I was saddened to read a post by Linda Fox over at Liberty's Torch yesterday evening. It bears out what I've been saying in these pages for a long time, and brings home the fact that food shortages are no longer just a prospect - they're becoming a reality. Do please note her last paragraph.
I happened to stop at a Walmart yesterday (needed a lot of diverse things – shower rod, hardware, and garden). I didn’t find as much in the store that I had on the list, so I decided to pick up a few things I’d been meaning to get at a grocery.
Guys, I haven’t been that shocked in a LONG time.
The staples were just about wiped out. The kind of things that sensible people have in their pantry or freezer? Flour, sugar, coffee? Seriously depleted, particularly the generic or cheaper items. You could find some gourmet or specialty brands, but you were going to pay for them.
Overall, the prices were at least 1/3 higher than they had been a few months ago. In some cases, IF the items were available, the prices had nearly doubled.
Now, I’ve been insulated from this, because my husband loves to shop ... But, in Walmart, I was seeing prices that the average household was paying for basic necessities. And, it was chilling.
Not only higher prices, but things that were not available.
. . .
This is a man-made, deliberate change. It has been caused by Leftists and their collaborators, and designed to break our will and ability to resist government authority.
There's more at the link.
I believe Linda is exactly right when she says this is "a man-made, deliberate change". The mismanagement of our economy on so large a scale can't be accidental. To take just one example: progressive leftist environmentalists are trying to reduce (if not shut down) US oil and gas production. That's led directly to the higher prices for gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, etc. that we're seeing every day. As far as environmental purists are concerned, that's not a bug: it's a feature. They believe we'll be better stewards of Nature if we stop raping her by extracting oil and gas. (The fact that we'll also be colder, hungrier and poorer is our problem, not theirs. They'll make sure that our taxpayer dollars will make up any shortfall they experience.)
The next step is to blame "hoarders" for the shortages. Again, this is an old, old tactic. It's been around for centuries: make the masses blame anyone except those who are actually responsible. Bloomberg reports, under the headline " ‘People Are Hoarding’: Food Shortages Are The Next Supply-Chain Crunch" (bold, underlined text is my emphasis):
“Early in the pandemic, panic buying was the cause of many of the out-of-stock situations that grocers experienced,” general manager I’Talia McCarthy said in an email to store owners this month. “Although the food industry was able to somewhat rebound, the sustained nature of the pandemic, combined with the slow pace of vaccination globally and the recent surge caused by the delta variant, have resurfaced the problem.”
. . .
“People are hoarding,” said CEO and founder Adnan Durrani. “What I think you’ll see over the next six months, all prices will go higher.”
Again, more at the link.
Weasel words. It's not "panic buying": it's prudent buying. When you can see the writing on the wall, when shortages are all around you and getting worse, it makes good sense to buy more of what you use most, to make sure you'll have some if it ceases to be freely available. That applies particularly to people with dietary issues, who can't eat all commonly available foods. They'd be between a rock and a hard place if they couldn't get the foods they need to survive without making themselves sick.
Similarly, we're not talking about compulsive hoarding. Preppers are taking reasonable precautions to stock up against a forthcoming, predictable shortage. All sorts of critters in nature do the same thing: squirrels storing up nuts for winter; bears eating themselves fat (to the point of obesity) on salmon because they know they won't be eating during hibernation in winter; and so on. Our ancestors and forefathers lived that lifestyle from birth until death. If they didn't have a good harvest in summer, they starved the following winter. Wars were fought to steal other peoples' food stocks. (They still happen in Third World countries, even if it's not widely reported. In parts of Africa, raids by one village on another to steal their stored grain are not unusual. I've personally experienced them.)
There's another thing. Tens of millions of Americans rely on food stamps (or their modern equivalent, electronic benefits transfers, or EBT) to buy food every month. The cost of that food is increasing very quickly, but the amount they receive every month is not. What happens when EBT no longer covers their nutrition needs? What happens if the authorities (as they should, IMHO) prevent EBT funds from being used for fripperies and non-nutritious purchases like sodas, luxury foods like lobster or steak, and so on? That would stretch EBT funds a lot further, but those who've grown used to living high on the hog on their EBT will almost certainly riot if such restrictions are imposed. What's more, state authorities don't have enough money in their budgets to increase EBT benefits, so recipients will still face a food deficit. Add that to known, predictable food shortages, and you've got a recipe for serious urban unrest.
I see nothing wrong in applying Miss D.'s and my limited resources to ensuring that we have enough food to last us a few months if the supply chain becomes seriously disrupted, for whatever reason. Even as we buy food for our "deep pantry", we continue to support a local food bank. We don't tithe to a church, but we tithe to friends and those we know to be good people who are in need of support, whether in cash or in kind. I don't think we're being selfish at all. We're trying to be wise virgins rather than foolish virgins, in the food sense - although virginity is, alas, no longer a factor!
If you haven't yet begun to build up your "deep pantry", so that you can cope for at least 30 days without going shopping if you have to, you're behind the curve. I can only suggest you "get with the program" as quickly as possible. The way things are going, this will be a pass/fail exam in the school of life . . . and you don't want to fail.