Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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JohnPCapitalist
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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Post by JohnPCapitalist »

Whatever4 wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:25 pm
Farmers Find Ways To Save Millions Of Pigs From Being Euthanized

But that worst case scenario seems to not be happening. According to estimates of pork producers and officials in the hardest-hit states of Minnesota and Iowa, hog farmers have been forced to kill and dispose of fewer than 200,000 animals so far.
So why can’t I find a ham? Are there any in stores? (Often the online selection at a grocery store isn’t as robust as in person, particularly for meats.)
I'm going to speculate here, based on my experience in supply chain management, which is for non-food items, but I think I may be directionally correct on this one:

1. It takes time for beef and pork to cure after the animal has been slaughtered -- typically, something like 30-60 days in a cooler before the meat's ready to be processed into finished cuts. Plants closing down in March or early April are not able to ship what's been cured, and not able to process new animals. So we'll probably see disruptions for another 4-8 weeks, and prices coming down 3-4 months after that.

2. IIRC, you live in a generally rural state where the average income is relatively low, even in the cities. It may be that retailers are not ordering huge amounts of expensive meats because they are afraid that their customers can't or won't pay for it based on supply/demand price increases. If ham normally goes for $2.69 a pound, local grocers and district managers for larger chains probably figure that many of their customers aren't able or willing to pay an extra $2 per pound. On the other hand, in NYC or the rich suburbs where I live, people will grumble but will still pay an extra $2 per pound because income levels are so much higher. Because rich people are more able to pay the extra, the retailers figure less risk of unsold product aging out and having to be discarded.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Post by AndyinPA »

Meat here is limited to three at Costco and two at the Giant Eagle, the local large chain. I was surprised the other day when I stopped into a Fresh Thyme to pick up a few things and there was no limit on anything.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Post by Whatever4 »

JohnPCapitalist wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:27 pm 2. IIRC, you live in a generally rural state where the average income is relatively low, even in the cities. It may be that retailers are not ordering huge amounts of expensive meats because they are afraid that their customers can't or won't pay for it based on supply/demand price increases. If ham normally goes for $2.69 a pound, local grocers and district managers for larger chains probably figure that many of their customers aren't able or willing to pay an extra $2 per pound. On the other hand, in NYC or the rich suburbs where I live, people will grumble but will still pay an extra $2 per pound because income levels are so much higher. Because rich people are more able to pay the extra, the retailers figure less risk of unsold product aging out and having to be discarded.
Sort of. It’s definitely a downscale rural state. (But Portland itself is famous for being a foodie town. There’s lots of higher-end restaurants.)

I haven’t been to a grocery store in 3 months. I had a weird experience with the online grocers though. I ordered 4 lbs of chuck for pot roast hoping for a nice 7-bone chuck steak, but got 6 packages of something called “chuck tender steak”. Decidedly not tender. Oh and I ordered a head of lettuce and got a head of cabbage the first time and a head of cauliflower the second.

The good news is that the grocers have figured out the demand cycle. No long waits for delivery windows, and lately almost everything has been available.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Coronavirus outbreaks climb at U.S. meatpacking plants despite protections, Trump order
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/inv ... 137400001/
Meat production, which had briefly tanked, quickly rebounded after the order to near pre-coronavirus levels and quelled consumer fears of pork, beef and poultry shortages.

But the number of coronavirus cases tied to meatpacking plants has more than doubled since then, topping 20,400 infections across 216 plants in 33 states, according to tracking from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

At least 74 people have died.

That’s despite widespread implementation of protective measures like temperature checks, plastic barriers and social distancing meant to curb the virus’ spread inside the plants. Some of the recent outbreaks happened at facilities that had taken such steps.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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CBS News: Food scarcity is on the rise in America as the economy reels

Food insecurity — defined as the inability to afford healthy food for all family members — affected 37 million U.S. households even before the start of the disease outbreak. That's due in part to widening income inequality, which has undercut the economic gains during the weak recovery that followed the Great Recession. But food shortages are on the rise as unemployment has surged into double-digits and many workers are furloughed without pay.

