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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you may know that I am a professional survival writer, and I have been researching for a potential article about the food shortages of 2020. This also includes interviews with individuals, and supermarket managers, along with internet searches and my own experiences during that time.

The shortage I am referring to is around the time they were closing schools, just prior to the full lock down in March of 2020. People were walking into supermarkets for the 1st time in a week only to see entire sections of isles in the store barren.

Active Preppers have anywhere from 6 months of food to 10 years in storage. Our shopping habits include buying a case to several cases of food at a time. But with the potential lock down and a pandemic at our front door, the impulse to stock our inventory for even longer duration came into play.

I am using a personal experience to show how our methods can cause a SHTF scenario, in this case food shortage. I just heard on the news of a toilet paper shortage, so I told my spouse we should head immediately to the supermarket, not so much for TP, but I was fearful that the shortage of TP would lead to a shortage of food. Just hearing the word "Shortage" triggered in peoples mind, "So what next will there be a shortage of".

We got to the nearest supermarket, and as we walked in I realized that it has already begun, as I saw people online with carts filled to the brim with food. Now it was something of urgency to stock up on items that we did not have. I personally had enough freeze dried rice & dried beans, and meat to last a year, but my spouse was a vegetarian, and not a survivalist nor prepper, and the freeze dried rice and beans had chicken broth in it.

Isle by isle, all we saw was barren shelves, so we headed to the back of the store only to see the frigerated sections barren. I was able to get a few dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, which was the only type of cooked prepared packaged chicken left, leaving a couple packages for the next person. The fear I had was for my spouse, as even the pasta isle was empty. This is when it dawned upon me to check the international isle, and there I found a variety of Mexican pasta in very unusual shapes. This isle was hit to by the masses, but the odd shapes and types of pasta seemed to push people away from their comfort zone.

I had a revelation, if the international isle here survived, how bout checking an ethnic mini market. We paid for what little we had in our carts and drove to the next town over to an Indian mini market. As we walked in it was an epiphany. None of the shelves were bare, and people were shopping as normal. My spouse was able to get pasta and canned fruit and veggies, and some novelty foods and snack on top of it.

It was here when I could see how this food shortage began. A customer walked though the door with his cart and walked immediately to the isle that I was going to. There may have been like 5 people in that isle shopping as well. He immediately started clearing out the entire shelf of canned goods. I went to quickly grab a couple cans of no meat spaghetti sauce, at which point he said wait your turn. I mentioned that if I wait that he was going to clear out the shelf and my spouse would have nothing. His response was serves you right for not being a prepper.

Never-the-less I squeezed in and grabbed 2 cans of sauce from the shelf which seemed to escalate the situation. He stopped and confronted me. I said that I see where this is going. As you know those with hobbies tend to have the tools of the trade, many a time on their person, so I reached into my top pocket and took out my boxing mouth piece and put it in my mouth. This action was enough deterrence for the guy and he turned around and went back to his shopping.

This was a pivotal point in showing how this food shortage occurred. The other customers watching this guy clearing out the shelves created panic, that they were not going to be able to get the food they wanted as this guy was going isle by isle. They right then and there changed they way they were shopping and began quadrupling the items they were taking off the shelf, not to the point they were clearing the entire shelf mind you, but panic took over.

I went back the next day to the Indian mini market out of curiosity. Sure enough the shelves were empty. Despite the fact that curiosity killed the cat, I called and spoke to different supermarket store managers to see if what I witnessed the day before at the Indian mini market was anything like what they experienced at their markets. Sure enough it was the same way things transpired that cause the food shortages.

I have come to the conclusion, that the blame is not survivalists like myself or preppers, but one person, that one person that started a chain event, a domino effect. triggering panic in the rest of the communities. It was the bare shelf that was full prior to one person shopping, and then emptied by same said individual that resulted in fearing those watching with their own eyes someone taking all of the contents of the shelf that resulted in them panic buying. That person then triggers the next, and so on.

So yes, one man can make a difference whether positive or negative. This is not a call to stop prepping, on the contrary, but rather that our prepping may be better suited to do in hidden way, in secrecy. When I go shopping now and want to buy in bulk, I speak to the ordering manager at the supermarket and request them to order a case of each of the items I am looking for. It could take a few days or even a week, but it will prevent people from walking in and seeing a row of empty shelves pushing them to impulse buying again. I also ensure that I am not the one that prevents another form getting that can of soup that day or corn beef hash.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really considerate husbandds prep for their spouses needs as well as their own. Team work is better when both are wall. fed. Thn neither has to hoard at the last minute....
I agree, but at same time my gal was constantly arguing with me about preparing for a natural disaster, and the space that it was taking. Nor did she want me to fill the freezer with vegetarian entrees as she said they would get frost bite. So in the end, the only things I was able to stock up on for her were canned goods. When this all happened with the shortages, I got a ton of dried beans & split peas, but she would not eat from a large bag of rice if i bought it as she was fearful of it being infested with insects, so other then the 1st time I open a bag of rice, where she would eat it, after that day she would not eat the rice.

Sometimes a person can be their own worst enemy.
 

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what many don't realize is that last year there wasn't any food shortage. There was food, but it was geared to going tot he wrong places. Schools shut down and we put millions of children at home. But our food system was designed to serve that population in mass at school, not in individual servings at home. It took some time before the supply chain could regroup and begin to serve it's new market. Bet if you checked your local school, that there would be tons of rolled crapping paper and plenty of pasta and cheese and the like.

