Anyone prepping for corona?

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Alphaville
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Alphaville »

@jacob, yeah it’s a packaging problem, but we can repackage. I’ve been looking at flour sacks, but dread the thought of baking in summer (at least until I get a decent solar oven). So it’s Thai rice for me—thanks, market!

I await the return of the milkman. Would not mind some door delivery of fresh milk and eggs. Would gladly subscribe to a local producer. [eta: I read reports that CSAs are doing great right now]

As for hungry people around the world: we now have less hungry people than ever thanks to the price mechanism. I’ll admit it’s not perfect, and we’re fattening cows with grain, which is dirty and hugely inefficient... but markets are still the most efficient solution we have to the distribution problem, even if they aren’t omnipotent.
Last edited by Alphaville on Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by jacob »

jennypenny wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:07 pm
Is everyone eating down their stockpiles or still shopping while there is food available? I'm trying to figure out if the contagion risk is bigger/smaller than the future food shortage risk.
We've figured out how to order everything for delivery. Something we never did before. We might never set foot in a store again. Slowly building out the inventory for each order.

Riggerjack
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Riggerjack »

Getting all the food eaten is distribution problem that the market can't solve. The market solves for maximum profit under the circumstances... which is a different problem.
And right now, the circumstances are in flux. But the market is adjusting. This means more waste and fewer profits on the short term. But the market is still working.

It's not one production line, but many. Some will shut down, while others will work around the clock. (And journalists will point at each as proof that the system is failing, click here to know more...) Some workers will be on unemployment, and others will work overtime.

This isn't an efficient use of resources, but it's as efficient a use of information, as we have thus far devised. When the distribution gets too efficient with resources, it operates nearly information free, and that's the failure state Augustus keeps talking about.

The good news is Americans have wide margins, so this will be felt as changing margins. The bad news is we still export a lot of food, often to places with much narrower margins. Just as huge ethanol subsidies led to grain shortages abroad, stocking up for a last minute "prep" will magnify the shortages felt in those places, and the marginal price differences Americans will see.

Quercus
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Quercus »

Local pork producers (midwest) are being forced to kill and compost their hogs because of reduced processing capacity. I got an email from an urban forestry/arboriculture organization, pork farmers are looking for wood waste/carbon sources.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Alphaville »

the first thing a drowning business would do is liquidate inventory. which means someone else buys at fire sale prices. which, yes, not ideal, but that’s how things work.

i think everyone here understands that supply chains will continue be disrupted, and that it will take time to reboot things, and that everyone will have to adjust and find a different way of doing things... which in the long run could even be beneficial, if we aren’t stupid and we learn.

but again—shutting down markets isn’t going to be the answer to those problems.

George the original one
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by George the original one »

jennypenny wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:07 pm
Is everyone eating down their stockpiles or still shopping while there is food available? I'm trying to figure out if the contagion risk is bigger/smaller than the future food shortage risk.
For you, in your location, delivery makes sense.

We've had so few cases in the county that shopping before restrictions are lifted makes sense, yet we don't have space for more food until at least another week goes by. Haven't even begun to touch the long-term staples. I'm afraid that ice cream, almond M&Ms, & Pepsi would make up the bulk of any new purchases right now.

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Sclass
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Sclass »

I go out one day a week to the farmers market for fresh fruit and veggies. I also buy milk and eggs at the local sprouts. Everything else is stockpiled. I’m eating through the pile though. I guess I’m about 20% into it. The pantry, refrigerator and chest freezer are visibly emptier than a month ago. But that was the idea.

I had this original plan of never going out. Given the safety in my area and the abundance of food at at markets I’m happy to break quarantine to see what’s up out there. For some reason I’m not as scared as I thought I’d be. I have good ppe.

Other people in the store are not hoarding and they seem pretty confident wearing bandanas. I guess they aren’t too worried about contagion risk. I get a lot of stares and comments about my 3m p100 mask. There is definitely a risk going out vs. bunkering down but I think I’m getting overconfident like my neighbors.

I had this vision of the shelves being empty and armed robbers lurking in the parking lots. I was totally wrong and life seems pretty normal at my local Sprouts. The hot items like yeast, vitamin pills, flour and rice are still gone. But I’ve been able to buy good cheese, fruit, veggies and even canned olives. Canned stuff is back on the shelves.

saving-10-years
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by saving-10-years »

jennypenny wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:07 pm
Is everyone eating down their stockpiles or still shopping while there is food available? I'm trying to figure out if the contagion risk is bigger/smaller than the future food shortage risk.
The answer to this question would have been far different if our DS had not ended up living with us from mid-March (as university has now gone into distance learning mode so no benefit to staying where he was). We therefore need a higher volume of food stockpile and different types of food just at the point when shopping became problematic in the UK. So I have had to play catch up and trying different methods.

