Grocery Store Shopping
I admit I don’t like grocery store shopping. There I said it. I do like to go and take pictures and check on prices. Today, I may have to get on my soapbox, we have a problem, my friends. It’s our food chain, the drought around the world, the price of gas to deliver the food, food shortages, higher prices, and the list goes on and on.
Today I want to talk about some food shortages and higher prices on the food we like to purchase. I must be honest, I miss really good thick center-cut bacon. I refuse to cave to the prices. Luckily we couldn’t have a garden with fresh tomatoes this year for my BLTs, or I may have had a tantrum at the store looking at the prices of bacon. I’m just kidding, but if I was prone to high blood pressure it would have gone sky-high.
This is the third time this month that I’ve taken the time to write about possible food shortages you may experience when shopping now, or in the near future. Some shortages may prove to be somewhat localized, but others will probably be more universal.
My research has determined the following items very likely will prove harder to get, if not that way already in your area. Read through the information, check out your local stores, and then plan and act according to your family’s food needs when it comes to stocking up.
In case you missed these posts, 10 Food Shortages You Need To Stock, or this one, 17 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About Stocking Food
Grocery Store Shopping
Shortly after the virus issue became global in nature, the news reports were full of pictures and stories about farmers and ranchers who were having to destroy thousands of animals because so many of the meat processing plants had closed. The plants simply couldn’t operate with the reduced labor available. It was in April of 2020 that Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, shut down a plant in Sioux Falls, SD.
At about that same time, Tyson Foods reported having to shut down its pork processing plant located in Waterloo, Iowa. The country quickly found itself in a severe pork shortage. Demand quickly dwindled too with the closure of so many restaurants.
We’re now two and a half years down the road from those tough times, but we find ourselves still dealing with some common issues. One key challenge is getting enough quality labor to support the operation of those plants. Another concern is the cost and availability of food for the animals.
Both drought and floods have caused crops to be affected in many parts of the country. Some farmers have debated the choice to pay higher food costs for their stock, or not to replace the stock since they may not be able to sell the meat at a price to cover costs, let alone make a profit.
Contributing to the dilemma is the cost to both ship food to those farmers and the cost to ship the animals to slaughterhouses. Then there is the cost to ship the finished meat products to stores throughout the country. The high cost of diesel fuel is affecting many industries.
Thank goodness the trends for more products are showing positive signs, according to the Pork Trends report from US Foods. They are seeing some highs and lows, depending on your location and the types of cuts desired. It could be a while before we see more stability across the pork industry.
Bacon is seeing the same challenges as the general pork industry as discussed above, but the additional processing that goes into bacon manufacturing adds to the cost and related effects on our normal food systems. I mentioned the effects of severe drought and floods in the pork industry, but other factors play out too. The reduced availability of fertilizers for their crops, and the higher-than-normal fertilizer prices directly affect the cost of agricultural production, including the food for bacon-producing pigs.
I wanted to bring to the attention of my readers, particularly those living in California, the effects of legislation passed in that state. I wasn’t aware that 99% of California pork consumption comes from pork that is raised and processed out of state.
Years ago their legislature passed Proposition 2 which required birds and animals raised for food production to have certain living conditions, particularly how much room each one had to move around. More recently, the legislature passed Proposition 12 which went additional steps to protect those birds and animals so there wouldn’t be any cruel treatment.
What Prop 12 does is extend those requirements to out-of-state providers. Meat producers have fought the legislation, but many animal rights groups have pushed very hard to see Prop 12 implemented. There has been much dialogue about the negative economic impacts the proposition will have, not only in California but also in those states where the birds and animals are being raised and processed.
One of the economists who have weighed in on the issue is Lan Hatamiya, the former Secretary of the California Technology, Trade, and Commerce Agency. He issued a White Paper on the matter and indicates he anticipates a 50% reduction in pork supply, which is supported by an independent market expert, Rabobank.
Mr. Hatamiya states: “Market access restrictions from Proposition 12 will further limit available supply into California, thereby driving up pork prices for all consumers. The negative financial burden falls largely on the diverse ethnic consumers and communities that make up California, with pork being an important source of protein for African American, Asian American, and Hispanic households, businesses, and restaurants.”
