two pounds of chicken wings for $3 – $4 dollars, but now they are $18 and more.
Here is another point.
Like with people food, the pet food industry is not only having problems finding the ingredients but just getting the stuff transported has become a massive problem.
I was reading a report from The American Trucking Association (ATA) report that states there is a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers across the country. Couple that with the insane cost of diesel ($5.50 a gallon here in VA) and we can understand the bottle neck in the supply chain.
Finally, as I have covered in other articles the war in Ukraine as well as the sanctions on Russia have had an additional impact on ingredients available here in the U.S.
For example, in Europe they are already feeling the effects of the limited availability of some raw materials, such as sunflower oil, and there are also concerns relating to white fish and wider impacts on the global grain markets.
Folks, for those of you who may not know, the Ukraine is the EU’s fourth-largest provider of food. The EU has traditionally received over half of its corn imports, around a fifth of soft wheat imports, and a quarter of its vegetable oil from Ukraine.
So if the pet food industry is having serious problems, my question is how soon will it be before the people food industries start having serious problems?
What Can You Do?
Here in the Mhor home we have three dogs and not only are they part of our family, but they also play a role in security. Report after report shows that one of the biggest deterrents to home invasion is having a dog. So, it is important that we keep our dogs healthy and happy because they help protect our home.
When I saw that pet food was on the list, it really made me think. What would happen if we were not able to keep our pets properly fed? I know that one thing would that it would inhibit our security and early warning of home invaders.
What we have been doing is experimenting with making our own dog food out of some simple and still somewhat inexpensive ingredients, primarily rice.
Rice is one of those grains that are still somewhat affordable. I know at Costco you can get a 20 lb bag of rice for about $14 and some change.
Mix in some veggies like green beans, carrots and peas along with some 30-70 ground beef and you basically have some really nutritious dog food (and people food too).
Here is a recipe that I have been playing around with and remember we have 3 dogs.
- 3 pounds ground beef (7 cups cooked crumbled ground beef)
- 2 cups uncooked white or brown rice
- 1 teaspoon of pink salt (pink has good mineral content)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cups of water – (you can use beef stock as well to kick up the flavor)
- 1 ½ cups fresh broccoli chopped or shredded
- 2 cups chopped or shredded carrots
- 2 cups sweet potatoes or 1 large sweet potato
- 2 cups fresh spinach
Now you can always adapt this recipe, but the primary issue is a 1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid ratio.
Rice is very easy to make, Bring the stock/water to a boil, add rice and salt (skip salt if using beef, veggie or chicken stock).
Cover the pot and simmer for 18 minutes on low and DO NOT remove the lid. This is the one thing people do and it will mess up the rice every time.
NOTE – if you are using brown rice, this will take about 30 minutes.
Once the time has passed, check the rice, and if it is done turn off the heat, replace the lid, and let it rest for several minutes. You can add a couple pads of butter to liven it up. Our dogs love butter.
Cook off your ground beef with all your chopped veggies. Cooking them together will help keep the vegetables firm and not over cooked.
Put the rice, beef and vegetables all in a big bowl together and mix it up.
NOTE – we have a Pyrex 4-quart bowl that has a plastic lid, this is perfect to mix the food up in as well as store in the refrigerator.
This is the one here – https://amzn.to/3QQNxMO
This will keep in your fridge for several days, or what you can do is portion it up and using your FoodSaver, vacuum seal bags and put it in the freezer for longer term.
Dehydrate The Mix
If you want to make dehydrated dog food, leave out the ground meat and the butter.
Basically, just make the rice and veggies and dehydrate.
Any oils in the dehydrated food will ultimately spoil and make the food inedible.
Vacuum sealing it in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and desiccant packs will help with keeping it fresh for longer term.
Once you need it, throw a couple of cups in with some 30-70 ground beef, add some water and cook it all together. This process will rehydrate the food and cook the beef together.
Stretch Your Current Supply of Dry Dog Food
By making your own, what you can do is stretch your current supply of dry dog food by adding a cup or two of the homemade food to your dog’s bowl.
Odds are they will love it and chomp it right up.
Mix It With Leftovers
If you are one who does not really like the leftovers, then scraping the plates and add some of the homemade will help stretch this out as well as helping you stretch out your dry dog food supply.
Getting Creative With What You Have
I know as times get harder; some ingredients may be hard to find. So here is a list of meats that you can use.
SPECIAL NOTE – many dogs are allergic to chicken, if you see your dog licking its paws a lot, that is one of the tell-tale signs. So be cautious if you are using chicken in your homemade dog food.
What Meat Proteins Can I Use?
- Chicken (Note allergy problems)
- Liver (organ meats)
What Veggies Can I use?
Now, before I go off and say something, I need to give the gratuitous disclaimer. I am an author, blogger and internet influencer, I am not a veterinary medicine professional nor am I a nutritionist.
BUT… for thousands and thousands of years dogs have basically survived off of people food table scraps.
With that said, here is a list of veggies you and use for your dog.
- butternut squash
- brussel sprouts
- sweet potato
- fresh spinach
- broccoli (chopped)
- bell peppers
- green beans
The biggest thing is making the rice up properly and trying different things to add flavor to the rice.
Pet food is now on my radar, not only because we have pets, but also because once the pet food becomes scarce, soon will follow the people food.
I highly recommend that you stock up with several bags of your dogs favorite food. What we do is keep a couple of bags in reserve and then have one bag of food delivered monthly. This way we can rotate our food and always have a stable supply. That is as long as we are able to get it.
FYI… we feed our dogs Iam’s Rice & Lamb Formula and you can get it on Amazon for around $40 for large bag.
Buy some dog food now! – https://amzn.to/3wasgGh
That is about all, if you have any questions or comments, please post them below and I will get back with you.
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4 thoughts on “U.S. Pet Food Shortages – A Harbinger of Things To Come”
Juicer carrots are also a cheap way to supplement pet/livestock foods. Last time I bought them it was 50 lbs for like 9 bucks. Canning will be required for long term storage. Our chickens and our dogs love them!
Do you think pets will matter when you start to starve and your family?
Ratty – The thing that one needs todo is not only rely on their pantry, but have an actual “food plan” in place so that you know where to hunt, know where to forage and what you can hunt and forage for. Top that off with growing a garden so that no matter what and with all these other solutions maintain putting food on the family table. Other things is looking at raising ones own livestock like chickens, quail, doves, pigeon, rabbit, etc. Stop thinking with a defeatist mentality and start having a solutions based mentality as well as multiple plans in place. This way the family does not starve and the dogs remain as part of the security plan.
Great info. Now cats can catch birds and mice I had 3 cats (outside cats) because mice were everywhere in other house. When we moved again, had one inside cat and one outside msot the time. They can be fed meats from scraps and kitchen, and dried kibble. If food is hard to get can be made at home.
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