Plates in Peril: The Tangled Web of Today’s Food Supply Chain
“Food shortage” isn’t just a buzzword in today’s news cycle; it’s a stark reality that countless communities face.
Ever found yourself standing in a supermarket aisle, staring at empty shelves, and wondering what’s going on?
Or have you heard stories of farmers unable to sell, yet people miles away starve?
The intricate dance of supply chains, agriculture, and global events can sometimes misstep, leading to these situations. Understanding the root causes, consequences, and – most importantly – how we can prepare or help is critical. Knowledge, after all, is our most potent weapon against hunger’s grip. Ready to arm yourself with some hard-hitting insights?
Let’s start prepping.
Hunger’s Horizon: Unpacking the Modern Food Shortage Crisis
Food Shortage: a state or situation in which something needed cannot be obtained sufficiently. A breakdown in the food supply, Loss of crops due to weather or changing of suppliers. Famine, extreme scarcity of food. An economic shortage, demand for a product or service exceeds its supply in a market.“
Quoted from a Google definition.
Did you ever think to ask yourself the question of ‘How to overcome food shortage situations?
Do you think it is possible to be in that type of situation?
If you have not, you should!
I remember my situation after Hurricane Wilma passed over my house several years ago. There was no power, no refrigeration, hope and prayer for normalcy before my family ran out of provisions.
The National Guard was down here supplying food and water for those without such needed items.
I made it a point never to be in or near that situation again.
Most people, including possibly you, aren’t preppers. As a result, they and you are not equipped with the tools to handle most emergencies. When one arises, they and you will most likely panic.
If you are not prepared.
And make no mistake, shortages occur very quickly when an emergency looms on the horizon.
When the Pantry Goes Bare: Stories from the Food Shortage Frontline
Panic generally translates into fleeing or shopping.
Not leisurely shopping, of course, but intense, highly focused sprees with the intent to grab whatever might be needed to get through declining circumstances.
However, regardless of what they do in the aftermath, non-preppers expose themselves to situations where they might be out of electricity, heat or water and won’t be set up to handle that.
When the news breaks of a coming storm, they flood the supermarket aisles, leaving the shelves empty of anything that could be useful to you and your family in the coming crisis.
Where are you during this panic, and what are you left with to provide for you and your family?
If you think you might be one of those unprepared persons, choose today to change.
That’s why you are here, right?
Are you equipped to handle an emergency scenario, or will you be amongst those who feel the panic mounting as you find shelf after shelf bare?
Choose not to be part of the panicked masses.
Is Prepping Still A Thing?
Prepping is not just for people in tin foil hats and bunkers, hiding from the government, aliens, communists, and zombies.
Prepping is for everyone who doesn’t want to be left standing in an empty supermarket with no way to feed a family if the electricity goes out in the coming storm.
Prepping is for everyone who wants to stay comfortable and in good spirits through five days of snowing in.
Prepping is for everyone who doesn’t want to risk not getting their child or spouse to the hospital soon enough because of a sudden allergic reaction.
And because you are here reading this post, chances are that prepping seems right to you.
Prepping Strategies For Food Shortages
If you practiced prepping:
Instead of rushing to the supermarket in the face of an emergency, you would focus on “bugging in,” a survivalist term meaning to shelter in place.
Instead of shopping, you would break out your heat and light sources, food and cooking equipment, and hygiene supplies and secure your property to minimize damage.
Or maybe you would have a dedicated plan in place, meaning you weren’t forced to stay and weather the storm. Instead, you would “bug out,” meaning to shelter elsewhere.
Instead of chaos-type shopping, you would grab your bug-out bag, put your family in the car, and drive to a safe location.
And if you had to stop on the way, it wouldn’t matter that all hotel rooms are already taken because you’d have a comfortable tent, a seasonal sleeping bag, and food to get you through this particular crisis.
And if you are not prepared:
What do you think would be the outcome?
I do not want to make you feel bad or guilty or scare you for no reason, but I want you to think about what would happen if you got to the supermarket to find there was no food left.
You know that something extreme is coming. You might be out of the heat. You might be out of electricity. Your gas supply will be cut off. The water mains may be polluted.
The supermarket is out of bread, crackers, and canned foods. Everything available will have to be cooked somehow. The looters have taken everything down to the last package of bread crumbs.
The aisles are all out of water, milk, juice, beer, and carbonated beverages. Even expired items are becoming a hot commodity.
There are no candles and no lamp oil. The flashlights are gone, but that doesn’t matter much since so are the last of the batteries.
If stores had once stocked blankets and camping gear, there is no sign of that now.
Where do you go from here? What about children? And pets?
When you prep, you ask these questions while life is still comfortable, so you never have to endure that panic and fear.
So, you want to be prepared but don’t know where to start?
Start by making a list of who you are prepping for.
It’s such a simple thing, but many people overlook this step. Instead of ensuring they have supplies for all family members and pets, they wing it. Preppers never wing it; preppers consider all the details
Supermarket Items That Sell Out Instantly In A Crisis
These items sell out instantly in a crisis, and if you wait until you know that a crisis is coming, chances are that you will find the shelves bare.
Remember, though, that these items alone will not get you through every emergency situation. They are simply the items people who do not prep will desperately want.