We need to think about those most adversely affected by this legislation, including those on WIC, others experiencing poverty, and those already challenged by acute food insecurity. Nutrition is an issue, as those facing hunger issues need levels of protein consumption just like the rest of the population. I’m not sure about the number of people affected, but it certainly seems the legislation sidesteps many social determinants of health.
Some experts are expecting a 50% retail pork price increase from retailers, and the resulting consumer cutbacks in purchases will reduce by multi-millions what California consumers spend on bird and pork products annually.
Pasta as we know it is generally made from durum wheat semolina flour, added to a water and salt mixture. The strange thing is that durum wheat has been selling for prices much lower than normal, so the wheat isn’t being grown in the quantities seen in years past, with other types of wheat and farm products being grown and harvested in its place.
With the shortage of regular pasta, many chefs and restaurants have been forced to make their “pasta” entrees with other wheat-based versions and deal with the difference in texture, taste, and consistency.
For those of us at home, we may not even notice a difference. But if we are purists and want the durum wheat varieties of pasta we’ve enjoyed for years, we’ll have to keep our eye out for stores that carry those products, with the understanding we’ll probably pay more for them. Check the stores in your location for availability and buy anything that might go on sale.
Like other fruits and veggies, apples are grown throughout the U.S., but some states, like Washington, are known for their apple varieties, quality, and high production levels. Also like other fruits and veggies, climate change and the variations in weather patterns have had a direct influence on apple production in the past few years.
I read an article this week about a farmer in Versailles, KY who has had a great apple harvest this year. But he indicated that other areas of KY haven’t been so lucky. He indicated that apples can be a little picky and require a certain set of sun, water, and pollination conditions to succeed. Many areas in the country are experiencing drought, so sufficient water has been a challenge, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change soon.
We’ve all heard about the challenges to the bee industry in the past few years too. Both disease and insecticides have decimated thousands of bee colonies, making pollination of all crops, including apple trees, hard to accomplish. The bees seem to be making a comeback, but full production levels may be a few years out.
If you see apples on sale, even if you aren’t seeing your favorite variety on display, I’d suggest you buy some so you have what you want for holiday treats over the next couple of months.
We all love our citrus juices to drink and cook with. Most of us realize that much of the citrus production in the U.S. comes from the state of Florida. We’ve seen the devastation in many of the beach areas of western Florida as a result of Hurricane Ian, but we may not be aware of the extreme damage to the agricultural areas of Florida, including the trees that grow oranges and lemons.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued reports that crop production as a result of the hurricane will plummet to record low levels this year. Prior to the hurricane, the state was already dealing with some weak citrus production levels. Florida oranges have served as feedstock for a long time when it comes to most orange juice that is produced in the U.S. That feedstock has been diminished significantly by a disease called greening disease in the past few years. The disease can cause the trees to generate fruit that is not only smaller but also a fruit that doesn’t have as much sugar content.
With the combination of Hurricane Ian and the greening disease, the USDA forecasts that 28 million boxes of Florida oranges will be produced during the 2022-2023 growing season. That is the lowest production output of oranges since 1943, and significantly lower than last year’s already low production level of 41 million boxes.
Add that to the lower production expected from California-based orchards due to the western states’ drought, we are looking at a “perfect storm.”
Two additional considerations that influence the cost and availability of orange juice from a limited orange crop this year will be the cost of the plastic containers the juice comes in and the cost of distribution. The woes we are all experiencing due to supply chain issues carry over to packaged food and drink products. We haven’t even covered the cost that comes from labor shortages in all industries. Fewer employees, but increased labor costs are affecting companies across the board.
We’ve talked about the increases seen in the cost to produce many agricultural products because of unfavorable weather conditions, shortfalls in available fertilizer, transportation and fuel costs, labor shortages, and more. The U.S. and other countries had already been seeing challenges in production before the virus issue, but now with the conflict in eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine, those challenges have been compounded.
