If you have been a reader of mine for some time, you know that I have been pointing at the 2023 / 2024 fall and winter as a time where many people may not have food on the table.
The are many issues going on globally that have created this perfect storm.
I am not only talking food shortages and availability, but also people will be priced out of the food market.
First Issue – Food Inflation
In a recent analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, food prices will remain high for the 2023 year and well into 2024, with increases in 2023 projected to be higher than average.
USDA researchers said in a press release stated …“Food prices are expected to grow more slowly in 2023 than in 2022 but still at above historical-average rates. In 2023, all food prices are predicted to increase 5.9 percent, with a prediction interval of 5.3 to 6.5 percent.”
Folks, I do not know where these USDA folks shop, but I know that I have been seeing the prices in our local store double if not triple on some items.
I have to admit that I no longer trust the government numbers. They are purposely throwing out numbers that are not realistic and in fact, unrealistically low.
Second Issue – Weather Has Killed Our Crops
Again, the USDA as well as US Agriculture departments both have bolstered that the US will have pretty good crop yields.
Weather all over the US has plagued the rancher and farmer this year. We have seen droughts, heat waves, massive rains that have resulted in floods.
This has taken a massive toll on food production across the US. Wheat, Corn, Soy, Rice and other cereal staples have been hit the hardest. Following that are the standard vegetable crops that have been hit by the above as well as pestilence. Have you seen the videos of the swarms of locus and crickets? They are literally eating everything in their path.
Third Issue – Ranchers and Farmers Are Not Producing As Much
This is a biggie and stems from the input cost just to raise fruits, vegetables, and livestock.
Here is a quick example…A 50 lb. bag of seed corn to feed cattle has gone up from $1200 to $3000. Just one bag will seed approximately an acre.
Just to give you an idea, if you had 100 acres of feed plot, which a lot of us think is a lot of acreage; do you know that you could only feed 31 cows with each having a 4-month-old calves for one year.
Now kick in the astronomical price of fertilizer and you can see how farmers and ranchers can’t afford to plant or raise livestock. The cost of the input needed outweighs the price of the product you can produce.
As you can see, we are looking at a pretty harsh fall and winter for 2023 and into 2024.
What Can We Do About It & What Should We Prep?
Now, depending on where you live, some of the things that I am mentioning may be available in your area and some items may not. What you want to do is try to stock up on these as much as possible and do it now while supplies are on hand.
We are coming into the harvest season and food will be the most plentiful. So basically, get while the getting is good.
Foods To Buy Now
Onions – we have been seeing shortages of onions for a while. If you are able to get a 50 lb. bag of onions and then store them in a cool dry place. A bin with holes is a great place. To add the storage time, look into adding saw dust to the bins. They should last all winter.
Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes & Potato Products – A big drop in US potato production is exacerbating a worldwide spud shortage, as disruptions to potato supply chains impacted the US.
US potato production in 2021 was 7% below the five-year average. Severe drought in several states including Washington, North Dakota, and No. 1 producer Idaho was the worst potato yields in years, where year-over-year yields fell 9%.
Like the onions, stockpile potatoes and put them in cool dark area and practically speaking they should keep all winter for you.
If you are like our family, look into potato flakes and dehydrated / freeze dried hash browns. These will also become hard to come by as well.
Flour / Wheat – Because the US and the world’s wheat production has been greatly diminished, anything made from wheat will be short this fall and especially in the winter.
Flour is pretty easy to store, you simply put it in your freezer and you’re good to go.
If this is what you are thinking, then you will need a good wheat grinder. I HIGHLY recommend the NutriMill Harvest Stone Grain Mill. It is a costly investment, but it will last you a very long time if properly taken care of and as a bonus, it will run on a solar generator.
NutriMill Harvest Stone Grain Mill – https://amzn.to/46aD5Yv
Pasta – we are still having some pasta shortages due to the US wheat shortages that we are currently experiencing. As I mentioned above regarding flour, if you have the means to grind your own wheat and make your own pasta, it is a huge bonus. Making pasta from scratch is relatively simple and there are so many ways to kick it up to the next level by adding spinach, spices or herbs to your home-made pasta.
