As we have seen in March of 2022, food shortages are a real threat we face in the United States. This shortage comes just after the 2020 food shortage we faced from supply chain issues due to increased demand and limited supply.
Now we face a new threat of food shortage from the Ukraine and Russia conflict. With this new food shortage arising we see that these shortages can stem from more than just panic buying.
However, panic buying will still increase the rate at which our food supplies disappear. To help everyone prepare for the craziness that is going on in the world, let’s look at where the United States gets its food supply, if there is a food shortage coming, how soon we should expect a food shortage and how to prepare for a food shortage.
The United States produces most of its food within the states. The United States only imports about 15 percent of its overall food supply from other countries. This is a double edged sword for the United States.
On one hand it's great that we don't heavily rely on other countries to provide food for the United States. On the other hand it becomes problematic when we aren't able to produce enough food in the United States and don’t have the systems in place to import large quantities of food.
We are currently faced with these production problems in 2022 as fertilizer has become scarce due to the Ukraine and Russia conflict. Even though we produce a majority of our food in the states we import a lot of the pesticides and fertilizers that help us produce these crops.
With the impending fertilizer crisis right around the corner the United States food production is stuck in an uncomfortable position.
As of march 2022 it looks like we will have another food shortage coming around the corner.
This stems from the conflict we see erupting at the Russian and Ukraine border. President Biden recently implemented sanctions that prohibit Americans from doing any business with Russia.
The strategy with these sanctions was to squeeze the Russian economy into a point of disarray where they would be forced to withdraw out of Ukraine due to economic restraints.
Yet, as we watch the conflict progress it doesn’t seem like Russia has any intent of pulling out of the conflict with Ukraine anytime soon. So what does this mean for the United States?
This means that we will start feeling the repercussions of these sanctions ourselves. The repercussions on the United States will come in the form of fertilizer from Russia.
This year alone the United States planned to import 1.2 billion dollars worth of fertilizer from Russia. Without this fertilizer farms will have to account for this and plant smaller crop fields for the 2022 harvest.
Now that we know that a food shortage is coming how soon will we feel the effects from it? The short answer is today! We know from the 2020 food shortage that once an announcement about food shortages is released panic buying ensues and the shelves in supermarkets start to go bare.
Although we still have plenty of food right now the increased demand for long shelf life products will cause temporary shortages across many isles. But the shortages won’t end there.
Because the shortage is centered around future crop production we will also face shortages this fall when crops begin to be harvested.
Approximately 15% of the wheat produced in the world comes from Russia and Ukraine. With much of that production offline and wheat planting season occurring right now, it’s likely already too late to make up for that wheat shortage that we’ll see during the upcoming harvest season. So this particular food shortage may last for a while.
This is when the real shortages will greatly affect Americans. Once panic buying starts in the fall there will be little supply to replenish the shelves.
We saw similar problems occur in 2020 where the supply chain restricted certain products from being restocked on shelves months after the world economy restarted.
With these new food shortages looming around the corner, we are expecting to see similar problems arise. But this is not the first time we have experienced food shortages in the recent past, so we are much more equipped to deal with these shortages.
Many of us already have food stored but with more shortages popping up every year it’s never a bad idea to continue stocking food for this shortage and the future shortages that are bound to arise.
Now that you know why and when the food shortages are coming it’s time to start preparing for these shortages. But how do you prepare for a food shortage? You stock up on food with the longest shelf life! We like to refer to the food with a long shelf life as your food stock.
Now there are two routes you can take when preparing your food stock. You can purchase canned foods and rice that have a long shelf life compared to other items on the shelves.
This is a great entry level option into creating a food stock however it does come with a few problems. The first is that canned foods that are highly acidic such as tomatoes and fruits only have a shelf life of 12-18 months.
Lower acidic canned goods such as meats and vegetables last longer but still only have a shelf life of 2-5 years. Even rice, the staple in many preppers' food stock, only has a shelf life of only 6 months if unmilled.
These are still great food stock options if you are looking to save some money initially but you will have to spend more time and money restocking once food goes bad.
The second option for building a food stock is to buy an emergency food supply. We personally recommend this option because it is the easiest way to get into prepping and takes the least amount of time to build a long lasting food stock.
We all also know some loved ones that just don’t plan for these sorts of things. Ordering a couple of 72 hour survival food kits for them ensures that they have at least a little bit of a buffer when things get hard.
Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables or dehydrated emergency food has a shelf life of 25 years and removes the need for yearly restocking. Not to mention, our survival food resembles your normal meals much closer to stocking beans and rice.
This is not just our opinion, our kids love freeze-dried food and we often have to stop them from stealing from our stock.