Food Insecurity 2019

Stuff that’s happening in the world that may pertain to our survival. Please keep political debates off the forum.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by boskone » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:38 pm

Hopefully this'll fly under the media's radar, or when they start going on about it people will start demanding farmer's binned crops be seized because they're "price gouging" (which all too many people seem to think is any time prices go up).

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by manacheck » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:32 am

I think there are a couple problems with the grains issue this year. One, the existing grain is higher moisture content than is desirable for longer term storage. Two, the 2019 grain in some grain mills is showing signs of mold/spoilage. Three, the outlet for this grain is ethanol or animal feed, both areas of which have been impacted. (Selling at a significant loss means a serious financial hit for the farms.) Four, there are only so many grain bins/silos available. Last year, finding sufficient grain storage facilities to rent, let alone buy, was a challenge. What all this amounts to is that the grain needs to get used right away. If it is not used right away, either there will be insufficient storage for this year's harvest once again, perpetuating the issue into the next year but with compounded challenges, or the grain in storage will spoil and be a loss. This would be a pretty serious issue on a number of fronts; now is not a good year to take an additional hit.

From the takeaway for "at home" interests, I think the stories are useful because they highlight the value in reducing moisture content as equaling extended food storage life. Some people on here already pack up long term food storage grains in mylar bags with moisture absorbers. Just the difference of 1-2% moisture reduction making such a difference in storage life is worth taking note of. Noting the challenges of plastic bag storage versus aeration storage is worth taking note of, too.

I also takeaway that maybe this is why pasta can have a much longer shelf life than flour :ooh:

And... although the 2019 grains that are facing spoilage are being identified as having a market in fuel and animal feed, it's worth paying attention to in case some less scrupulous cogs find a way to sneak some spoiled grains into human consumption, whether domestically or overseas, it could easily ignite tensions between actors further.
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Re: Food Insecurity 2020

Post by manacheck » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:35 am

https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/08/farm ... times.html

Farmers say they’re receiving dead chicks as USPS issues impact delivery times
“Usually they arrive every three weeks like clockwork,” Henderson said, according to the Associated Press. “And out of 100 birds you may have one or two that die in shipping.”

So that’s why it was quite the surprise last week when Henderson received a shipment in which all 800 chicks delivered were dead on arrival. Henderson is one of many farmers in the U.S. who say the ongoing issues with the USPS are leading to delayed deliveries and in turn the deaths of the chicks before they even arrive at their destination.
At least 4,800 dead chicks were sent to farmers in Maine in recent weeks.

Issues with mail service being slowed down began after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was appointed to the position in May. When he took over in June, the AP reports he made several cuts and operational changes that have disrupted traditional mail service. In Michigan, lawmakers say there have been hundreds of reported cases of mail arriving late in recent weeks.
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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by M813 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:00 am

I watched an episode of Maryland Public TV that showed how these chicks are bred, packed and shipped.
Never in my life had I seen such a thing. I am learning things about the food production chain in our country that are fascinating but even I, a barely informed citizen can see dangerous flaws.

I'm convinced that shortening the food chain by growing a modest garden and supplementing that with a membership to our local CSA is the smart decision. That way we're not totally dependent on long-chain, major grocers. The local CSA's are partnering with other small, local farms to offer meat, dairy and bread products as well.

Signing up with a CSA used to mean being given a box of random, uncommon veg that you had no idea how to cook or what recipes they were good for. Now they often have websites or apps where you are assigned a number of points and you select the items that you want, using your points.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:59 am

M813 wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:00 am
I watched an episode of Maryland Public TV that showed how these chicks are bred, packed and shipped.
Never in my life had I seen such a thing. I am learning things about the food production chain in our country that are fascinating but even I, a barely informed citizen can see dangerous flaws.

I'm convinced that shortening the food chain by growing a modest garden and supplementing that with a membership to our local CSA is the smart decision. That way we're not totally dependent on long-chain, major grocers. The local CSA's are partnering with other small, local farms to offer meat, dairy and bread products as well.

Signing up with a CSA used to mean being given a box of random, uncommon veg that you had no idea how to cook or what recipes they were good for. Now they often have websites or apps where you are assigned a number of points and you select the items that you want, using your points.
:awesome: :clap:

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by boskone » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:49 am

M813 wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:00 am
I watched an episode of Maryland Public TV that showed how these chicks are bred, packed and shipped.
Never in my life had I seen such a thing. I am learning things about the food production chain in our country that are fascinating but even I, a barely informed citizen can see dangerous flaws.

