Food inflation and scarcity: another blogger weighs in


I’ve annoyed some readers by harping on about likely food shortages and even famines (although I think the latter will be more in the Third World than the First World – but that’s not guaranteed).  I wrote two lengthy articles on the subject last week, and they’re still attracting more readers than usual.  I hope people are listening.  I also mentioned inflation yesterday, and noted that the true inflation figure was much, much higher than the “official” number.  That, of course, has a direct bearing on food prices.

Yesterday, The Intrepid Reporter took a long, hard look at goods he’d bought within the last few months;  what he paid for them then;  and what they’re selling for now.  He was shocked by the results.  His comments are profane, but very much to the point.

I bought a case of canned beef on March 9th.  12 cans of beef at 28oz a can.  Wifey is a meat eater, and I like me some protein in with my veggies and rice.  I picked it up for $159.00 w/free shipping.  So, went back, and saw this … On sale for $219.00.  Down from $339.00!!!!!

I paid $159.  that’s almost a 100% increase in 30 days, and at the $219?  That’s still a 76.2% increase.


. . .

So, TIFWIW, 30 days, and a full increase.

If you haven’t started building a baseline food supply, you a dumb mother****er.

‘Cos that’s insane.

And s*** ain’t even hit home to the Normies.

Think “Panic on the Titanic” when the reality hits.

. . .

OK folks, as a follow on, I went and rechecked the Zon, who appears to be the #1 Distro Point for Augason Farms.  If’n y’all remember I poasted about the ‘sale’/availability on this back in February-March timeframe.  So, I went into my orders and ran ‘comparables’ meaning my order w/cost, versus current cost.  

First One: DH Butter.  I paid $17.07 … Current price?  $38.49 on sale from $42.00.  128.48% increase.

Next, Milk, specifically that “Moos” stuff they sell:  $16.63… and it took a month to get delivered.  Now?  $35.50, on sale from $37.99.  113.47 % increase.

Then, veggies, specifically Red n Green Peppers to spice up the food and add vitamins:  $12.58 and overnight delivery…and Now?  $25.89… this’s redonkulus man… 105.8 % increase.

There’s more at the link.

I can confirm his figures for Augason Farms (discussed here last week).  I’ve just bought a dozen cans of their dehydrated vegetables to add to our “stash” – and found their prices have doubled or even tripled since the last time I did so, late last year.  (I might add that the last two products cited in the excerpt above are no longer available on Amazon – they’ve sold out.  I had to link to their product pages at Augason Farms instead.  It looks like I got my extra cans just in time!)

As well as investing in a lot more canned food, I’m in the process of building a spreadsheet of every can we have.  For each product, I’m listing its name, how many cans we have, their expiration/best by date, and the container in which they’re stored.  The idea is to check the listing every month.  If we can’t get any more due to shortages, no problem – we’ll keep and use what we’ve got, whether or not it’s date-expired.  Cans usually stay usable for several years past that date.  If supplies are still freely available (and affordable), then as cans get close to their expiration date, we’ll either use them or donate them to a local food bank, which will quickly pass them on to its customers.  We’ll replace them with fresher cans.

As for longer-term reserves of dry foods (rice, beans, oatmeal, flour, grits, etc.), I pack them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to keep them fresh, then heat-seal them.  I also try to use mylar bags with a zip-seal lock, so that I can heat-seal them above the lock, but still keep them air-tight when I cut off that seal to open them.  I’ve learned the hard way that big mylar bags aren’t necessarily the way to go.  It’s wasteful and inefficient to have to open a 25-pound bag of rice when you only need one pound!  I now pack dry foods into smaller bags, so I can open only what’s needed, or a little more.

The more I read about food shortages and rising prices, the more serious I get about our backup food supplies.  I hope you’re doing the same.  They’re like a fire extinguisher, or a parachute, or a gun.  You may never need one;  but if you ever do, at that point it’ll probably be far too late to go out and buy one.



  1. If you're shopping for 25 year storage supplies the supply is very low and as Big Country the prices are insane.

    If your shopping for rice and beans at Walmart not so much. BUT that's Yesterday.

    If you are storing foods for the next two years or so Walmart is ready to fill your pantry.

    Kept in cool dark dry AND Pest Free storage most canned and dry foods last for years.

