Good evening everyone and happy Wednesday! Hope everyone is staying safe during this time of Covid19. I have heard from some of you in the comments and I have to say it always cheers my heart to know we are all in this together right now. Tonight I want to write about the meat shortage we are facing currently. Articles with clever headlines are emerging in my news feed such as the one just shared by the Boston Globe, the title was “Where’s the Beef? In another blow to restaurants, meat shortages are driving up costs” I had planned to get back to blogging after I got my degree from school, but then I realized that this is the time I need to share what I know about preparedness, sewing, cooking and gardening and other skills we have picked up. Things are kind of crazy right now and truthfully some days I just have to make a pact with myself to not look at the news just to have some peace.
I realize many of you are kindred spirits and have also been picking those skills up over the years so make sure to pay it forward to those that are just learning to bake, sew, and garden. I think that’s the best gift we can give is to share our knowledge with others.
Even with me being keto, gluten free, and I have probably tried every diet over the years. I am always joking that I’m a carnivore I realize our bodies only need so much meat. I have come full circle recently, where overall I eat much smaller portions of food at one time and I don’t need a lot of meat to be satisfied. I’m going into this meat shortage not too concerned. Don’t get me wrong now though because I love a good steak! I love it when the Viking smokes meat over cherry wood and maple..YUM! I love grilling out and that will never change. But this is the situation now, so I shall adapt…that’s just what survivors do.
Here are some things you can do thought to help ease your discomfort since the article in the Globe shared that butchers are saying prices are just stupid high right now. However, you may have to go without your favorite cut of steak for a while. First of all the meat industry wants to sell us meat so it is my opinion that these meat shortages are temporary but the prices may be driven up for a while. Also, the meat industry has been hit hard by restaurants closing and not being able to sell the volume that they have in the past.
One local chicken company in our area in coastal NC has been having roaming sales and selling pre-ordered chicken at designated locations. The Viking and I have both jumped on those and stocked up on chicken. I never tire of chicken, but trust me I raised two children that tired of chicken easily. Eating one type of meat can get monotonous after a while, but I just love chicken though! Even better if it’s farm raised but as we are not raising meat chickens right now.
Another thought is to get to know your local meat farmer and they may have some options for you. All meat farmers have less expensive cuts of meat that are good to throw in the stew pot or it might be their fattier cuts of pork hence country style ribs…still delicious! Check out this article from my blogging friend about this very topic at The Self Sufficient Homeacre!
We went ahead and stocked up on powdered broths, beans, and rice to ensure that we have a stocked up pantry. For me, cooking soup or beans up with chicken or beef broth makes me emotionally feel like I’m having a savory meat dish. Another important point is that a little bit of meat goes a long way in these dishes. You can chop up 2 or 3 oz of meat in a rice or soup dish and it goes a long way.
Another item we stocked up on is TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), this is a soy product that will help stretch your chilis, soups, stews and it tastes like whatever you put it in. It’s absolutely delicious! You can also include this in recipes for black bean, turkey, ground beef, and chicken burgers to help stretch the meat along with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Patty them up and throw them on the grill!
My favorite strategy to combat the meat shortage is to stock up on less popular meats such as turkey legs, ham steaks, and cuts of fish that are less popular. Not too long ago we got a bunch of crawfish for quite a reasonable price. Get to you know your fishmonger, they will often assist if you let them know you are on a tight budget but you want an inexpensive piece of fish to cook up. They often know the best way for you to cook them up and will often share recipes or ideas!
You can always experiment with going meatless or vegetarian as an alternative as well. I have eaten a lot more meatless meals this past year and I found out I really didn’t miss the meat as much as I thought I would. Doubtful I will go vegetarian, but I’ve learned in my life to never say never and the reality is that plant based diets are really healthy for you!
Lastly, keep in mind that some of these minor inconveniences are just that inconvenient. I don’t know what the future holds but for me it’s important to follow the guidance from the medical experts, stay home while I can, and continue to grow our garden and meet our neighbors!
Be well and stay safe everyone!