I'm convinced that shortening the food chain by growing a modest garden and supplementing that with a membership to our local CSA is the smart decision. That way we're not totally dependent on long-chain, major grocers. The local CSA's are partnering with other small, local farms to offer meat, dairy and bread products as well.

Signing up with a CSA used to mean being given a box of random, uncommon veg that you had no idea how to cook or what recipes they were good for. Now they often have websites or apps where you are assigned a number of points and you select the items that you want, using your points.
It is. I'd like to point to Texas, which seems to be lacking the food shortages a lot of places have. I think this is because so many staples are grown in-state, and my two most common grocery stores (Brookshire Bros. and HEB) both tend to form relatively direct contracts with suppliers.

It's one of the reasons I want a few acres. I have no illusions about being totally self-sufficient while also working, but I could readily reduce my dependence on grocery stores. I was seriously thinking about planting this spring in subirrigated planters, but a combination of lack of access (no plants to be had from stores, and I don't...didn't...know anyone with a garden to mooch some seeds or cuttings from) and inclination to prep my house for sale (it'd be kinda pointless to build raised beds, because a lot of people would rather have an empty back yard to set up do their preferences).

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Re: Food Insecurity 2020

Post by manacheck » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:53 am

It's like every news story has something about food insecurity or impacts to the chain lately :vmad: Have a brick of related:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ity-crisis
U.S. Crop Report Signals Worsening Global Food-Insecurity Crisis
In its hotly watched monthly crop report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said world soybean stockpiles will be smaller than expected, signaled growing competition over global wheat shipments and highlighted dry weather as a threat to crops in parts of South America and Europe.

Taken together, the report indicated that global food prices could keep climbing, making adequate nutrition more expensive as millions are thrown out of work and economic woes deepen.

Prices are rising as the world is forecast for a sharp rise in food insecurity because of Covid-19’s impact.

While global grain and oilseed supplies remain relatively robust, wild weather including a recent severe wind storm in Iowa means harvests are smaller than initially hoped. Average yields for U.S. corn and soybeans are still record large, though there are fewer acres that will be harvested.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -standards
U.K. Won’t Ban Import of Food Produced to Lower Farm Standards
The U.K. government said it won’t ban food imports produced under inferior farming standards, saying the move would hurt farmers in developing countries.

Pressed by the opposition Labour Party on whether Britain will forbid the import of U.S. pork produced in conditions banned in the U.K., International Trade Secretary Liz Truss rejected a blanket ban.

https://www.pe.com/2020/10/08/grocery-w ... al-strike/
Grocery warehouse workers, truck drivers give notice of potential strike
More than 4,000 warehouse workers and truck drivers who deliver food and supplies to Southern California grocery stores are gearing up for a potential strike amid failed labor negotiations in a move that could leave some shelves empty this holiday season.
The Teamsters employees, who work for Albertsons (including Vons and Pavilions) and Kroger (Ralphs and Food 4 Less), are at an impasse over their employers’ plan to boost healthcare costs.

“The employers have been bargaining in bad faith,” said Lou Villavazo, who chairs the bargaining effort on behalf of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “We’ve had over 18 bargaining sessions with them and we provided our economic proposal … but no response.”

https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/wa ... an-harvest
WASDE Shaves 700 Thousand Acres from Soybean Harvest

WHEAT, COARSE GRAINS, RICE, OILSEEDS, SUGAR, COTTON: supply, demand, and production outlooks and comparisons.


https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/ch ... -time-july
China Confirms African Swine Fever Outbreak for First Time Since July
China confirmed the first reported outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) since July 25 in piglets illegally transported to the southwestern city of Chongqing on Friday.

https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/so ... wine-fever
South Korea Culls 1,500 Pigs After New Cases of African Swine Fever
Until this week, Yonhap said, no new cases had been found on farms since October 2019, but 750 cases were discovered in wild boars that roam the border with North Korea.

https://nypost.com/2019/09/12/feral-hog ... us-report/
Feral hogs from Canada may go hog wild in US
Packs of wild hogs from Canada appear to be edging closer to the US border — and wildlife officials are squealing over the ecological nightmare they could cause

but on the upside!:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 110124.htm
Rapeseed instead of soy burgers: Researchers identify a new source of protein for humans
Rapeseed has the potential to replace soy as the best plant-based source of protein for humans. In a current study, nutrition scientists at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), found that rapeseed protein consumption has comparable beneficial effects on human metabolism as soy protein. The glucose metabolism and satiety were even better. Another advantage: The proteins can be obtained from the by-products of rapeseed oil production.
(No "soylent" puns with any abbreviation of "rapeseed" substituted in for the soybean part of the dystopian food product, please. Regardless of whether it's green OR any other color. ...No "in bad taste" puns requested.)
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Re: Food Insecurity 2020

Post by manacheck » Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:44 am

https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2020/10/ ... ane-delta/

FDA ready to help food producers hit by Hurricane Delta
Among those in Hurricane Delta’s path in the Gulf Coast and the Southeast U.S. are farmers and their fields of crops grown for human consumption. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has several resources to help growers who may be affected by the impacts to their crops from severe weather conditions.