Rice – rice is a staple for over half the world and even though there are rice shortages, the US will not feel the brunt of this very much because we are a very large rice producer. Now the “global shortages” has caused concerns, and there has been some runs on local big box stores. But again, the US is a solid producer, and the big concern really is not there. But it is wise to stock up on this staple because prices are going up quickly due to supply and demand.
Oats – Folks, this is what our ancestors ate and if was good for them, it is good for us. There are also a lot of health benefits to eating oats. You can get steel cut or even rolled oats. Oats are high in protein, and they are not just for breakfast anymore.
Stocks and Broths – Here at the Mhor home we make our own bone broth from the bones we pick up from the local rancher. We use our Instant Pot to make it and it only takes about 4 hours. Where if you make it in a crock pot or stove top, you are looking at 12 hours.
Because we are lacking in farming and ranching this year, look for stocks and broths to become harder to find, or if you do find it, it will possibly cost prohibitive in purchasing it.
This is one of the reasons we go with bone broth. You can you make it from beef bones, but from chicken bones as well.
For example, those roasted chickens at Kroger’s or Safeway, eat them for dinner and when dinner is over, put all the bones and what is left in a Instant Pot, add some seasonings and water and we just let our go over night.
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker – https://amzn.to/3YWPTiq
Canned Protein – Already I am hearing that in some parts of the US the local Walmart’s are limiting the cans of chicken a customer can purchase. This is again due to the fact that livestock has been hit really hard these past few years. In fact, the U.S. beef cattle inventory is at its lowest since 1962.
So, start picking up cans of chicken, tuna, beef, heck even Spam. Protein is critical and the human body needs its protein.
Beans and Legumes – these pack a lot of proteins and fats that your body needs and these are also very easy to stock pile. I personally keep ours in 5-gallon food grade buckets with several 1500cc oxygen absorbers.
A great thing about beans, legumes as well as wheat, rice, barley is that you can soak them over night, and they are ready to eat the next day. So not very much heat is needed.
Canned Fruit and Vegetables – Not only and we’re seeing supply problems because of the shortage of tin, but also due to the Panama Canal. Canned goods traveling from over seas have to pass through the Panama Canal and due to extremely low water, the canal can only handle about 150 ships a day. There is a major bottle neck that is causing ships to wait 4-6+ weeks just to pass through.
This problem is also impacting many other trade goods on a lot of these ships carrying containers.
So, if you like to preserve your own with through dehydration or freeze drying that’s a good way too, but stockpile now because we’re looking at difficult winter not having enough fruits and veggies.
Cooking Oils – Due to the very poor corn harvest this year, expect cooking oils to go up. Many homes and businesses use corn oil and with a lack of this oil, homes and businesses will be looking to switch to other oils, thus causing demand for oils as a whole to go up.
A good idea is to start saving your fats like bacon fat, beef fat and such. If you make bone broth, saving these fats is a great idea and they can be frozen to extend their use.
Herbs, Spices and other Seasonings – This is one area that I really try to leverage. If you have a great supply of seasonings, you will be able to take your pantry food and spice them up, thus giving you variety. Just think about eating plain rice all the time. But with seasonings you can mix it up and create some delicious meals.
Like it or not, we’re looking at probably shortages coming this fall this winter. I want you to be aware of this so you can stay ahead of the curve and stay ahead of the masses. Because once the masses wake up to these facts, you will see store runs on these and other hard to find items.
Really inventory your pantry and look at what you can do to have at least 6+months of food stores in your pantry.
Another point is to really pay attention to what is going on in your area’s local stores because some things will be plentiful and other items will not.
Again, the key is to stay ahead of the curve/ masses so that when SHTF takes place, you will not be out there competing for the foods that have become scares on the shelf.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
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