More than 10% of households said they sometimes or often didn't have enough to eat in early June, the St. Louis Fed found. That compares with about 8% of households experiencing food scarcity before March 13, when states began shutting down businesses and layoffs spiked, according to Census data. With at least 21 million workers out of a job, 17 million additional Americans are at risk of becoming food insecure, Feeding America, a nonprofit coalition of food banks, said in a recent report.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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NPR - The Latest Pandemic Shortage: Coins Are The New Toilet Paper
Just as supplies of toilet paper are finally getting back to normal, the coronavirus has triggered another shortage of something we typically take for granted: pocket change.

Banks around the country are running low on nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies. And the Federal Reserve, which supplies banks, has been forced to ration scarce supplies.

"It was just a surprise," said Gay Dempsey, who runs the Bank of Lincoln County in Tennessee when she learned of the rationing order. "Nobody was expecting it."

Dempsey's bank typically dispenses 400 to 500 rolls of pennies each week. Under the rationing order, her allotment was cut down to just 100 rolls, with similar cutbacks in nickels, dimes and quarters.

That spells trouble for Dempsey's business customers, who need the coins to stock cash registers all around Lincoln County, Tenn.

"You think about all your grocery stores and convenience stores and a lot of people that still operate with cash," Dempsey said. "They have to have that just to make change."
I think I've only used my charge card since the pandemic struck. I'll make sure I put some change in my purse so it's not an issue if I do have to pay cash.


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It’s the pandemic, stupid!
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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Post by ZekeB »

MN-Skeptic wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:30 pm I think I've only used my charge card since the pandemic struck. I'll make sure I put some change in my purse so it's not an issue if I do have to pay cash.
Even my local original or crispy chicken place has a sign the says "credit or debit card preferred during the pandemic." You know what part of the state I live in, MN-Skeptic. It's either cash or check for most, it seems. Actually it's check for almost all of those who are in front of me at the grocery store.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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ZekeB wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:25 pm
MN-Skeptic wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:30 pm I think I've only used my charge card since the pandemic struck. I'll make sure I put some change in my purse so it's not an issue if I do have to pay cash.
Even my local original or crispy chicken place has a sign the says "credit or debit card preferred during the pandemic." You know what part of the state I live in, MN-Skeptic. It's either cash or check for most, it seems. Actually it's check for almost all of those who are in front of me at the grocery store.
My husband's father was a mechanic at a tractor dealership in NE Iowa and my husband would tell me how farmers would come in with cigar boxes of cash to pay for new tractors. :shock:


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Associated Press: Hundreds test positive at Tyson Foods plant in Arkansas

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tyson Foods is looking into reports that China’s customs agency has suspended poultry imports from a Tyson facility in the United States after coronavirus cases were confirmed among its employees.

A Tyson spokesman said Sunday that the plant in question is in Springdale, Arkansas.

“At Tyson, we’re confident our products are safe and we’re hopeful consultations between the U.S. and Chinese governments will resolve this matter,” wrote spokesman Gary Mickelson in an email to The Associated Press.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, and we work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to ensure that we produce all of our food in full compliance with government safety requirements,” the statement added.

Mickelson also noted that all global and U.S. health organizations, in addition to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, agree that there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. ...

On Friday, Tyson Foods announced the results of coronavirus testing at its facilities in Benton and Washington Counties, Arkansas, and said that about 95 percent of employees who ultimately tested positive for the virus didn’t show any symptoms. Of the 3,748 employees tested, 481 tested positive for COVID-19, and 455 were asymptomatic.

There have been several other COVID-19 outbreaks at Tyson plants around the United States, including in North Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Cross-posting
NBC News: Coronavirus reported in over half of Latino meat, poultry workers in 21 states, CDC says

Of nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases, more than half, 56 percent, were Hispanic workers, the data shows. ...


The latest CDC data, published Tuesday, reinforces alarms raised as meat and chicken facilities and their surrounding communities have become COVID-19 hot spots and deaths among workers have mounted this year.

In total, almost 9 in 10 coronavirus cases (87 percent) were among racial and ethnic minority workers, with 5,584 cases occurring in Latinos through May 31. Another 1,842, or 19 percent, of cases occurred in non-Hispanic Black workers; 1,332, or 13 percent, in non-Hispanic whites; and 1,161, or 12 percent, in Asians.

In the last several months, the deaths of Latino workers at meat processing plants have raised alarms about the safety of workers and the vulnerability of the nation's food supply.

A coalition of food worker, civil and human rights advocates filed a civil rights complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Tyson Foods Inc. and JBS USA, asking for a suspension of federal funds they receive and referral of the complaint to the Justice Department.