This is especially the case with the production of wheat. A year ago Bloomberg had indicated U.S. government forecasts for global wheat reserves were down to a five-year low, creating a global deficit. Since wheat is considered a food “staple,” food price inflation is a given. Higher wheat prices lead to higher flour prices, and flour is the key ingredient of bread and bread-related products of all kinds.
Since donuts are made from wheat flour, the same issues apply to them as the ones discussed above regarding bread.
During my research, I came upon an interesting discussion about shortages of various varieties of donuts at Dunkin’ Donut locations, particularly in certain eastern states. It related more to the type of glaze or fruit fillings that weren’t available, making the donut run during the holidays a new adventure. Check out the piece on Mashed.com
Many beef shortages and related price increases mirror what we discussed above with the supply of pork products. In many cases, the shortages were due to challenges resulting from the widespread virus. Those included layoffs, plant closings, disputes about getting the needed shots, cutbacks in feedstock animals, costs of raising those feedstock animals, distribution costs and labor shortages, and more.
Now that we are getting back to a more “normal” situation when it comes to food supplies, costs don’t seem to be coming back in line as we anticipated. One thing that is happening, particularly at this time of year is an increased demand due to all the holiday cooking taking place, whether at home or with restaurant visits. People are trying to be more social and getting together more often, either with home-centered parties, or more fancy get-togethers at favorite eating establishments.
One thing I recently heard about was an increase in businesses that have been victimized by cyber-hacking. That was the case at JBS USA, which is a huge beef processing company headquartered in Greeley, CO. Yes, we all rely on those computers every day to accomplish personal and business goals. When those attacks hit a company like JBS USA, it can cause numerous plants to close until their computer systems are up and running again.
If you love beef steaks, consider checking into the availability of buying your meat directly from a local rancher. You might find some savings in price, but also can often get custom butchering services so the cuts of meat match your size and quality desires
9. Ground Beef
The discussion here would mirror the dialogue above for steak. There is one aspect of ground beef that adds to the mix and that is the extra time it takes to process the meat. Yes, ground beef usually doesn’t require the highest quality cuts, but it does take time to run it through the machinery, adding to labor and equipment expenses.
Again, if you buy from a local rancher you MAY be able to get better quality cuts, which will actually make the ground beef a better per-pound option.
Much like the issues with pork and beef, chicken has been affected by market conditions too. Tom Super, who belongs to the National Chicken Council, has indicated that factors like high demand, particularly with more families cooking at home, record expenses in the raising, processing, and distribution of chickens and their food products, and extended labor shortages at the plant level have all influenced the availability and pricing of chicken at the retail level.
You’d think we may be able to acquire more chicken products from foreign sources, but the supply chain bottlenecks make that a risky option. I would much rather purchase meat right here in the USA.
Also, the Proposition 12 issues discussed above regarding pork also apply to chickens being processed and shipped to California. Don’t be surprised if you see the pricing of chicken products of all kinds continue to go up.
11. Breakfast Cereal
Cereal has proven to be subject to shortages just like other products tied directly to the agricultural sector. Many kinds of cereal are made from wheat, but other farm products like oats, rice, barley, corn, etc. also come into play. The last year has also been filled with labor issues as illustrated by the strike at Kellogg. That company was able to mitigate some of the shortages until a settlement was negotiated when they went offshore for the needed commodities.
Cereal shortages and related product pricing will be determined going forward by weather, manufacturing costs, transportation expense, and local demand for specific cereal types.
Mark went to Walmart yesterday and bought close to $100 dollars for a multi-month supply of his favorite cereal brands and flavors. He’s found that from time to time one product will seem to disappear from store shelves. No, he didn’t hoard the cereal, he bought the larger more expensive sized packages since the cost per ounce is less. He did see some empty shelves, but all his favorites were available.
Hopefully, next year’s growing season won’t be adversely affected by the crazy weather patterns we’ve seen the past few years, otherwise, it won’t be just cereal that’s found wanting from the farmers’ fields.
12. Personal Hygiene Products
In an earlier post, we talked about shortages of women’s monthly hygiene products. Additional research has determined that the combination of increasing costs of paper and plastic materials to make and package them has both gone up. Bloomberg reported that tampon prices have gone up 9.8% and menstrual pad pricing has increased 8.3% over the past year.
