Supply Chain Vulnerabilities Are A Good Reminder To Prepare At Home
What would it take for a food desert to be created in an urban area?
Let’s list a few scenarios.
A grocery store closing shop. Truckers delayed in making deliveries. Items stuck in the ports on shipping containers? Manufacturing slowing down production. A power outage. A disruption in internet services. A shortage of workers. Tensions in other countries creating challenges in the United States. Orders on plastics from overseas prohibiting foods from being packaged and distributed. Pandemic-related mandates and lockdowns.
Have we seen any of these scenarios play out in the last two years? Perhaps all of them in one area or another? Add enough of these together, and you have the perfect storm for a food crisis in areas where these items are most needed.
One in four children goes to bed hungry at night in the United States of America today. And in 2022, that starling statistic may escalate even more with inflation and the rising costs of basic goods such as food and fuel.
Policies and opinions from the affluent elite are harming our nation’s most vulnerable and food insecure.
What’s worse, we may live in America where food is plentiful and relatively affordable, but our just-in-time delivery system in the United States leaves much at risk when it comes to ensuring every American has access to food when they need it.
Anecdotally, you’ve likely seen some of these cracks in the system I’m warning about. We saw the toilet paper wars of 2020, where frenzied shoppers stockpiled and hoarded as much toilet paper as they could when rumors of shortages started to circulate.
A friend of mine told me she stopped at an Arby’s the other day for a sandwich, and she was informed they were out of roast beef. I recently swung through a coffee shop on a road trip to a speaking engagement, and the barista broke the news that their paper cups were stuck in a port somewhere.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I needed to buy milk for our four little ones at home, and the entire dairy case was empty — an alarming site indeed.
How does this happen in the United States of America?
It’s death by one thousand cuts, and while I’m not here to fear-monger, I am challenging everyone to begin thinking of ways to stock up, prepare your pantry, plan ahead, and anticipate more shortages to come.
I’m not a doomsday prepper by any stretch of the imagination, but as a ranch mom, it is my job to take care of our land, our livestock, and my family. And one way I can do what’s best for my young children is to ensure I have on hand the things we need. This creates peace of mind, greater independence, and an overall readiness for whatever comes your way.
Years ago, I may have chuckled at Great Grandma and Grandma who still carried old habits from the Great Depression. Picture casseroles stored in recycled butter containers, canned vegetables from the summer garden, and reusing wrapping paper, ziploc bags, etc.
Today, my grandparents’ frugality and thriftiness looks sensible, prudent, and wise.
The world moves fast. Too fast at times. And yet, if we rely on the basics learned from our roots in agriculture, I’m betting we will be just fine. Embrace a season of simplicity and nostalgia and consider how you might prepare for harsher times head. If the recent headlines are any indication, those times may not be too far off.
If you need me, I’ll be buying seeds for planting and glass containers for storage and thinking fondly of memories gone by, where people took care of themselves and their neighbors. And even if supply chain issues go away, I’m thinking more time spent outside with my hands in the soil and my kids underfoot, doesn’t sound too bad after all.
To recap, it's so great that we can go to the grocery store and have access to safe, affordable and nutritious food in this country, but I believe that urban rooftop gardens, patio gardens, and even backyard chickens and small plots for plants may create a more resilient food system where EVERYONE is invited to participate!
Whether you live in a big city or on a quiet country road in rural America, you have the power to be part of the solution for your family to be independent, safe, secure and able to feed yourselves even if your favorite products aren't in stock or are higher than the budget allows.
If nothing else, it's a good excuse to get outside and enjoy some sunshine! Plant the seeds and enjoy the fruits of your labor!