Food & Drink

Covid and the food supply

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  • Jun 16th, 2020 2:04 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 19, 2007
716 posts
531 upvotes
Halifax

Covid and the food supply

Does anyone think that food shortages may happen?

I've read several articles about how many farms can't get the workers they need, and several more about how meat plants are getting shut down. Not to mention that just everywhere a lot less people are working at anything, so that would include the whole farm to store chain. On recent trips to grocery stores I've noticed much barer, well everything. Not just toilet paper and bleach. A lot fewer deals to be had as well.

Then just yesterday trudeau committed a quarter billion to secure the food supply, however if no one is picking veggies or packaging hamburger, all the money in the world won't help. Having to stay in and not go to the strip club is one thing, but not being able to eat another level. Once food shortages erupt, that's when things will actually get real. As the saying goes, society is only 9 meals away from anarchy.
60 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Sep 14, 2012
576 posts
622 upvotes
Toronto
Perhaps Halifax is different from where I live, but the stores here seem to be very well stocked on all but a few cleaning items.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
9332 posts
1734 upvotes
Toronto
I'm not too worried.
People have been hoarding for weeks here in Toronto and still when I do visit the grocery, only a few items are low in stock.
Shelves that are full are really full.
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2008
1012 posts
456 upvotes
Ripley
Stop reading. :) Grocery stores are now limiting some meat purchases. There are lots of non-meat alternatives. Just like there were toilet paper alternatives. There is a huge gap between "I can't get my GradeAAA sirloin steak" and "I am starving to death". There are lots of alternatives to the grocery store too. Society had a huge problem with food waste before this. If people start eating the food they have in their house then I can't see it being a problem.

Yes, I realize some people can't afford to stock up and don't have full cupboards. Hopefully all of this increased funding will help the food banks get more food to more people.

As for the farmers - I think if you live in certain geographical areas you shouldn't be able to get CERB. And when it runs out it will be close to harvesting time. Lots of jobs available.

Disclaimer - I realize I come from a place of privilege. I have a garden to grow food in. My meat does not come from a factory. I have worked both planting and harvesting food at a real farm. My income does not come from the food supply chain. Farmers of all sizes are suffering because of the prices - caused by our government regulations. Our food supply will change but not dry up in the near future.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
35620 posts
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Ottawa
I think this is a perfect opportunity increase prices.
Something like gas prices. When a refinery fire in New Orleans makes everyones gas price go up. Or a storm in Oklahoma and gas goes up 5 cents a liter.
Dump milk and produce because the prices aren't high enough?
In my opinion, a manufactured crisis.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Addict
Jan 10, 2009
1130 posts
566 upvotes
Toronto
Supermarkets are struggling to adjust to a new way of shopping. People in urban areas especially are shifting to making fewer but larger shopping trips, enough for a couple of weeks at a time. Before most urban shoppers were more opportunistic and often going to pick up stuff a couple of times a week. This means the stocking of the, usually smaller shelves is harder to keep filled. But we're not running out of food, there's plenty of it.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
43766 posts
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T.O. Lotto Captain
zeddy wrote: Stop reading. :) Grocery stores are now limiting some meat purchases. There are lots of non-meat alternatives. Just like there were toilet paper alternatives. There is a huge gap between "I can't get my GradeAAA sirloin steak" and "I am starving to death". There are lots of alternatives to the grocery store too. Society had a huge problem with food waste before this. If people start eating the food they have in their house then I can't see it being a problem.

Yes, I realize some people can't afford to stock up and don't have full cupboards. Hopefully all of this increased funding will help the food banks get more food to more people.

As for the farmers - I think if you live in certain geographical areas you shouldn't be able to get CERB. And when it runs out it will be close to harvesting time. Lots of jobs available.