Most people can survive for three weeks without food. But go for three days without water, and you’ll generally be dead.
We don’t often have to stop and consider water in our day-to-day lives. It’s just there in the tap, all day every day. It’s cheap, and it is abundant. Not to mention, it’s clean.
However, it doesn’t take much for the water supply of an entire city to be compromised.
A flash flood or a hurricane can drive all sorts of impurities into the water, and there’s no telling the catastrophic chemical damage an industrial accident could do.
Did you know the World Health Organization recommends 5 gallons of water per person daily? If it’s shocking to read now, imagine only learning this when the supply runs dry!
That is just for drinking and the very most basic hygiene. If you hope to cook food, wash yourself more thoroughly, or do laundry, that number multiplies.
That is why supermarkets first run out of water when people start to panic. And that is why you need to keep a significant supply of water.
It doesn’t have to be the pre-bottled stuff. If you prefer to buy food-grade containers and fill them with your own water, that works just as well. But you will need water and plenty of it.
Upon hearing warnings about impending doom, most people immediately think of canned foods. Why?
While it is quite possible to prep without canned foods, for example, using only dried foods or army rations, most preppers like to stock canned food.
Canned food is brilliant for survival. It has a very long shelf life, is easy to store, and can be eaten cold and uncooked if need be.
It is also possible to store canned foods without subjecting your family to the toxic coatings in these metal canisters, but it is more work.
To avoid those toxins, you would have to buy food canned in glass or to canned food yourself.
Remember that even canned food has an expiration date, and be sure to buy things that your family is willing to eat. Ten containers of the corned beef hash will do you no good if you can’t stand the stuff!
No-Prep-Necessary Dry Foods
In those relatively short-term emergencies, particularly those deriving from extreme weather, dry, ready-to-eat foodstuffs disappear from the supermarket shelves in no time.
Foods in this category would at any other time just be considered snacks. In a crisis, however, they get promoted to a full meal since they require no cooking or special storage, such as a refrigerator.
This includes biscuits, crispbread, dried nuts, rusks, crackers, muesli bars, trail mix, and shortbread.
You may also include in this category those vacuum-packed cakes and muffins with hardly a natural ingredient yet an astonishing shelf-life.
The reason that people run out and buy this is that they aren’t preppers. They don’t have the tools to cook or heat food when unfortunate things happen.
You, on the other hand, are a prepper. You do not strictly need to survive on potato chips and the kind of “blueberry” muffins without a single blueberry.
If you want to, though, go ahead and stock up on some of these things anyway. Little snacks go a long way toward raising spirits and boosting energy. They also could keep the kids quiet!
And maybe the emergency situation will be such that you are too tired to eat anything else.
Bread and all of its relatives, from humble hamburgers to fancy croissants, are quick to sell out for the same buns for the same reason that dry, ready-to-eat snacks are
Although its shelf-life is often short, bread needs no preparation and offers a lot of energy. White bread, in particular, doesn’t provide much in the way of nutrients, but that doesn’t matter much in a crisis.
Bread is great if you have no other food storage and no way of preparing food, but the average prepper won’t need to run out and buy bread.
And given its short shelf-life, there is no real reason to stock bread.
Given that it is essentially liquid bread, it is quite appropriate that beer flies off the shelves in any emergency.
Beer contains plenty of calories, making it easy to stock up on energy by drinking a few bottles.
On the other hand, alcohol makes you drowsy, so if you were hoping actually to feel more energized, you had better stick to light beer.
The real reason that people stock beer in a crisis probably has more to do with comfort than calories. If that’s something you sympathize with, by all means, stock beer!
Even if you don’t drink much beer yourself, beer is excellent for bartering with your neighbors for other valuable goods.
Long-Term Survival Food List
It would be a great idea to think that now is a great time for storing your emergency food supply.
Not when the hurricane is only a couple of days away.
Not when the fire is only one or two miles down the street.
Not after the earthquake hits.
Not when you could see that tornado or the floodwaters approaching.
It is not that difficult or unreasonable. Some long-term food storage is easy to do, and you could always rotate them into tomorrow’s dinner and replace them with something a little more up-to-date.
It is a good habit to get yourself into, and you will not be in a panic mode when it is too late.
Here is a list of some food items you should consider always having on hand.
- Canned meats and fish such as tuna, salmon, and chicken
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Canned nuts and vacuum-packed trail mix
- Dried fruit. You may process that yourself.
- Canned veggies: beans, carrots, corn, etc.
- Crackers and cereals are vacuum sealed.
- Granola bars and those healthy protein bars.
- Powdered milk
- Bottled water
- Canned soups
- Rice and pasta
These everyday food items are easily available all the time but you will not find them when you really need them.
They will be off the shelves after the fact.
Beating The Food Shortage: Storing Food For The Long Term
Storing your food for the long term is not that complicated.
Pack your foods into clean and dry insect-proof containers such as Tupperware-type products or food storage bags without crushing them. Vacuum packaging is also a great option.
Remember to pack them in portions that can be used all at once because you will probably not have refrigeration at that time to keep them any longer.
Proper sense and planning will help you exponentially in a food crisis situation.