The FDA’s Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Flood-affected Food Crops for Human Consumption provides the information that producers can use as they assess potential damage to their food crops. This guidance is an important resource for the growers who produce and market these crops, as they are responsible for assuring the safety of flood-affected food crops for human consumption.

The FDA reminds harvesters that generally, if the edible portion of a crop is exposed to contaminated flood waters, it is considered “adulterated” under the Federal, Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and should not enter the human food supply. This applies to all food crops including underground crops (e.g., peanuts, Copotatoes). For crops that were in or near flooded areas but where flood waters did NOT contact the edible portions of the crops, the growers should evaluate the safety of the crops for human consumption on a case-by-case basis for possible food safety concerns.

Sometimes, crops that have been harvested and then subsequently deemed unsuitable for human use can be salvaged for animal food.
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Re: Food Insecurity 2020

Post by boskone » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:58 pm

manacheck wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:53 am
(No "soylent" puns with any abbreviation of "rapeseed" substituted in for the soybean part of the dystopian food product, please. Regardless of whether it's green OR any other color. ...No "in bad taste" puns requested.)
I don't think soylent uses rapeseed. I think it's soy, some seaweed-derived fats, plant-derived allulose and other additives.

...unless you're talking about the book/movie, not the actual product?

(Honestly, I tried Soylent a few times, it's surprisingly functional. If it had a better shelf-life, I'd actually recommend it as a disaster food reserve. It just gets really boring, unless you invest almost as much time mixing and preparing as you would just cooking.)

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Re: Food Insecurity 2020

Post by manacheck » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:38 am

boskone wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:58 pm
manacheck wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:53 am
(No "soylent" puns with any abbreviation of "rapeseed" substituted in for the soybean part of the dystopian food product, please. Regardless of whether it's green OR any other color. ...No "in bad taste" puns requested.)
I don't think soylent uses rapeseed. I think it's soy, some seaweed-derived fats, plant-derived allulose and other additives.

...unless you're talking about the book/movie, not the actual product?

(Honestly, I tried Soylent a few times, it's surprisingly functional. If it had a better shelf-life, I'd actually recommend it as a disaster food reserve. It just gets really boring, unless you invest almost as much time mixing and preparing as you would just cooking.)
I had to look up because I couldn't believe that was a real product name! :clap:
Apparently it was named after the product from the movie. I was actually referencing the book, in which soylent is a word that takes "soy" and "lentil" and combines them to get the name "soylent"

And you're right, the name-branded Soylent that took its name from the media idea does not actually follow the soy+lentil guideline.
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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by DarkAxel » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:55 am

I've been noticing chronic shortages of some food items in the local grocery stores. For example, the local Walmart, Food City, and Save-a-Lot stores haven't restocked the frozen White Castle cheeseburgers in three weeks. Hot Pockets are hit and miss, and canned pastas like Spagetti Os and Chef Boyardee stuff are simply gone off the shelves.

Overall, it seems like while there's food on the shelves and in the freezers there's less of it. The question is whether or not it's because deliveries aren't being made. That may have something to do with it in the case of some items, but not all. Since most of the schools in the state are closed and students are attending class at home, Kentucky increased SNAP benefits for families with children, and that has had a major effect on the availability of convenience meals.
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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by SCBrian » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:38 pm

I'm seeing mostly the same things, but our schools are back in person. What I have noticed, that while there seems to be rolling shortages of random stuff, it mostly effects the interior isles of the store which hold your processed foods. I haven't noticed much impact on the fresh food side. Or they are just better at hiding it.
My last trip, Rice was short (Ended up buying a 20# bag, but was only looking for 5/10#. Bullion was out and Ramen noodles has been hit or miss (teenagers). Some meat was missing, (mostly different cuts of beef) but there was plenty of meat to make up for it if that makes sense... Oh, and freaking drink mixes. Drink mixes have been short the last few times I've been...

I generally prefer shopping in person so I can change my list on the fly if I need to, but other than a few odd & ends, minimal impact to me.
I did have a long conversation with a coworker from a different department who was complaining about the prices of food and how she couldn't feed herself and her daughter for $50 a week. After a few questions, I found out Chef Mike Ro Wave did the majority of her cooking. I encouraged her to plan and learn to actually cook and she'd save $$ and frustration... whether she takes me up on it... who knows. I gave her a meal plan that would yield plenty of leftovers for 3 meals a day, for about half that amount.

