Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Writing on the Wall

January 2008: Flour Shortages in Pakistan

February 2008: Flour Shortages in Saudi Arabia

March 2008: Flour Shortages in Belize

March 12, 2008: Bread Baker's of America march on Washington in protest of US agricultural, financial, and foreign policies that have contributed to rising wheat costs and flour shortages in the US.

Many bulk suppliers report record lows and shortages of wheat berries and flours, including Walton Feed and United Natural Foods. Grocery stores and warehouse clubs are experiencing similar situations.

Bought any flour lately?

*Editing to add that Acres, USA reported in their March issue that US wheat stores are the lowest they have been in 59 years.


Christy said...

We are placing an order with United Monday and I was going to get wheat berries and flour. I hope they still have them available!

Danielle said...

I just placed my order Friday, and it said the hard red spring berries may be out of stock. Won't know for sure until next Tuesday when the order comes in.

Our local Sam's club is completely out of flour as well, and I just got the last of the King Arthur bread flour and all purpose off the grocery store shelves as of yesterday.

Wendy said...

I noticed that the King Arthur flour price had increased by 50 cents per 10 lbs - not a lot, but some. This was months ago, though. I just purchased some Maine grown whole wheat bread flour at $1.19 per pound, but I think that's the price it always is.

I've been stocking up (not entirely intentionally :), and I probably have close to 50 lbs of flour in my cabinet right now :).

What did startle me, though, was the price of my favorite loose-leaf green tea that jumped from $17.99 per pound to $24.99 per pound.

nita said...

I picked up my monthly co-op order on Thursday, I did get my wheat berries, but no flour After 3 months my large bag of Celtic salt finally came in. This, I think is just the beginning... I'm thinking of raising less turkeys this year because the price of grain is rising weekly. We ask our customers to pre-order, but some are declining because they are afraid how prices will be in November. I appreciate their kindness in thinking ahead.

jenny said...

I may have to cut back on bread making and learn to do without my beloved bread. At least try not to eat bread daily anyway. Our stores have flour and hadn't noticed any rise in prices.. But I think I'll grab a few the next time I go, if I'm not too late. I have 10 lbs sitting in the pantry right now.

sugarcreekfarm said...

I read an article last week that bakery suppliers are only letting their customers order as much flour as they ordered the week before. No stocking up, because the suppliers are raising prices weekly.

Gina said...

We all may have to experiment with alternative flours like ones made from squash or acorns.

interesting, but very sad,period of history we are entering.

Christy said...

My grocery store still has flour, if you don't get any in your order, do you want me to pick up some flour for you? I can bring it when we come visit next.

Danielle said...

Thanks Christy, but I think we're okay for now. I have over 100 lbs of flour here and United still has the pastry wheat berries, so I'll have those as well.

I imagine the stores will continue to get flour shipments. The question is how much and how long it will stay on the shelves, and I'm at the point where I'm not going to take anything for granted.

Ren said...

I just read a really good article in Time magazine about how the move towards "green" fuels is harming the environment.

Swaths of rain forest being cleared to grow soybeans and corn for bio-fuels, more damage being done than with fossil fuels. It's amazing how dumb humans can be....sigh.

I know that isn't about wheat, but it makes me wonder when the insanity will end. I think I know HOW this is all going to end, but the "when" part is still a mystery.

And I need my grain mill darn it.

Danielle said...

Update: United was officially out of hard red spring wheat berries.

Ren, yes, biofuels are highly controversial not the least of which is because it would seem that with just about any biomass it requires more energy than it outputs. But then again, that's a similar argument for the remaining oil deposits: they'll require more energy to extract than it'll be worth.

We live in interesting times, no doubt.