Procter & Gamble is one of the primary manufacturers of these products, claiming to have nearly 50% of the market. They haven’t commented about shortages or cost changes but did indicate that their demand has seen significant increases. They are working to step up production and hope things will stabilize in the near term.
A spokesperson for Resilinc, a supply chain monitoring company, indicated that there are still challenges with the supply of key materials to make these products. From the effort to find raw materials, getting those products to the manufacturing plants, the workers to run the plants, and then on the trucks for delivery to the stores, each step is seeing issues of cost and availability.
For those of you who are willing to give them a try, you might want to consider making reusable menstrual cloth pads that can be washed and reused. Maybe not as comfortable or convenient, but an alternative that will keep you protected, and save you money at the same time.
There have been reports of shortages and price increases for personal hygiene products like bars of soap and liquid hand soap. Walmart even posted apologetic signs in many of their stores regarding shortages, even though the shelves where the signs were posted had full shelves.
Apparently, packaging and distribution issues did prompt some concern, but also there appear to have been some increase in purchases as people tried to stock up “just in case.” Another issue is the increased use of these products since we were all asked to wash our hands more often as a protection against the virus. Things seem to have stabilized, but you might want to have extra on hand as a hedge against possible future price increases.
13. Paper Products
Although not as severe, there still is a shortage of paper products of all kinds. The Phoenix Group of Companies reported that both coated and uncoated papers were in short supply at manufacturers, wholesalers, marketing companies, and print shops throughout the country. Much of the original shortages were due to lockdowns across the industry and the continued supply chain issues affecting most industries.
Online shopping trends have also added to the shortage challenge. With the increased demand for packaging, many mills have shifted production from regular paper products to paper packaging, cardboard, kraft supplies, and other materials needed by the likes of Amazon and other online retail outlets. If you’ve ordered anything of significant size online you know what I mean.
There have also been some paper mill strikes in countries like Finland where much of our paper is milled before shipment to the U.S. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has also contributed to supply chain blockages, along with the increased cost of gas and freight to get products to plants and markets.
There has been a recent shift back to regular paper production from some of the domestic mills that had moved towards packaging production, but that will take some time. Many mills are still reluctant to make any major changes in either direction due to the enormous cost of machinery that it takes to support such a move. We’ll see over the next few months how well new production sources come online to support the demand for paper products of all kinds.
In another recent post, we talked about the possible shortage of many dairy products. Those shortages are due in part to the shift from dairy production prompted by many consumers moving away from dairy to more fruits and veggies, a drop in production at the plant level. Add to that the increased cost to produce dairy products, whether is the cost of feed to the cows, the cost of labor to draw workers back into the workforce, the cost of transportation of the milk to processing sites and then to retailers, and more.
An additional challenge to the mix, particularly when it comes to yogurt, is the fruit generally added to the yogurt for flavor, color, and nutritional value. As mentioned, many fruits are going to be hard to supply because of weather challenges that may stem from floods, drought, or the extremes of heat and cold we see now from climate change.
Add to that the challenges of acquiring the raw materials for the plastic containers and other packaging materials, the distribution channel bottlenecks, labor shortages, and other market forces that make for smooth processes from farm to table.
I’m sure we are all tired of hearing about the shortages of so many products we take for granted. There have been many markets and world event forces that have come together to cause the shortages, so, it’s hard to estimate when we may see things at a level we feel more comfortable with.
Shortages are frustrating, but the current costs for things of all kinds are making it hard for millions of families to make ends meet while trying to provide a healthy and safe environment for members of each household. When I shop with Mark I think to myself that I don’t know how young families with kids are able to provide the necessities of life with the cost of living where it is right now. Hunger can be a scary prospect if funds are limited, particularly if we have young kids and infants.
I’ve always suggested to my readers that they should consider a garden to at least help offset the high cost of fresh vegetables we all love to eat. We should also have a plan in place to stock up on food, water, and other critical things so we can better survive during trying times. My favorite place to buy my garden seeds is SeedsNow. I highly recommend you stock quality seeds and learn to save them for the following year.