    I made a navy bean pot last Sunday and have been eating off it as a nice side dish with some beans so old they were dusty in my pantry.

    Yes, I failed the First in First Out system, my bad. They were a little chewy at the first meal so I cooked them again overnight. All is well.

    All that said CURRENTLY as of yesterday's visit to my local Walmart I can spend a hundred dollars and get 2 man months (over 2K daily Calories and plenty of protein) worth of beans and rice with plenty of seasonings, a box of tea, cooking oil and such AND the 5 gallon pails with lids to keep the dust and pests away.

    BUT when the Normies get freaked out it will be like the COVID TP shortage. Day 1 plenty of TP, Day 2 some empty spots on the shelves, day 3 or so your ON Ebay searching for TP.

    Proverbs 22:3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

  2. if you haven't started your victory garden, NOW is the time to do so, even if it's "only" a few containers on the patio/balcony.
    those who have food will survive, those who can produce food will prosper.

  3. BTW, you can put the expensive, food grade oxygen scavengers inside the mylar bags in contact with the food, but I put a disposable hand warmer inside the 5 gallon pail, outside the mylar, to absorb all the oxygen before it gets to the mylar bags. Very cheap and much easier to find. I wouldn't be surprised that, in a pinch, you could put it inside the mylar, just separated by a paper towel to be sure the iron oxide dust stays off the food, as they are non-toxic (says so on the packaging). I use the "Tundras" brand as their woven paper wrapper has a tighter weave that doesn't leak iron dust like some other brands.

  4. Well, I'd disagree about the famine coming here part. It will be here.

    Look, I've been prepping food and medicine because it's just a wise idea for over 30 years. I would hate to be stressing about building my pantry now. People make poor decisions when they panic.

    They spend $$$ for Morning Moos Milk ALTERNATIVE. (While it tastes better, it's far less nutritious than milk–check the label.) Buy regular powdered milk. At the current prices from the LDS Home Storage Center, even factoring in shipping, it's less than $3.00 per gallon. Don't like the taste? Add a little vanilla and sugar, and it tastes pretty darn good (tested on a family with 5 hard-core milkaholics). Use it in cooking–make all those cream of whatever soups for far less money than Campbell's. Use it to make your own evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and buttermilk. Make yogurt and cream cheese.

    That's just with the milk, folks. There's lots more to learn with beans, oil, sugars, and grains. But you have to take the time to learn and do some research. Unfortunately, you don't have a lot of time to get up to speed.

  5. You really don't have to do any heavy research.

    Just go food shopping each week.

    Not even ten years ago, a normal pick-up-a-few-things trip to the store was $25-$30. Then it was $40, Then $50.

    These days it's $65-$70.

    That was my last trip. And what did I get? 6 oranges, 4 tangerines, a carton of cherry tomatoes, a cucumber, a dozen eggs, 2 quarts of yogurt, and a bag of frozen blueberries.

    The secret here is for your food staple stash, hit the asian and mexican groceries. Their staples – Rice, beans, cornmeal, masa, etc are stupid cheap. They'll also have tons of dried ingredients like peppers and mushrooms.

  6. I have to add a comment on substituting hand warmers for oxygen absorbers.

    If you are going to go to the effort of spending a lot of money to store food for the long term, don't try to save a few pennies using hand warmers. Hand warmers are not food-grade. Some of them contain asbestos and vermiculite, stuff you don't necessarily want right next to your food. And you have no idea how much oxygen they will absorb. Will it be enough?

    If you want to learn a little about using oxygen absorbers, here's the address to a good article to get you started.

    And there is A LOT more information on food storage there.

  7. Over a year ago I bought a case of (24) 14.5oz cans each of canned shredded turkey, chicken, pork and beef at Lehman’s to add to long term preps for $159.99 each. Today’s listed price is only $5.00 more at $164.99 but there is no stock for you to buy. Just add to your wish list which won’t help with your hunger. We may need to start taking meat from freezers and pressure canning soon. Even with our whole house generator if the grid goes down we can’t keep our freezers powered long enough to use up all that chicken, turkey, beef and pork frozen before it goes bad. My only advice is pray and plant.Beyond 2 large vegetable gardens we put in over 400 strawberry plants, 40 more raspberry plants and added more apple. plum, pear and peach trees. We currently get over a dozen eggs a day from our chickens which we share and barter with. We are in it for the long haul. I plant therefore I am…

  8. I went to the everything a dollar store for some toothpaste, Soap and other toiletries and found the Everything a Dollar is now Everything a $1.29.