Click+Collect (ordering online for pick up in car park) was an experiment which won't be repeated. This is supposed to be safer than browsing the real life supermarket but was an epic fail because if you allow product substitution when items suddenly unavailable you may end up with things picked for you and charged for that are not usable (esp as DS has serious allergies). The store has suspended its usual offer to let you reject and return substitutes at the pick up point (because of virus transmission concerns and I suppose because they are rushed too). If you don't accept substitutions you may end up - as I did - with 40 items dropping off my list. That is >50% of the order. I ended up inside the store on that day to try and fill the gaps and found easy substitutes, or the exact item ordered, for about half of these. Own brands and cheap brands may not be available so its getting costly and you need to be flexible. Now I am stocked up I plan to do one supermarket trip - if I have to - every 3 weeks. We have a local source of vegetables and I plan to bake my own bread (just got a sourdough starter going for the first time). We have had the virus (in March) - DH and me with clear but mild symptoms and DS with negligible ones - but I really don't want to be out and about if we can avoid it not least because shopping at the moment is more expensive and full or compromises than I would like.

I have started ordering flour in bulk from catering outlets (although they are not set up for so many orders so systems crash a lot) and creating some storage space for my stock. With three of us (and one a young male with healthy appetite) this volume makes sense. I've also found local delivery services and am using these instead of travelling into town. Luckily we live in the countryside and I have friends who are farmers - I can buy or barter for fresh eggs and meat from them and have stepped this up (also planted vegetable seeds late but getting the polytunnel in production after a few years lapse). We are lucky - we have space and finances to stock up and set up even when things are sub-optimal.

Lockdown has made me pick up my game about food supply. I'm working through my ingredients and trying for smaller set of staples and larger well stored amounts of these + increased home production. From my limited supermarker browsing I see that seeds, flour - esp bread flour, canned tomatoes and lentils are very rarely available - which suggests others are trying to take some control over their own food sources and make/bake/grow, or at least fanticising about it. (Proviso: only visiting the one large store that I am familiar with so I can shop quickly but this change of emphasis is also backed by two friends who are lapsed chicken owners suddenly back into poultry keeping again).

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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Alphaville »

re: stockpiles

wife and i moved last year to a new city under a minimalist paradigm, which meant the stockpile was in the supermarket down the street. most of our homestead and prep tools got left behind in the country house.

ffwd to the pandemic, it’s taken me just a month to built a 3-6 month shelf-stable stockpile for 2 adults, mostly via online orders. the reason for the variable numbers is fully comfortable fun meals (100g protein/day) vs. survival rations (50g protein/day), and keeping weight on vs. going into fat storages.

currently on a warrior diet with fat/protein snacks during the day, and a huge carby evening meal. figured this was the best plan for our newly sedentary setup (we were bicycle commuters but now stay at home). previously we had been considering keto for the warm season (we like our carbs in winter), but one has to adapt to changing circumstances.

we’re only running low on frozen vegetables at this point, and although we have plenty of fiber plus a multivitamin stockpile, i might do a veg restocking run. i miht also do an instacart order for eggs: i miss eggs the most, especially the yellow bright yolks.

online orders are coming with roughly a 2 week delay, but they’re coming, so i wouldn’t really sweat it at this point. it just takes a little more planning than “what’s for dinner next week” and you have to piece together your nutrition puzzle from the assortment of items offered, which changes daily.

i’ve got so much stuff right now i’m probably not putting in any more orders until mid-may, and i estimate that would be for consumption some time around august.

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jennypenny
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by jennypenny »

I'm sorry if I keep asking the same question (shop/no shop). I keep changing my mind. We have plenty of staples but I've decided to stock up while I can. I worry that if things get tight I'll have to help out extended family as well.

I was able to snag a pick up time for today so I'm trying that. I marked 'no subs' to avoid S10Y's issues. I don't have to go into the store to pick up the order, so that's good. I have to go to the Vet for more meds for my dog anyway today so I'm going to do as much as possible while I'm in my hazmat suit. :P

----

I'm starting to trade with friends and family. I'm trading finished masks for craft supplies to make them. I'm also trading baked goods/masks for bottles of wine. (priorities :lol: ) One good thing about being known as a 'high risk' house is that everyone knows whatever they get from me in a trade is effective (like the masks) but also uninfected.

I see potential in being the one to take people's raw goods, as it were, and turning them into something useful. I've also been sharing extra seeds and seedlings and telling people they can share a little of the bounty in return later on. I can see this working even when the pandemic is over.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Alphaville »

@jennypenny

it’s a good question to ask. and it’s good to shop, and to stock up on what can be reasonably stored.

of course the paradox is that it’s the stocking up in itself that’s creating the scarcities right now.

but it makes sense to join the stocking up trend in such a scenario, or you might be the one without a chair when the music stops.

plus, like you said, you might have to share later with family who didn’t.