Thanks for the continued support shown by visiting my site and reading my posts. Let me know if you’ve experienced any shortages I haven’t outlined so I can pass that info on to others. May God bless this world. Linda
28 thoughts on “Grocery Store Shopping”
Things are failing and not much is being done about it. From food to fuel to manufacturers moving overseas because of labor shortages.
Almost everything is one event away from stopping, collapsing or temporarily shutting down.
One of my sayings is that “Change Requires Discomfort” and unfortunately it might just take that to accomplish what is needed to shore up and repair the systems.
Seems the only thing not in shortage is politics
Hi Matt, great comment as always. I like that “Change Requires Discomfort”! Good one! I’ll be glad when the political commercials end. Hang on for the ride. Linda
Matt: You last sentence is GENIUS! LOVE IT! JOYCE S.
Hi Joyce, I totally agree! Linda
I went to Costco yesterday (Oct 31, 2022) and a two-pack of 1.25 pounds of ground turkey was $17!!!!!!!!!!!! It must have been from super special magical turkeys! I couldn’t believe that price. I know everything is up, but it may just be time to cut back to one meal a day! We economize where we can, but this is just stupid.
Hi Jeanne, oh my gosh, I love your comment! Thank you for letting us know about the high price of ground turkey. I got the giggles over we may have to cut back to one meal a day. Funny, not funny. I think you may be right!!!! Linda
Good Morning Linda. Don’t know now much you have been following the Disel shortage and Railroad strike issues of the past couple of weeks, but if both happen, that will shut down all deliveries come the 19th and 21st of this month. I’m hoping both of these get settled before then, but I’m preparing just in case.
Also, the shortage of turkeys and chickens due to the now going on bird flu. They are saying, if you plan on serving Turkey for the holidays, now is the time to buy them. I was at Walmart yesterday, and there were very few turkeys for sale. Seems they are stocking up on ham though. I’m also seeing, as you probably are, a lot of empty spaces in the stores I shop at. May God Bless us All!
Hi Pam, yes I have heard about the diesel shortages and Railroad strikes. I need to run to Walmart and see if they have any turkeys left. That was the best price that I looked at online. They say the same price as yesterday but not sure what is left. Butterball and Jennie-O. Let’s pray the issue on the Railroad and diesel gets settled ASAP. Linda
Up until this week, I haven’t seen many shortages. This week, I got a surprise. I make soap, so I don’t use those products. I use microfiber and have a bidet, so I never noticed those. I don’t eat pork, and only use local beef, so I never noticed those. Ohio apples have been terrific this year. I make my own bread, so I never noticed that. I went into the store today, and paid 88 cents for tomato paste. There were few things of pasta. I was actually shocked. Glad we are stocked up.
Hi Janet, thanks for the heads up on your location. You are so lucky to find local beef. Great comment as always, my friend. Linda
.My family worked in farm production locally, and trucking industry. Those men are gone now. Each from their field of labor, gave me insights as to how fragile the farm production CAN be,because of the many factors affecting production and harvest. ..that is only the beginning of food coming to our tables.
Linda has addressed the many steps.Trucking affects our food availability and production several times for each food. Fertilizers- same,,water/drought/flood- same. What ever can go wrong?? Our time to fix production problem for this year is PAST- in my area growing season is gone.
How long you stock for needs to be determined by WHEN you will have production in your garden/grow area.
When you stock seed, make sure you have products to protect those plants from extreme temp changes and intensity from the sun. Study saving seed. practice it now. slice a tomato and plant the slice.learn to divide the plants out that are produced. One learns with practice.
Do you have sufficient growing medium to start plants? do you know which fertilizers and how much to use for each type you wish to have?
also all medication you use for every medical issue you normally experience- URI,UTI, wound care are 3 most common. common wound wash is saline solution. do you have distilled water and plain salt to make it- and know how.? Big family homestead had video out yesterday on how to do it. use every resource for your learning. take care of yourselves. The helping hand is on the end of YOUR arm… was a saying i grew up with- another way of saying you are on your own. No one si coming to assist.