  9. Recent health changes have forced a change to my wife's diet. She needs to cut carbs and add vegetables. She tells me you can still find decent prices on some long-term storage items at Honeyville and, of course, the LDS Church.
    Or, you could just glean from what she throws out. She tossed a case (6 #10 cans) of butter powder this week because she says it aged out by five years. She's talking of tossing a couple of cases of wheat because she needs the space for carrots.

  10. Aldi is a German Based world wide budget grocery chain. I've shopped there for prep stuff for a long time. Recently I saw an announcement that food prices in Germany were going up 20-50%, all I can say is that those kind of price changes hit both of my local Aldi stores. That is for the stuff that they have in stock.
    Am laying in the parts to make a couple or three cheap ar15s, might need to arm the neighbors.Due to my dietary restrictions, I can't eat beans, rice or pasta, but I have stored a lot of it, again better feed neighbors than shoot them.

  11. While I'm well aware of food price increases and possible shortages here in the UK (the 30kg of extra fat I carry will sustain me for a long while), I'm astounded that the USA is facing food shortages. The USA has long been a huge exporter of food, so why has that stopped?

  12. Quartz because we have been under the "Leadership" of a doddering corrupt old man listening to his earpiece and teleprompter.

    So the unseen and unelected people are really running the show.

    They shut down the oil production, several "Accidents" destroyed fertilizer plants in America BEFORE the Ukrainian situation eliminated some 30% of fertilizer that America used. And other foolish or destructive (your choice) decisions to harm our country.

    No oil, crippled supply systems to keep needed supplies from the farmers and the truckers hauling and the packing plants preserving our foods.

    Going to be a WHOLE Lot of Starving in the Dark around the world.

    Oh and BTW Biden declared a Food Emergency Summit see Arther Sido's blog Economics On Beast Mode SO given their desire to keep the US Dollar King I fully expect Biden's handlers to be sending US Food over to the EU to bribe them to support the anti-Russian sanctions.

    So I fully expect that HUNGER will be an American thing around the Thanksgiving season.

    American Holodomor a Ukrainian word for death by starvation OR Murder by hunger. Seems oddly apt.

    Got Food, lots of food and trusted friends?

  13. We aren't facing any such food shortage here.

    Just a lack of money to buy it.

    There's a difference.

    One brings starvation.
    The other brings riots and revolutions.

    Plan for all of the above.

    1. Aesop I have to respectfully disagree. Are you aware than many farmers all over the USA was told by this administration to destroy their crops. If they did they got 100% and in some cases more of farm subsidy payments from the government. If they refused, they got nothing. These farms thought it was just in the region. They didn't realize it was everywhere.

  14. Wow Aesop that was pretty deep.

    Lack of Money but plenty of food = folks don't eat.

    "Mommy I'm HUNGRY" rings out though our dying Republic.

    Even a sweet Grandmother is going to get SPICY about that.

    Let alone the GIMMIE DATS when ALL that EXTRA EBT Money the Democrats fling at them don't mean *hit.

    Starvation by food shortage OR lack of food due to the truckers unable to deliver through the burning cities and such.

    Sounds like hunger in the dark to me.

    Plan? I'd like some suggestions Aesop. You seem to have some good ideas?

  15. re: How did we get here?
    The farmers have been subsidized to grow corn for ethanol instead of staple crops to feed people, that's how – and Biden just announced more subsidies. It's not like ethanol is any cleaner than oil, but it makes them feel better, I guess.

    Surely some farmers will be in a position to reject those subsidies, but others won't have a choice – not if they want to keep their farms.

    Alas, the real estate idiots have been buying up all the arable land locally to build crappy housing on. Smart, guys. Bring all those Californians here and ignore the fact that the food for them has to come from somewhere!

    OTOH, was just talking to a local rancher last week, and he's building his own butchering facilities. He said that all of the local ones are booked over a year out, so he decided to create his own. He'll be able to do everything from calving to butchering to selling direct, and right proud he was of it, too. More power to him!

