This page was last updated on Friday, 28 February, 2014.
Notes on the Coming Produce Shortage in the WestSK O'Neal 27 February 2014
Note yesterday's article on Dave Hodges site regarding the coming crop failure in the West.
I recall that considerable amounts of fruit and vegetables come from South America and China, but Brazil has had flooding and China is generally a poor quality source for just about anything. The upshot of this is that a program of significant buildup of canned fruit and vegetables and seeds is advisable. Last year I got a number of cases of Mott natural applesauce in glass jars, anticipating the conversion to plastic - which happened. The plastic jars have much shorter shelf lives, allowing oxygen to diffuse through the plastic and oxidize the applesauce. This is why the plastic packages applesauce darkens with time - this is clearly undesirable, and another example of how economic pressures are eroding our quality of life
A potential solution in particular to the applesauce issue, and also perhaps for long term storage of canned tomatoes for instance, is to open the plastic jars (and plastic lined tomato cans that leach chemicals more aggressively due to high acidity) and re-process in glass canning jars; I have not performed this yet but may soon, to see if the method does not over-process the food. Meat is another high priority item, and can be processed, generally with the fat content minimized.
Glass canning jars are a strategic asset, as well as the knowledge to use them, especially with a number of them already full of processed food and also dry goods with desiccants to lower moisture and diatomateous earth as a fumigant. I have noticed in the last year that pallets of canning jars available from wholesalers have reduced numbers of cases - just like everything else, our college graduates in marketing and packaging technology are using their educations to tweak their products to misrepresent to the unwary the massive accumulation of hidden inflation occurring over the last several years. Despite the coming economic downturn and certain deflationary trends in some markets, the critical items will continue generally to rise in cost - this is one of the secrets of current investment, the stratification of the markets as wealth is transferred away from traditional holdings. For those to whom portable wealth is less of a priority, canning equipment, plus some advance investment in the use of it, is one of the very best investments people can make right now, in addition to careful attention to one's teeth and percentage of vegetables in the diet, as we prepare for the consequences of our society's current character.