Hi Denise, we all have to take care of ourselves, that’s for sure. Linda
I guess we are just plain blessed! I received 3 bonus (free) essential oils from the company I use. I am allergic to all 3 of the bonuses, so traded them for grass-fed ground beef from my organic farmer friends. We got 7 lbs. basically for free!! THEN, I drove up to our organic orchardist friends and bought apples, but one bushel was not what I had asked for. My organic farmer friend wanted the apples, so she paid me in part cash and part extra beef! In the end, we paid $17.50 for TEN POUNDS of gras-fed ground beef that tastes so yummy! I made barbecue beef sandwhiches last night and am freeze-drying some today, so we can put it in our “stocked up larder”! TRY BARTERING WITH LOCAL FARMERS!! It may become a win-win for you!! Good practice for SHTF situations, too. We are so grateful to be friends with these farmers!!!
Hi Joyce, you are truly blessed! I need to go check out some local farmers. The barbecue sandwiches sound yummy! That’s $1.75 a pound, unbelievable, I LOVE hearing about stuff like this!!! Great reminder about local farmers!!! Linda
I too am blessed. I will have a half a beef grown by a organic farmer friend and a organic whole pig soon. My friend knows a family that are raising organic pigs for 4h and they bought several extra and they will sell me one I can get them butchered at a School near where the kids who will show the pig for a very minimum price so they can teach the kids how to become butchers. We also had a goat given to us this past summer by my daughters boss (It’s nice to know people in the Police department) and the friend we are getting the 1/2 cow from gave us1/4 of a cow ground into hamburger. I am looking for someone who raises chickens and turkeys now.
HI Jackie, oh my gosh, that truly is a blessing!! What a great skill for the school and the 4H group to learn! I love hearing stuff like this!! Linda
I started several years ago curing and smoking my own Pork Bellies to make bacon and I’m telling you what a difference. I will now never buy store bought bacon again. We live on a few acres of land so we started raising Chickens with my grand daughter and her husband. We now have 70 plus chickens so were pretty well set on the fresh meat and eggs. We also have ducks and a few turkeys. We currently sell the eggs for $5.00 a dozen and duck eggs for $8.00 per dozen. We purchased some pigs and currently have 18 so I’m set on fresh pork bellies and pork chops. We also have 7 Goats and are planning on making some cheese. We have not messed with any Beef Cattle but maybe one day we will. Any of our animals we harvest any excess is shared with family and close friends. I will also pressure can any extra boneless meats for longer term food storage.
HI Chuck, oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! Having a few acres of land would be so awesome. The bonus is having your granddaughter and her husband working together. What a blessing! What kind of smoker would you recommend to smoke the pot bellies? Oh, I want to learn how to cure and smoke my own bacon. Being able to sell what you raise is a blessing to you and to those who can purchase them. Love this!!! Linda
Hi Linda! I went to my local Aldi this morning and there were many empty shelves. A couple of employees were stocking them, but when people asked for various items, they were told the trucks hadn’t come in yet. I later went to my Dillons store (Kroger) to look for a turkey since Aldi was out. They had a few but they were $3.79 a pound! That’s no typo! So I will try Walmart tomorrow. Might need to get the son busy hunting! As for drought, our soybeans only made 6 bushels an acre this year. Thankfully we bought crop insurance this time!
Hi Paula, wow, $3.79 a pound???? Oh my gosh!!! I’m sorry to hear about your soybeans! I’m glad you bought crop insurance!! Linda
Walmart came through for me yesterday. Turkey was 99 cents a pound! Yay!
Paula, woohoo! Good to hear!!! That was the cheapest place I found as well! Linda
I was thoroughly disgusted yesterday at a regular grocery store when I just wanted to pick up a small bag of cornmeal to use until I do my big stock up. First of all it took forever to find any, then all that was available was a “premium” brand at a ridiculous price. It was a busy day with lots of walking already and I didn’t have time or energy to go searching at another store so I went home without any. There was a definite shortage of other grain products as well, other than this same over-priced brand. I remember there always used to be stacks of store brand barley, split peas, corn meal and similar items but definitely not any more. If you’re lucky there will be a selection in a bulk bin area but there seems to be less and less of what I consider basic ingredients and more and more prepared food items in many supermarkets.
