How long until food shortages start?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I suspect that many of you guys are in the same boat that I'm in. We've done a fair amount of our own preperations for food,water,tp,ect. For food we have done our own freeze-dried 5-gal buckets of rice, beans, lentils. We've also bought a fair amount of tuna and dinty moore which have a long shelf life. So here's the five million tp roll question: When do you expect store shelves to be empty of basic food items? We were planning on getting some more common food items and other household things but many of these don't have very long shelf lives and we want to get them as close to 'the all out-store-shelf-cleaned-out-panic' as possible. When do you think it will be too late to go to the store and buy stuff? Please respond
-- When will store shelves be cleaned? (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 1999
My neighbor is a Grocer and he said that you would have to wait until this Sept. or Oct. to get this years crop. That is too risky a wait. That is when the stampede will take place!!! If I were you I would just buy right now, which is last years crop.
-- Freddie the Freeloader (email@example.com), February 27, 1999.
Also, the published 'shelf life' of most items consider the full flavor, nutrition, looks, etc. of the item in question. The average person (without using lab equipment) would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a can of green beans bought from the grocer today and one that has been on his pantry shelf for two years.
I found some stuff that had been pushed to the back and out of the way some time back that I KNOW was at least 4 years old. I started to throw it out, but being the conservative (miserly, tight, etc.) person that I am, I decided to open it and see how it was. One item was a can of hominy (I know, even at it's best there is no nutrition and it is a terrible food) that looked and tasted fine. I went ahead and fixed it for supper. Another item was some cans of clams. These were 5 years old and didn't have labels on them any more. We had clam chowder to go with the hominy. I could list at least 2 or 3 more items including canned soups, beets, carrots, and tomatoes, but I think you get the idea.
I believe the expiration dates or shelf life advisories are a CYA type thing; that they err to be on the safe side. Not for safety's sake, but to make sure their product is at it's absolute best in a competitive market.
So, go ahead and buy what you need (at sale prices when possible) and figure you have at least 2 or 3 times what the advised shelf life to be. Just take care as to where they are stored; no attics or other hot areas. Basements would be better, but living quarters temperatures should be OK.
Some exceptions would be chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, vitamins, and most medicines. Most medicines and vitamins can have their shelf lives stretched by keeping them refrigerated.
-- Gerald R. Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 1999.
January 3,2000. Panic will set in, when the lights go out. There may be shortages of some items before that, but cleaned out shelves will be after the crisis hits. I am planning to make my finnal food purchases in November. Things like coffee, pancake mix, vitamins, etc... Get your essentials now, just in case. Hell, if the Senate report saying "y2k could be the greatest crisis we have ever faced" won't wake people up, what will?
-- Bill (email@example.com), February 27, 1999.
Good Post Gerald, Watch out for food with high acid content like tomato based foods in cans. Don't last as long as the others. Get them in glass if possible.
Personally have been waiting to put up flour into buckets as this does not keep well after it is ground. Then will use it first before moving to grinding my own wheat, or perhaps give some away to neighbors in early 00. How long will I wait? I'd like to wait until Oct. Nov. but will just keep my finger to the wind. Don't figure that the 50 Lb. sack of flour will be the first thing the herd takes off the shelf.
-- LM (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 1999.
Only dry basements are good for storing canned goods. Dampness leads to rust, which can cause pinholes in the can. Storing the cans in heavy plastic would be necessary in all but the driest basements, IMO.
-- scooter (email@example.com), February 27, 1999.
Good point about keeping canned goods stored in a basement dry. I don't have a basement so that's of no concern to me. I, too, plan to wait for another few months before I buy flour to store. I already have enough wheat berries, but I haven't been able to make a really good tasting loaf of bread with my ground wheat. I plan to use "store bought" flour at least in part for that. I plan to nitrogen pack the flour.
-- Gerald R. Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 1999.
Gerald, had a similar experience with the wheat. Spring wheat is a little closer to what most folks prefer, but hard red winter keeps better. I just add white flour to the mix (75% whole wheat, 25% white), and it makes better bread, I feel. BTW, in my experience white flour will stay good for at least four years if the bags are individually packed in plastic zip-loc bags, with a bay leaf thrown in each for good measure. Stored them in metal cans in the basement, and all was perfectly edible and tasty after all that time. I can't vouch for the vitamin content (probably none), but the carbohydrates were there. IMO, white flour is like white sugar - will store indefinitely under the right conditions, e.g. bone-dry, cool (below 70 F) and varmintproof.
-- scooter (email@example.com), February 27, 1999.
The shelves will be emptying this summer if you're very lucky. It could start this late March/April.
Riots are expected this summer so sayeth the military. That is a clue in.
Most major companies set March as the supplier/vendor "drop you if you're not compliant" time period. This means MANY bankruptcies and sudden job losses, it also means the supply lines will be jammed as the few who are compliant are overwhlemed.
Better wake up. Remember, remember, remember, only 8% is left for "crises" at the actual year roll over. This is all going to start now not way out in the future. It's NOW.
-- No Matter (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 28, 1999.
Timing.....Yes you're right. Timing is everything isn't it. I expect the shelves to start showing noticable gaps about end of May as the 10% of the population begins to GI. The rest will wait until December/January and then starve. "the government won't let it happen. What will happen to my IRA?"
On another note, try canning flour in your oven using regular mason jars, etc. Keeps real well, safe from damp, bugs die or never hatch. Use the instructions from Carla Emory--The Encyclopedia of Country Living (you need that bok anyway). Good Luck and after May or June, good hunting. Lobo
-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), February 28, 1999.
Could you please tell me where this information is located in the book. I've searched for almost a half an hour and can't seem to find that particular information. Page number please.
-- Leslie (email@example.com), March 01, 1999.