In an attempt to circumvent rising food costs and the possibility of cracks in the food supply chain, grocery stores are beginning to stockpile certain foods. If grocery stores are stockpiling food, shouldn’t we also?
Stockpiling by food retailers is driving some of the shortages of some staples, grocery industry executives said, and is challenging a U.S. food supply chain already squeezed by transportation costs, labor pressure, and ingredient constraints. A Wall Street Journal report Some supermarkets said they are buying and storing supplies to keep their shelves full amid stronger demand.
As well, fast food chains like Taco Bell are also feeling the shortage crunch. In an apology offered in an orange banner atop its website, Taco Bell declared: “Sorry if we can’t feed your current crave. Due to national ingredient shortages and delivery delays, we may be out of some items.”
While there are a lot of moving parts and it’s hard to see what the end result will be, the battle for resources from an individual level to a national level to a world level is becoming more clear. Below is a list of some options to preserve your food supply based upon a previous article.
- Preserve wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, tying your money up in assets will help you avoid the inflating prices of food sources in the future, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living. Any of these hard assets could also be used to barter. You could begin to trade with others who may have something you need or want, or vice versa. Having a variety of “barterable” assets will give you leg up if prices become extreme.
- Invest in food. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. When others are buying foods at inflated prices, you will be consuming your investment when it was purchased at a lower price. Using a combination of shelf-stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises. Further, these foods last a lifetime and would make sound investments for future planning. Ideally, you would want to store shelf-stable foods that your family normally consumes. You should also as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise. They also offer you some peace of mind in case the economy further degrades.
- Learn how to grow your own food. With fears of food price inflation, take control of your food sources and start finding a way to grow and raise your own food sources. Independent food security will be paramount in surviving an economic collapse. Investing in heirloom seeds is an invaluable commodity and holds the key to long-term sustainability, and survival in some cases. Seeds could be used as a form of currency in a long-term disaster and used in a bartering system. A long-term event could potentially increase the value of heirloom seeds tenfold. (Choose heirloom seeds, so you can be sure that you can use the seeds to replant year after year.) They would also be beneficial to have during an inflationary period. If you have heirloom seeds and grow fresh produce from them, then those plants are continuously producing more seeds for future growing seasons! Those could also be considered “hard assets” and potentially barterable. If you don’t have to buy produce, then you are saving hundreds of dollars a year on your grocery budget. Additionally, seeds can also be sprouted to eat for added nutrition and vitamin intake. These are some of the most popular seeds to own. Growing your own food offers you the freedom to supply your own pantry. Further, if you live in a rural area, consider investing in trees and bushes that will lure wild game. The trees and bushes can provide you with added sustenance and help you stock meat in your freezer. Other trees, such as fruit or nut trees will also be beneficial.
- Raise your own food. Rather than paying hard-earned money at the store for eggs, poultry and dairy—raise them yourself. Chickens are very easy to care for and can provide you with meat and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, you can find substitutions for these peak foods with a little research and ingenuity. For example, rabbits would be a suitable protein replacement and can even be raised in more urban areas. Similar to chickens, they don’t require much care and with some effort can be fed from the homestead’s garden or you can grow fodder. They are also great breeders and will provide you with ample amounts of meat. These are the 10 best meat rabbit breeds. As well, for the modest price of purchasing a fishing license, you can stock your freezer with fresh-caught fish.
- It all adds up. Again, do what you can to pay off debts ahead of time and work to restructure your outgoing funds to lower your expenses as much as possible. Debt only enslaves you further, and finding ways to detach from the system will break those shackles. Continue to look into finding additional income streams. The more income you can set aside, the better off you will be. That way, if your main income dries up, you have a fallback income and won’t have to go into default.
Being prepared is always a good idea. The general consensus is that food prices will continue to rise as the amount of money chasing those goods goes up and the supply of those goods goes down. The simple and finite law of supply and demand is in full effect now, and this could be just be beginning. Begin stockpiling, or enhancing your food supply today. It’s hard to say when this could explode beyond our wallet’s capacity to handle it, but it is fairly safe to say that this is going to make food shopping difficult for most of us.