For the first time since World War II, we are running into shortages of certain foods and other products that many of us have never experienced before and don’t understand why.
It all really boils down to supply and demand of products by consumers. During WWII, food and products were rationed, not because of shortages but due to the redirecting of product to the war efforts. In today’s markets what is happening is much different.
For example, toilet paper. Who would have predicted that toilet paper would be in such demand? No one, including the manufacturers, would expect consumers to buy all the toilet paper they could get their hands on. I am still wondering about that.
I have yet to read where there was an outbreak of movement to the toilet across the country. It was supply and demand working. Manufacturers are catching up and the supply has increased again.
In the meat industry, several factors influenced the supply and demand. During the first six weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic, beef producers were at maximum capacity. Prices were good and beef was available. However, the virus started to affect the workers in the processing plants. In beef production plants, line workers are side by side and across from each other for optimum efficiency. This resulted in workers getting sick.
Sanitation has always been a top priority, though. Plants will run two, 8-hour shifts with plants being cleaned and sanitized every 8 hours and finally closed for 8 hours for more cleaning and maintenance. Plants had to be shut down to change and retool production procedures to better protect workers.
With the spacing of workers and the installation of Plexiglas shields lines were slowed down. Production of beef went down from 6,000 to 3,000 cattle a day.
This also affected the cattle held in feed lots before being processed. Cattle are held in feedlots for six months and grain fed to fatten them up before processing. Cattle cannot be fed indefinitely because younger cattle must be brought in to start the process all over again. This has caused cattle being held in feed lots to be 50 pounds heavier and this lowers the price per pound for processing.
Production at present is close to 97%, however, production is almost 1 million cattle behind. We should see availability back to normal by the first of the year.
Now, what about toilet paper. Who knows, I guess it will be up to the movement of the county in the coming months, if you know what I mean. Here are some simple marinades to enhance the flavor of meat and poultry.
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons peanut oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Honey Mustard Marinade
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups lightly-packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For each of the marinades, place all ingredients except oil in a food processor or blender. Turn on low and slowly dribble oil in machine until all ingredients are mixed well and blended.
Costa Magoulas is dean of the Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality and Culinary Management at Daytona State College. Contact him at (386) 506-3578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.