    As for me, I'm growing extra tomato plants to give away this year – and stocking a little extra of whatever I can't grow myself. Currently I'm branching out into herbs and spices. Turns out, saffron loves our drought-ridden climate, so I'll have some good flavoring for our rice and beans, at least.

  16. 1) IDGAD if it's deep, Michael. it happens to be true.

    2) The GibbsMeDats and the Free Sh*t Army are going to go knocking when they get hungry, not sit docilely and starve as if this were a Victor Hugo novel. having food, at that point, but no means to secure it, secret it, and protect it, will be a death sentence. Ask Louis and Marie, formerly of Versailles, what it gets you to be the fat person in a famine.

    3) If you need some good ideas, you're about 10-20 years late to the party. I've beaten my own fingers raw making suggestions, and after only fourteen years of blogging, I'm still a Johnny-Come-Lately to that party. There's only about 100 blogs, and a dozen really good ones, that deal with the whole topic, and have, every single day, for decades. If you're serious, stop typing, and start reading.


    Commander Zero

    just for openers.

  17. Aesop been reading those fine bloggers long before I found your blog.

    Probably why I've been building, planting trees and otherwise doing something aside from working my shifts at the Hospital. Money isn't always as valuable as doing stuff. Useful, I agree but easily turned into frozen assets by a few computer keys or toilet paper by Gov massive dollar printing.

    Always open for more suggestions. It's a learning thing you know.

    Once you figure out you know everything your doomed.

    BTW 10-20 years late to the party? Seriously?

    I have my Camp Snoopy, what are you really going to do when you return home from an OT shift to find your apartment smoking? Not that I'd wish that on you, but things are a-changing faster every day.

    Look into the mirror Sir, are you really ready for all of California's Finest GIMMIE DATS?

    I don't think WE have a lot of time friend. Maybe less time in OT and more getting a bolt hole, perhaps?

  18. Well.Aesop got it partly right. One of the reasons for the coming famines here is the distribution network, $10 a gallon diesel will vastly raise prices. But food production in this country does not produce the surpluses it used to. Just as manufacturing has moved offshore, so has certain types of food production. More importantly a goodly portion of food processing is also now done off shore. Check on who now owns Smithfield and how much of pork processing is rotated through China.
    Much of fruit and vegetable production is labor intensive and way too expensive to grow here. The environmental restrictions make it easier and cheaper to get this stuff from countries to the south. Also I see where the farmers in the Valley will be allotted no water for food production this year. Poor weather has greatly reduced the grain crop for this year and the stored surpluses the US used to have are no more. The Government has worked very hard end these surpluses. Without the foreign produced fertilizers, next years crop won't be much better if not worse.
    While it may look like the perfect storm for this year, a lot of the factors will still be there in future years,getting through this year will not be enough. Other past disasters that we have used for educational purposes simply are not as big or wide spread enough to give an accurate picture of what is (I want to say coming, but that doesn't apply anymore) here. A Fourth Turning indeed.

  19. James I hope your right, but my pre-paid fertilizer order was canceled for this year.

    I managed to buy some at very high prices compared to last year.

    SO this years truck garden is going to be a LOT more work and less productive.

    Want to guess how that will affect my availability and pricing of that food?

    A couple of my peers have said the same comments.

    I'm a semi-retired gentleman farmer so it's not as horrific as real Community Supported Agriculture CSA who are holding back on selling shares because they cannot figure out how much it's going to cost THEM to grow that food.

    The Big Ag folks I understand are feeling that same pinch, where ALL Inputs of fuel, fertilizer and other petroleum based products like herbicides and pesticides are getting hard and EXPENSIVE to get.

    Also I understand that is actually paying some farmers NOT TO FARM all their lands for carbon credits and such nonsense. Our Tax Dollars at work here.

    I wonder just how bare ole Mother Hubbard's Cupboard really is.

    Guess we'll find out before summer.

    Got food and a garden?

  20. I farmed for almost 20 years myself when a younger man. Grew almost everything we ate and the acre garden we kept organic, and only the garden was organic. What I learned about organics is while it works, it takes years to build up the soil. Thus it isn't a quick answer for food for people starting out today. Sri Lanka has found that out with it's ill advised nation wide switch to organics and subsequent food shortages today.
    I did see an article talking about a current manure shortage because so many people are looking for substitute fertilizers. Pity broadcasting political speeches doesn't affect crops like it does us.

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