Maybe someone ought to ask the school administrator what happened to all that material. Bet the school teachers never had to worry about what to wipe the hinnie with
 

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There's gonna be a lot of hungry picky eaters if things ever do kick off.

A vegetarian by choice will quickly become an omnivore by necessity.

And yes, we who consider ourselves prepared should be cautious not to trigger the panic. If a person waits to do a shelf-clearing purchase after the shortages have started, they have no business claiming they were "prepared".
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Panic is what is to blame. Prepared or not, if panic takes over, our rationality is the issue or there lack of. As prepared as I was for example, my spouse was not, refusing to stock up prior to the pandemic and after (with the exception of TP which she bought whenever she found some, shows her priorities)

Multiply that by an entire town of panicking people, you get bare shelves at the super markets.
 

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Store owners have basically three choices regarding panic buying:

1. allow panic buying
2. limit purchases of each item per buyer
3. pay someone to cause panic buying (i.e., pay someone to pretend to clear out the shelves, so that others follow suit) ... could be cheaper than advertising and far more profitable

What gets me, is when we had a shortage of buttape due to panic buying ... which occurred long before panic buying of food and water ... seems kinda backwards to me ... like putting the cart before the horse. If you don't have food and water, you probably won't need buttape.
 

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I agree, but at same time my gal was constantly arguing with me about preparing for a natural disaster, and the space that it was taking. Nor did she want me to fill the freezer with vegetarian entrees as she said they would get frost bite. So in the end, the only things I was able to stock up on for her were canned goods. When this all happened with the shortages, I got a ton of dried beans & split peas, but she would not eat from a large bag of rice if i bought it as she was fearful of it being infested with insects, so other then the 1st time I open a bag of rice, where she would eat it, after that day she would not eat the rice.

Sometimes a person can be their own worst enemy.

A real SHTF happens and your gal hasn't eaten for a couple of days then I bet she will eat whatever you put in front of her. Just do what you can to prepare for her. She will have to adapt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A real SHTF happens and your gal hasn't eaten for a couple of days then I bet she will eat whatever you put in front of her. Just do what you can to prepare for her. She will have to adapt.
She left me a year n a half ago MG after 28 years together, not gonna be something I have to deal with now. Worried to death about her though. The way she eats she is going to have a heart attack with no one to call 911.
 

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what many don't realize is that last year there wasn't any food shortage. There was food, but it was geared to going tot he wrong places. Schools shut down and we put millions of children at home. But our food system was designed to serve that population in mass at school, not in individual servings at home. It took some time before the supply chain could regroup and begin to serve it's new market. Bet if you checked your local school, that there would be tons of rolled crapping paper and plenty of pasta and cheese and the like.

Maybe someone ought to ask the school administrator what happened to all that material. Bet the school teachers never had to worry about what to wipe the hinnie with
In order to get rid of the supply, what happened here (in NJ), is that after the kids returned to school (in 2021-2022), the school administration gave out free lunches to any kid that wanted it. This year, (2022-2023), any kid not eligible for the free lunch program has to pay again.
 

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I agree, but at same time my gal was constantly arguing with me about preparing for a natural disaster, and the space that it was taking. Nor did she want me to fill the freezer with vegetarian entrees as she said they would get frost bite. So in the end, the only things I was able to stock up on for her were canned goods. When this all happened with the shortages, I got a ton of dried beans & split peas, but she would not eat from a large bag of rice if i bought it as she was fearful of it being infested with insects, so other then the 1st time I open a bag of rice, where she would eat it, after that day she would not eat the rice.

Sometimes a person can be their own worst enemy.
Unless she has some kind of eating disorder, I imagine she'd eventually have become less picky once hungry enough.
 

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In order to get rid of the supply, what happened here (in NJ), is that after the kids returned to school (in 2021-2022), the school administration gave out free lunches to any kid that wanted it. This year, (2022-2023), any kid not eligible for the free lunch program has to pay again.
They were lucky. A lot of places forgot the food was there and found it rotted when next they checked
 

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what many don't realize is that last year there wasn't any food shortage. There was food, but it was geared to going tot he wrong places. Schools shut down and we put millions of children at home. But our food system was designed to serve that population in mass at school, not in individual servings at home. It took some time before the supply chain could regroup and begin to serve it's new market. Bet if you checked your local school, that there would be tons of rolled crapping paper and plenty of pasta and cheese and the like.

Maybe someone ought to ask the school administrator what happened to all that material. Bet the school teachers never had to worry about what to wipe the hinnie with
My original family are dairy farmers. It took about a month to reroute our milk so it wasn't going to schools and restaurants. Many may remember that when the lock downs first hit, it was only going to last for 2 weeks. There's no need to reroute food for two weeks. It wasn't until it became obvious that this was going to be a long term event that things changed. There was even a milk dump (thank goodness we didn't need to do it) because there was so much extra milk.

But I think the problem of our own making is the fact that most people think food grows on store shelves and have no alternatives than to get their food there. The problem wasn't the lack of food but the supply chain. Noone wanted to work in the factories for fear of getting sick. The migrant worker population had been cut down to a trickle, and that slammed the door shut on any speedy recovery for food processing. But those who had direct access to farmers such as in farmers markets or co-ops never had a problem with their food.

For myself, I brought in a couple thousand more dollars by selling sourdough starters through our co-op. Processed yeast was nowhere to be found, and people were making more of their food from basic ingredients. Bread baking became a thing again and my ancient sourdough starter fed many people out in town.
 
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