Tyson and JBS did not respond to NBC News requests for comment by the end of the business day Wednesday.

Overall, there have been at least 17,358 coronavirus cases and 91 COVID-19-related deaths at meat and poultry facilities in 23 states reporting outbreaks through May 30, the CDC said.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Cross-posting

I don't have the heart to post the accompanying photo. :brokenheart:
DCReport: Economic Slowdown Drives Gruesome Mass Killings Of Farm Animals

With Few Buyers on Hand, Farmers Resort to Grotesque Methods: Smothering Thousands of Birds, Steaming Hogs to Death


Because of COVID-19 and the resultant shuttering or slowing of slaughterhouses, U.S. farmers are smothering chickens in foam or steaming pigs to death.

In April, Trump regulators set up a center to coordinate mass killings of chicken, hogs and other livestock. An estimated 10 million hens already have been killed, most smothered by foam.

Trump’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service didn’t respond to emails from DCReport.org.

“The mass killings now taking place are a tragic waste of animal life, causing an abhorrent amount of avoidable suffering; they graphically reveal that the factory farming system is fundamentally frail, flawed, and cruel,” said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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I love Pearls Before Swine's cartoon for Sunday -
20200802 Pearls Before Swine.jpg
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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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For the unemployed, rising grocery prices strain budgets even more
Beef and veal prices rose 20.2 percent, and eggs rose 10.4 percent since February, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis

Rachel Siegel
August 4, 2020 at 10:02 p.m. GMT+2

The cost of groceries has been rising at the fastest pace in decades since the coronavirus pandemic seized the U.S. economy, leading to sticker shock for basic staples such as beef and eggs and forcing struggling households to rethink how to put enough food on the table.

Long-standing supply chains for everyday grocery items have been upended as the pandemic sickened scores of workers, forced factory closures and punctured the carefully calibrated networks that brought food from farms to store shelves. Even while some of the sharpest price hikes have eased somewhat, the overall effects are being felt most acutely by the nearly 30 million Americans who saw their $600 enhanced unemployment benefit expire last Friday — exacerbating concerns that the recession’s long tail could worsen food insecurity for years to come.

Earlier in the pandemic, the shock to the food system collided with staggering layoffs and an economy forced into lockdown. Cars filled parking lots to wait at drive-through pantries. From the beginning of March through the end of June, food banks across the country distributed more than 1.9 billion meals, according to Feeding America. In March alone, food banks gave out 20 percent more food than in an average month.

Uncertainty, anxiety and sleepless nights for the unemployed as Congress lets $600 benefit lapse

Sean Valadez, 35, of the greater Los Angeles area, came home from Costco in mid-March with a $600 receipt, hoping his grocery haul would feed his family for up to 45 days after he lost work in the music and live entertainment industry. When he went back to the store 40 days later, Valadez was stunned by the rise in prices for ground beef, chicken, salmon and eggs. The grocery bill was an eye-popping $1,000, not including the alcohol he also purchased.

Valadez said he didn’t remove anything from his cart “because it was shameful.” He swiped his credit card, went home to his partner, and told her they would have to make a serious change. Their unemployment benefits just wouldn’t cover such high grocery bills.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... nemployed/?


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

#315

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We tea drinkers may also face supply problems. :(

Socio-economic implications
of climate change
for tea producing countries


http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4482e.pdf
Increased temperatures could cause soils to dry if mulching is not applied and can affect
yields. A more serious problem, however, is the increased incidence of new pests and
diseases that attack tea bushes. In extreme cases, as temperatures become too high for
tea cultivation, new suitable land areas need to be found. As new land is cleared for tea
cultivation, more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through deforestation.

However, water availability, through reduced or uncertain rainfall patterns, as well as
limited ground and river water, is a more constraining factor impacting tea yields.
The environmental footprint of tea production is also considerable. Main issues include:
reduced biodiversity and ecosystem function as the result of habitat conversion, high
energy consumption (mainly using logged timber) and a high application of pesticides in
some countries.


