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Wouldn’t it be great if we knew exactly which food items would be in short supply this summer?

That way we could stock up on those foods now in preparation for the shortages. Last summer, two of the most sought-after items were eggs and baby formula. Either they weren’t available or they were priced outrageously high.

Now, we at 4Patriots have never claimed to have a crystal ball. We don’t know which emergencies are on the horizon, nor which food items will be in short supply.

But we do spend a significant amount of time researching what the near future is likely to hold for Americans. And that’s how we decide which products to stock up on ourselves in order to provide you with what you’ll need.

We’ve looked at how Russia’s continuing war with Ukraine is affecting the bread, wheat, and corn supply. As well as how Indonesia’s decision to stop exporting palm oil is affecting the supply of vegetable oil. Plus how droughts around the world are affecting a variety of food items.

Shortages = higher prices

Following are items our research tells us could be in short supply this summer. It might behoove you to stock up on some of them now. In no particular order…

Rice. Environmental factors including flooding, heat waves, and drought around the world have negatively influenced the rice supply. And as expected, prices have risen in response. One research firm predicts the 2023 rice production drop will be the worst in nearly two decades. 

Bread. Because Ukraine and Russia combine to account for about one-fifth of the world’s cereal grain production, bread, flour, and wheat shortages are likely. Bakeries and factories may have a difficult time gaining the ingredients they need for bread.

Corn. Ukraine has long been a major corn producer. But the war has seriously affected the amount it can grow and export. In the U.S., heat, intense storms, and pests have hurt the Midwest corn crop. Corn is also an ingredient in items such as salad dressings and chips. 

Vegetable oil. Among the vegetable oils expected to be in short supply – due to Indonesia’s decision and the Ukraine war – are palm oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil.

Beef. Western drought has been the big culprit here, as cattle don’t have enough water and food supplies to stay healthy. Ranchers have had to sell off many of their herds earlier than expected. Shortages and higher prices are the result.

Oranges/orange juice. Florida’s orange production is expected to drop by about 50%, due mainly to the number of orange trees that were destroyed by Hurricane Ian last year. A disease called “citrus greening” is also to blame. It would be the state’s lowest output since the 1930s. 

Lettuce. A virus with the nasty name of “impatiens necrotic spot virus,” which is carried by insects, destroyed much of the lettuce crop in California’s Salinas Valley in 2022, resulting in shortages that have carried over to this year.

Sugar. Unlike products that suffered from drought, the sugar crop has been negatively affected by lengthy rainy seasons in countries such as China, Thailand, Brazil, and Pakistan. As a result, the price of sugar is up 13% from last year.

Strawberries. With California experiencing much more rainfall than normal lately, many strawberry farms have flooded. And California produces 90% of the strawberries consumed in America. A Hepatitis A outbreak forcing a strawberry recall did not help matters.   

Canned pet food. This expected shortage is more about the packaging than the food. An aluminum shortage will reduce the amount of canned pet food that’s available. Also affected could be canned beer and other canned foods. 

Baby formula. This one might see a rebound from last year, but there is still some concern due to the recalls and labor shortages that occurred in 2022.

Champagne. Few of us would list champagne as one of our top 10 food staples, but some like to sip this bubbly on occasion. This time the issue is that demand is outstripping supply, thanks in part to extreme weather affecting crop yield.

By stocking up on some of those dozen food items now, you won’t have to worry about the shortages likely to come throughout the summer.

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