by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:
I started raising chickens for meat in 2014. I’ve always bought the same feed from the same farmer. Prices have always been about the same. Even when prices on meat were slowly rising in the grocery stores due to Covid issues in the processing plants, my feed supplier’s prices didn’t change much. I process the animals myself so I haven’t had to deal with the labor issues. Chickens from me in 2021 would have cost the same as they had in 2019.
However, yesterday I found out my chicken feed prices will be up almost 20% in 2022. My pig feed will be up 60%. It’s going to be a hell of a jump. The droughts out West have clobbered grain growers. Gas prices are up. Labor costs are up. Some of the minerals have had to be imported and all those prices are up. The gradual increase in prices most of us have been watching are going to take steep upward turn within the next couple months. A lot of people have been saying this is going to happen; you can’t print trillions of dollars, pay people not to work, and expect nothing to happen.
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Grocery stores are coming up with some interesting tricks to hide the inflation. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen “shrinkflation” at this point.
The grocery store I go to rearranged the display stands in the produce section recently. It’s not the kind of thing you’d notice unless you’d been regularly going to the store for a long time. But they removed a few of the stands and then realigned them so that most customers wouldn’t notice there were a few less, which tells me that not only are they short on produce, but they don’t anticipate restocking fully for the foreseeable future.
I personally haven’t seen the fake cardboard food pictures at any of the stores I shop at yet (just getting used to the sight of empty shelves again), but I’ve heard that that’s what British stores have been doing. I don’t really blame the grocery stores for this. They’ve probably been through just as much as the rest of us as late, and I see enough grumpy people out there that I would be trying to avoid confrontation too.
I find the redefinition of “meat” more disturbing.
Anyone under the age of 50 is probably somewhat familiar with animal rights activism and the PETA “Meat is Murder” propaganda. I just ignored it. For a long time, I thought everyone had their right to be their own brand of crazy. I didn’t realize this was a movement. I thought it was just passing talk.
Then, I noticed PETA bought stock in Facebook, making it incredibly difficult for farmers to do business on social media. I noticed when a friend of mine had her birds stolen and drugged by animal rights activists, who plastered their theft all over Facebook, and it took her county four weeks to even press charges.
I noticed when the Pause Act (also called Initiative 16) attempted to destroy the livestock industry in Colorado by redefining artificial insemination and pregnancy checks as animal rape.
Initiative 16 was universally struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court, but the habit of “redefining” things has certainly not gone away. It’s no secret that the “Great Reset” crowd wants to curtail meat eating in first-world countries. What may not be as obvious are some of the ways in which they plan to accomplish this.
Fake meat. Tastes like chicken.
Most of us have probably already heard of Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers. These are highly processed food products made mostly from soy protein concentrates and vegetable oils. They are a vegan attempt to mimic the meat-eating experience without using actual meat.
I’m not a fan.
These Impossible foods are both expensive and full of things I usually try to avoid consuming (soy and vegetable oils), but you know what you’re getting. They clearly advertise that they contain no actual meat.
Lab grown meat is different.
It actually does contain animal cells, making it non-vegan as a result. A small amount of animal cells are fed various nutrients in a laboratory, and they eventually grow into full-sized pieces of meat. They will probably not be advertised as “lab-grown” meat because that doesn’t sound appealing to most consumers, but instead will more likely be marketed as “clean” meat . Lab grown meat is not on the market yet, though a large facility just opened in California and is slated to start hosting tours to the public in January 2022.
My issues with shaping soy patties into “meat” or growing tissues in a lab and calling it “meat” aren’t really the subject of this article. It should suffice to say that: A) we have a right to know what we’re eating, and B) there are a lot of people with a lot of money (and therefore, power) trying to make it less clear what, exactly, we are consuming.
Any way you look at it, there is a lot of pressure on the average consumer to eat less meat.
Prices are set to skyrocket.
So what does a happy, healthy omnivore do to keep meat (real meat) in their diet?
First of all, if you are not in the habit of reading labels, you should probably start. Beyond and Impossible meats are more expensive than real meat right now, but that will probably change soon. Lab-grown meat is also more expensive, but again, with the changes in feed prices as well as labor issues, real meat prices are set to skyrocket. So make sure you’re reading what you’re getting.
If you have freezer space and some money saved, now is the time to buy what you can. Buying a quarter or a half of a cow is probably the most economical choice. I buy a quarter of a grass-finished steer at slightly less than $4/lb. Now, a lot of that is a combination of bone and cuts people don’t necessarily know what to do with. But that’s one of the benefits of the internet. I can type any cut of meat into a search engine and figure out a way to cook it in less than two minutes.