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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by jacob »

@Augustus - How are you storing all of this? Leaving things in the big bags? A 5 gal bucket takes about 30-35 lbs of dry goods. A human eats about 1 bucket per month, so going over 12 buckets per person means more intricate storage methods. Depending on family size, that would be 28 buckets for us (dog is included).

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Alphaville »

Alphaville wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:41 am
read earlier, he did it to request help from the federal government

so, quick brainstorm: essential industry, risk of death, federal help... send in the army?
kinda hate to quote myself but this lands close to the above:

President Trump plans to sign an executive order Tuesday that would use the Defense Production Act to compel meat processing plants to stay open by designating them as critical infrastructure, according to a senior administration official.

The White House plans to work with the Labor Department to “provide safety standards and guidance for workers to make sure they are kept safe and not put in harm’s way as they serve the public,” the official said.

The White House decided to issue the order, the details of which were first reported by Bloomberg News, following estimates that meat production capacity nationwide could be reduced by as much as 80 percent.


more:

https://thehill.com/homenews/administra ... s-outbreak

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jennypenny
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by jennypenny »

Grocery pickup was a nightmare. Long line. They forgot stuff so I had to go back. Then I ended up with extra stuff. I know they're super busy but yowza ... what a disaster. Scratch that off the list.

@A & A -- I order pantry products online when I need them. In general, I order those a couple of times a year anyway and order 6 months worth at a time. Extra things I ordered from Amazon have shown up eventually like was said upthread. I also have a huge stockpile of carbs and a bit of meat. What I need is dairy/cheese and fresh vegetables. It's tough because I'm not interested in produce I can't wash and peel or cook thoroughly. I've been getting by on frozen produce but it's not the same.

There was a lot of traffic today. People are definitely venturing out. Sadly, the only people I saw in masks were those heading into the grocery store because it was required. I can tell most people aren't going to comply with distancing orders much longer (and I'm not talking about people who need to get back to work). I think this was my last trip out other than the vet.

The only good thing was that I got to see the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds overhead while I was out. That was cool.

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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by black_son_of_gray »

jennypenny wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:45 pm
I can tell most people aren't going to comply with distancing orders much longer (and I'm not talking about people who need to get back to work).
Completely agree. Over here in the Bay Area, the roads/shopping centers feel very much like "normal". I'm talking cars everywhere, full parking lots. I've never seen more people just loitering around in the neighborhood. Parks are packed, even if you can't park at them anymore. Outside of the masks and the lines to enter grocery stores, SO and I both noted to each other today that we probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Riggerjack
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Riggerjack »

@ Augustus

We have a name for businesses that operate on thin margins, with low reserves. It's not small businesses, it's former businesses. While there is a significant overlap, they are not the same. If someone is operating a business with thin margins, and only a month of expenses, they were going to fail at the first hint of a slowdown, anyway. Every recession sees some of these.

This slowdown is extraordinary. In that businesses are being locked down, and the federal budget is being used as a piniata (whoever abuses it most is in a position to score more candy...looking at you, Tyson foods).

So, if you have a business, and your employees are on unemployment, and your landlord has limited options, and your stock isn't depleted (since you aren't doing business), and the feds are hosing you down with loans, what exactly is the problem, again?

Yeah, none of that is ideal, but if you need ideal to survive, that's a lousy business plan. Take comfort in knowing someone else will make better use of those resources after the bankruptcy.

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Ego
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Ego »

@Rigger, are you still working or are you on unemployment? Also, have you ever owned a business other than your rentals? In other words, do you have any actual skin in this game other than your vulnerability to the virus?

Also, have you actually looked at the PPP? I have two friends who run businesses, both of whom took the loans but are terrified because at the last minute the feds changed the way they work. The amount of forgiveness will depend on how many employees they kept on payroll. What if your restaurant is shuttered? What if you hire only contract workers and all of your business is suddenly gone? Nobody knows. So they are paying rent out of their pockets, have no income coming in and shoved the PPP money into a separate account that they haven't touched.

Riggerjack
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Riggerjack »

@augustus.

I don't know if I am not being clear, or if you just aren't listening.

I'm not trying to calm you down. I'm not trying to reassure you that everything is ok. I'm not trying to downplay your concerns.

I'm trying to tell you that I think the situation is far worse than you are contemplating. And lifting the lockdown prematurely, simply makes the economic situation worse, not better.

But I tend to see the darker possibilities, and I have been wrong, plenty, before. YMMV.

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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by chenda »

Let's keep this thread politics free and focus on practical issues around supply lines.

Here a lot of local farmers and suppliers have started or scaled up local delivery, or switched from supplying high end restaurants to householders. Its reassuring to have a good agricultural economy locally.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone prepping for corona?

Post by Alphaville »

on super-good news, non-essential retail in my state reopens to curbside pickup within existing legal parameters.

i need to fix my cargo bike ASAP.

fresh produce! eggs! non-homemade wine! :lol:

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