Food Shortages Over the Holidays

The Lempert Report
December 14, 2022

Phil: So, you know, there's a lot of food shortages that are anticipated this holiday season because of our weather floods, hurricanes, extreme heat, drought, large bouts of rainfall. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that in 2022 there have been 15 climate disaster events in the US. The losses are about a billion dollars each. So we, we go down the list of what products are gonna be in short supply. As a result of this, we have rice. Obviously, you know, when you're growing rice, you need a lot of water. Most rice comes from California. We have a major water shortage here in California, so a lot less rice also because of the hurricanes in Florida, a lot less citrus. That means a lot less orange juice. Iimported orange juice, obviously from Brazil will still be on the shelves, but that's it Also, beef. 

Phil: Now here's an interesting stat. The beef slaughter is up 13%. That's the good news. But because of the weather problems, there's not enough grass or other feed is too expensive for the cows, so they're actually culling the cows, meaning killing the cows because they can't feed them. So we're gonna have that problem upon us as well. I mean, we've been talking for a long time here about how climate change is really affecting our food supply, both price wise as well as shortage wise. But I think that a lot of people are gonna be very, very disheartened as they walk in the supermarket over the next few weeks during the holiday season and really seeing these shortages again. We saw them in the beginning of the pandemic, people freaked out. I don't think people are gonna freak out now and stores are doing a great job to avoid that by fanning out products on a shelf so we don't see empty shelves. But still, I think, you know, I think it's a, a major problem.