Foe 2021, I['m planning a kitchen herb garden and probably a small plot for veggies. We'll see...
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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by Confucius » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:31 am

Pretty much the only thing I've noticed being short around here is random frozen items. Vegetables, tater tots, that sort of thing. Meat is plentiful (definitely more expensive though, saw flank steak for $13/lb!), fresh veggies, pasta, grains, etc. all seems to be fine.

Weirdly, just realized, don't think I've seen a single turkey for sale yet...

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by tony d tiger » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:00 pm

It's amazing, to me, the number of people who don't cook "real food" and only reheat processed foods in their microwave. As noted above, a weekly plan with leftovers cuts down energy use; prep time; allows for diversity of textures and flavors; and provides better nutrients.

I lived in an apartment for a year, and never had to rely on hotpockets, chips and salsa for a meal... used the hell out of my crockpot though. :mrgreen:
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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by boskone » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:54 pm

Well, apparently the HEB not only is fully restocked with paper goods, they had so many some was overflowed into the floor.

Including like 50 roll packs. Not the "18 ultramegarolls = 72 regular rolls", actual commercial-sized sets of toilet paper.

Last time I was there, the paper goods aisle was literally bare except for some packs of napkins.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by CG » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:36 pm

The only thing left in the canning section at HEB were plastic lids (which were luckily what I needed) and some of the stuff for making jellies. Not even any freezer jars, I don't think.
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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by boskone » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:50 pm

CG wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:36 pm
The only thing left in the canning section at HEB were plastic lids (which were luckily what I needed) and some of the stuff for making jellies. Not even any freezer jars, I don't think.
Yea, there's been a canning supplies shortage.

I have a flat and about a half more of pint jars and about twice that for lids, then if I want to can anything I'll start having to keep a weather eye out.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by MPMalloy » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:16 pm

boskone wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:50 pm
I'll start having to keep a weather eye out.
Huh?

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by williaty » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:40 pm

MPMalloy wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:16 pm
boskone wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:50 pm
I'll start having to keep a weather eye out.
Huh?
He's almost out of jars and will soon have to watch for opportunities to buy more.

Same condition we're in.


Also, the market is being absolutely flooded with counterfeit jars and lids from China. You really need to beware.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by boskone » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:19 am

MPMalloy wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:16 pm
boskone wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:50 pm
I'll start having to keep a weather eye out.
Huh?
As williaty says, to keep a careful eye out. Specifically, it means to keep a constant level of alertness for.

My assumption is that it means to keep an eye on the weather so you don't get caught out during storms. E.g. if you're in the middle of a field when a downpour starts, you'd do a good bit of damage getting out when the soil's turning all muddy, as well as make a lot of extra work for yourself having to clean equipment and animals, but you'd want to stay in the field as long as possible and get as much as you can done. It could also be a sailing expression, as you wouldn't want to be in the lines when a good wind hits, but my family's not really given to sailing either as a sport or profession so I lean towards the agricultural derivation.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by boskone » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:20 am

williaty wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:40 pm
Also, the market is being absolutely flooded with counterfeit jars and lids from China. You really need to beware.
Why does this not surprise me at all? :roll:

I don't really have anything at the moment worth canning, though, so it may not be an issue. Maybe can some meat and clear my freezer out a bit, that'd be about it.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:14 am

Got it.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by M813 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:31 am

There are reports of rationing at grocery stores again as COVID cases spike. I'm not sure of the rationale behind this as I do not believe there are actually any supply shortages.

My wife has been diligently preparing and freezing whole meals and ingredients for meals. I might be sick to death of butternut squash soup but at least I won't go hungry. Deer have been boldly camping out in my yard. They might come to regret that.

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Re: Food Insecurity 2019

Post by williaty » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:33 am

M813 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:31 am
There are reports of rationing at grocery stores again as COVID cases spike. I'm not sure of the rationale behind this as I do not believe there are actually any supply shortages.

My wife has been diligently preparing and freezing whole meals and ingredients for meals. I might be sick to death of butternut squash soup but at least I won't go hungry. Deer have been boldly camping out in my yard. They might come to regret that.
We're back to 1-per-visit on paper goods like TP and paper towels and they are basically constantly sold out of them at all the local groceries. Through all this I've learned that the competitive bidding process the groceries use to determine which products goes to which stores really screws over the stores in poor areas when supplies start to get tight. Because of that process, we've had shortages that last weeks for multiple basic products all summer but you can drive 40 minutes away to the rich side of the metro area and find things exactly like normal.

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