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Hawaii coffee is still available! for a price


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Post by Volkonski »

Laurie Garrett
@Laurie_Garrett
·
2h
Amid the #COVID19 crisis, food inflation is getting brutal. Brooklyn supermarket non-organic, large white egg prices by the dozen:
March 11 = $1.18
April 8 = $3.23
Today = $4.49
Rate of food inflation is breaking records.
https://washingtonpost.com/business/202 ... nemployed/


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Portland Press Herald: Deliveries of chicks are arriving dead, costing Maine farmers thousands of dollars

Last week Pauline Henderson was shocked when she picked up a shipment of what was supposed to be 800 live chicks from her post office in New Sharon.

Henderson, who owns and operates Pine Tree Poultry, a family farm and chicken meat processing facility that specializes in chicken pot pies, said all 800 chicks sent from a hatchery in Pennsylvania were dead.

“We’ve never had a problem like this before,” said Henderson, who has been running her farm for five years and regularly receives shipments of live birds.

“Usually they arrive every three weeks like clockwork,” she said Wednesday. “And out of 100 birds you may have one or two that die in shipping.”


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Collateral damage when the USPS boss wants to crash the operations so impotus can cancel mail-in voting. :blackeye:


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Post by AndyinPA »

I wait not-so-patiently for the Vidalia onions every spring. This year, not so much. I read that weather is partially to blame, but the virus has also had an effect on the supply.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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LA Times: Foster Farms to temporarily close poultry plant after 8 workers die of COVID-19

Foster Farms announced Saturday that it will comply with a Merced County health department order and temporarily close one of its poultry plants in Livingston, Calif., the site of a coronavirus outbreak that has left eight workers dead.

The outbreak at the Central Valley facility has persisted for at least two months, according to the county health department. Officials said the company did not complete the widespread testing of employees that the county first recommended and then ordered.

The company said in a statement that it will close the plant Tuesday evening and will not resume operations until the evening of Sept. 7, following a deep cleaning of the facility and new rounds of testing for all 1,400 employees. In addition to the eight workers who have died of complications from COVID-19, at least 392 plant employees have tested positive, health officials said, making the outbreak one of the worst in the state.

Outbreaks are ongoing and widespread throughout multiple separate buildings at the Livingston facility, Merced County officials said. Of about 2,600 workers at the Livingston facility, 13.7% of workers have received a positive test result based on worker self-reporting. Authorities expressed concerns that the outbreak could be much worse, since universal testing of workers has not been completed.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

#322

Post by Volkonski »

I have mentioned the death of olive loaf in the markets before. When we 1st arrived at our new Texoma home I hoped olive loaf would be available. At first no luck. :(

However, Mrs. V. went to the stores yesterday and found it. She got 2 packages. :-D :thumbs:

Also, this morning I was making an online purchase from Walmart. I was a few dollars short of the $35 needed for free shipping so I thought I would add a can or two of Spam. Walmart seemed to be out of most versions of Spam. :o So I ordered a package of beef jerky instead.

At our former home we shopped mostly at Kroger and HEB. There are no Krogers or HEBs here. We are having to get used to different stores. One good thing is that Aldi sells zero net carb bread that we like better than the Keto bread from HEB's bakery. It is cheaper too. :)


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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On Sunday, Whole Foods online was out of Zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, all apples except Gala, and peaches. WTF? (Must have been a local farm thing.)


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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WaPo: More than 200 meat plant workers in the U.S. have died of covid-19.

Federal regulators just issued two modest fines.


Federal regulators knew about serious safety problems in dozens of the nation’s meat plants that became deadly coronavirus hot spots this spring but took six months to take action, recently citing two plants and finally requiring changes to protect workers.

The financial penalties for a Smithfield Foods plant in South Dakota and a JBS plant in Colorado issued last week total about $29,000 — an amount critics said was so small that it would fail to serve as an incentive for the nation’s meatpackers to take social distancing and other measures to protect their employees.

Meat plant workers, union leaders and worker safety groups are also outraged that the two plants, with some of the most severe outbreaks in the nation, were only cited for a total of three safety violations and that hundreds of other meat plants have faced no fines. The companies criticized federal regulators for taking so long to give them guidance on how to keep workers safe.

At least 42,534 meatpacking workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in 494 meat plants, and at least 203 meatpacking workers have died since March, according to an analysis by the Food Environmental Reporting Network, a nonprofit investigative news organization.


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Re: Coronavirus: Food Supply & Shortages

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Post by tek »

one hundred forty five bucks per death.

:brickwallsmall:


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