Since COVID-19 loomed over us all, the global economy took a turn. Most individuals have adopted new norms in their lives. While some individuals have gotten used to working from home, some have gotten used to shopping from home, and some have even found creative ways to promote their political business from home as well. However, while all of this is happening, the future of our economy isn’t looking great. In this article, we will discuss the food crisis that is currently going on.
Apart from the COVID-19 outbreak, there is also the war in Ukraine and the supply-chain issue has all accumulated to prices increasing such as bulk muesli, chicken, wheat, and many more. Russia and Ukraine are both big wheat exporters and the war has caused major food inflation. This could open a new chapter in 2023 and our food crisis issue might be worse.
Food is essential, just like how we need air to breathe and water to quench our thirst. In 2020, 10.5% of the American population, about 14 million households, did not get sufficient food. As a result, it affected their well-being, health as well as their quality of life.
What is Food Secure?
A household that is food secure is able to sustain enough food to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle for all the members of the household. Throughout 2021, 118.5 million people in the United States are food secure.
Meanwhile, food insecurity is a household where there are no certainties that there would be food, at all times. There is not enough food to feed everyone in the household and there are always not enough essentials for food. In 2021, 13.5 million people in the United States experienced food insecurity.
In 2022, it is a logistic issue.
This year, the major cause of food inflation is the logistic issue. The Ukrainian and Russian grain are having problems with shipping them out of their countries. The Russian invasion that happened on February 24, took a toll on the Ukrainian farm cycle which takes place during April and May. Another farm cycle would take place from September to November. Additionally, to warn everyone, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the issue on Twitter: the farm’s harvest may be halved because of the war’s toll.
Due to the ongoing war, the farmers’ ability to plant seeds, protect, and fertilize crops has been disrupted. As a result, there will be lower volumes coming in the next season which is predicted to be 30 to 44 million tons lower compared to normal levels.
What are we running short on?
With supplies running thin, here are the products that will experience strains.
There might be a strain in the chickpeas section soon in your grocery stores. The drop in the supply is mostly caused by the war in Ukraine which, as mentioned, resulted in a drop in production. Both countries are big chickpeas exporters. In addition, farmers in the United States have also opted to plant other crops instead of chickpeas.
One of the major suppliers of wheat is Ukraine. It has been challenging for farmers as the invasion has made it difficult to continue the production of wheat. India, another significant wheat exporter has banned exporting their product to protect their food security. Along with wheat shortage, there will also be a rise in prices, hence, it’s time to prepare ourselves.
Recently, Brazil has shifted from sugarcane to ethanol produced because of high energy prices. This could lead to a drop in sugar supply which could lead to an increase in prices and strain on stocks.
Due to a threat, the American government has stopped importing avocados from Mexico. To determine whether Mexican avocados are secure enough to export, plant safety inspectors are dispatched to Mexico. While the export has continued, prices are high and the process may be slow so expect low supply.
- Paper Goods
This issue has also resulted from the issue in Russia and Ukraine which caused a shortage in toilet paper. Apart from that, paper towels and tissues might experience the same thing as well.
- Canned Goods
Manufacturers have found it hard to continue with canned goods due to the aluminum shortage. As a result, products such as tomato paste, canned mushrooms, and many more are experiencing a supply shortage.
- Eggs and Meat
News of chicken shortage has been circulating since 2021 and it will continue to worsen. Plus, the prices will increase as well. Hence, it is probably time to cut down on chicken for a short time.
- Pet Food
Due to the aluminum shortage, just like canned goods, pet food is experiencing a shortage as well. Even big retailers such as Amazon are facing this problem as well which makes it hard for pet owners to look for their pet’s food.
- Baby Formula
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that there is a shortage of infant formula earlier this year. Similac and Enfamil are two examples of brands that will be hard to get. This puts parents under tremendous pressure.
In 2023, our food crisis might worsen, passing to the logistic issue. Furthermore, fertilizers are also being less used due to an increase in price will cause bad harvests. The current food crisis might be worse than the ones we experienced in 2007 to 2008 and 2010 to 2011. With that in mind, we encourage everyone to panic buy. When there is a purchase limit, it is so retailers are managing their inventory effectively. Purchase products that are needed only and be mindful of other shoppers.