Hi Alice, I will have to check the grain, barley, split peas, and cornmeal section when I go again. Thanks for the heads up. This helps all of us. It’s so hard when we need something and can’t find it. Or the price is ridiculous! Crazy!!! Linda
If you are worried about shortages of beef, pork or poultry, check out this website https://www.eatwild.com/products/index.html It is a clearing house listing farmers all over the country that sell their products. If you can’t find a farm near you, there are places that ship. I’ve been trying to get the money together to buy a half cow, however, it never seems to be a priority. Maybe this is the year to make it a priority, plus with both girls grown and gone (or almost gone) we only need a quarter cow now.
On the topic of reusable menstrual pads, for those of you who need them and do not sew, there are lots available for sale on Amazon. I used Glad Rags and can say that they last for years, I used the same supply for the last 20+ years I needed them. My oldest daughter uses a menstrual cup, even when working or out and about. Plus now there are underwear that are designed to be used when you are having your period and don’t need the reusable or disposable pads. So many “paper free” options are available today.
Hi Topaz, thank you for the link to the meat farmers list!!!!!! Love it. I think more and more girls or women will need to go to reusable menstrual items. The money saved is what it’s all about. Great comment, thank you! Linda
Something I need to talk about is the govt regulation that has made it ‘harder’ for big companies to raise chickens and pigs, for cheap (?). When I first moved rural, I got 4 old scraggly hens from an old lady as she was moving into town. She said to not expect much for egg production as they were about 8 years old or more. This was fine with me as I wanted them for Bug control! I had millions of boxelder bugs and those wierd fake ladybugs. This was in October right after I got my house finished. I quick threw up a tiny shelter for them, and they went right to work gobbling up the bugs. Lol, they’d each give me an egg about every 3rd or 4th day. Sadly, 2 passed away over the winter but 2 made it, probably due to the heat light I put in. I knew I’d need more adult chickens that next spring, as I planned to start a garden. Started looking…I found an egg production farm a couple hours north of me. Huge, big place! I had nothing to lose by asking so I stopped in, asked if they ever sold a few of their older hens. Sure, they could: $2 each for 5 of them. Again, they said to not expect much egg production but I explained I wanted Bug control. As one went to get the hens, I had a great conversation with these people. They had huge barns, incredibly clean, with chicken doors leading to the fenced pasture land. About 80 acres? Over a lot of this they had netting to protect against hawks and eagles. I was impressed, told them about the chicken farms I’d seen in other places: dark, filthy, the chicken ‘run’ area gave each chicken maybe a foot or two to move. These people said that kind of egg production or chicken raising Never made sense to them: in those conditions, an egg layer lives only about 1-2 years after starting to lay. These people’s hens were laying daily eggs until well over 5yrs old. Never had any diseases come thru that decimated their flock. The healthier the hen from good care made a difference. They dried and sold the chicken poop for fertilizer. Once the hens got about 8, they sold these to a place that made chicken broth. Every so often they set aside some of the acreage, had it farmed for wheat and rye, even alfalfa. Yep, a lot of their feed grown right there! Now, this place produces thousands of eggs each year. Very profitable.
When I later started raising meat chickens (as well as young layers), I kept this place in mind for how I treated my chickens. My butchering chickens happily grew to be about 9-12 lbs (after butchering, dressed out), in only 10 weeks. Very little fat thanks to them running around the yard eating bugs, kitchen leftovers. I bought Little feed for them. They preferred bugs, grubs, worms and even a few snakes. And, yes, I had chicken poop to compost for my acid-loving veggies. My egg layers also did very well and produced until about 8 or more yrs old.
It is corporate stupidity that starts govt regulation, not just a bleeding heart. Oh, and I’m a bit of that too as I learned how funny, smart are chickens. I’m off my soapbox now, lol.
Hi Wendy, great soapbox! I loved learning how you got started with chickens!! Thank you for sharing. Love it! Linda