Disclaimer - I realize I come from a place of privilege. I have a garden to grow food in. My meat does not come from a factory. I have worked both planting and harvesting food at a real farm. My income does not come from the food supply chain. Farmers of all sizes are suffering because of the prices - caused by our government regulations. Our food supply will change but not dry up in the near future.
Good beef is hard to find...
So i’ve been eating more chicken and pork. Even bad chicken can be seasoned and cooked nicely. I do bbq. So cheap cuts of pork can be lean and delicious when smoked on a bbq.
Chicken... is chicken. Its as good as the person making it.
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
1966 posts
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In Hiding
Anyone know if Metro is limiting the number of packs of lamb chops?
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2008
1012 posts
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Ripley
UrbanPoet wrote: Good beef is hard to find...
So i’ve been eating more chicken and pork. Even bad chicken can be seasoned and cooked nicely. I do bbq. So cheap cuts of pork can be lean and delicious when smoked on a bbq.
Chicken... is chicken. Its as good as the person making it.
I meet my beef when it is still walking around the farm yard. When we run out I don't buy it at the grocery store. We buy it from the same butcher who processes our side of beef. Its also where we get our pork and chicken. I've said to my spouse that I only like meat that comes in a big box. No styrofoam trays here. You don't have to live on a farm to eat like a farmer.
Member
Mar 22, 2020
328 posts
218 upvotes
No one is going to starve due to lack of food in Canada. We may have to change food habits due to availability of certain products but we will have food to eat.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain
zeddy wrote: I meet my beef when it is still walking around the farm yard. When we run out I don't buy it at the grocery store. We buy it from the same butcher who processes our side of beef. Its also where we get our pork and chicken. I've said to my spouse that I only like meat that comes in a big box. No styrofoam trays here. You don't have to live on a farm to eat like a farmer.
Thats not a bad idea.
For me its just accessibility & storage limitations. I would need a big upright freezer. I got a backup freezer, but its the mini-fridge sized (like for a student dormitory).

My mom & uncles pitched in for an entire boar. It just taste like pork. But its a tougher looking piggy!
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2008
1012 posts
456 upvotes
Ripley
UrbanPoet wrote: Thats not a bad idea.
For me its just accessibility & storage limitations. I would need a big upright freezer. I got a backup freezer, but its the mini-fridge sized (like for a student dormitory).
The butcher sells boxes of meat - I think they are about 10-15lbs of sausage, pork chops, burgers, steaks, breasts, etc. I have a large family so those boxes don't last long. Most butchers also sell smaller freezer packs with a variety of cuts.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
4352 posts
1004 upvotes
No one will starve but look at food prices going way up in coming months. Inflation will also hit the bottom line .
Suspended on May 21,2020 for 90 days by Mars2012 . Still serving sentence .
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2018
1237 posts
1246 upvotes
I can give you a different perspective from the restaurant side of things.

Our supply chains have been disrupted and have caused a large amount of inconvenience. . Our local fresh produce has been hit or miss for the past 6 weeks or so and I have had to resort to going to the grocery store about 5-6x a week and then delivering it myself to each location. We have asked store managers to go to grocery stores on their way in to work if they are able to. It's not from a lack of food, it's from the farmers ability to have delivery drivers deliver the items and pickers pick the produce. I can say that my own observations over the past 6 weeks going 5x a week that the grocery store panic buying has subsided quite a bit. Line ups are not like they used to be and with the exception of a rare item or 2 like lysol wipes everything is in ample supply, If it's out of stock 1 day it's there by the next.

Some of our food service suppliers have started to limit quantities of certain items. Two of our suppliers has limited the amount of Canola Oil we can buy which we use for our deep fryers. We go thru about 90-100 16 litre jugs each week and have had to get our oil from other suppliers which has increased our costs.

Another one of our suppliers has temporarily eliminated certain cuts of meats (certain beef products) as well as only producing 1 size of something like chicken fingers and chicken wings where previously they had 2-3 different sizes/counts. This is due to layoffs and making changes to their manufacturing while demand is down due to restaurant closures.

One of our suppliers used to be next day delivery, now it's 7-8 days for an order to come in once it's ordered. Another supplier went from next day delivery to 4-5 days. This has caused disruptions in the products we sell as sometimes we underestimate the demand for certain products.

Food costs are up on some things like meats, some as little as a 1% or 2%, others as high as 10-12%. Our overall food costs have increased a fair bit since this pandemic. It will be interesting to see how restaurants react to this when they are allowed to reopen. Will they eat the increase in order to drive sales or pass it on to the consumer?
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11018 posts
3180 upvotes
Saskatoon
Ground beef at Costco increased by a $1/kg, to $9.99 and there is a limit of one. Also see increases for pork chops when I was there on Wednesday. The seafood section seems to have a reduced selection.

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