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Insuring Options in Your Food Choices

February 11, 2013

The recent announcement of disruption of service in USDA inspections may not gather attention to those outside of agriculture, because they likely don’t understand the full impact of it.

” In the comments, USDA also said that production will shut down for that time period, impacting approximately 6,290 establishments nationwide and costing roughly over $10 billion in production losses. USDA further told reporters that industry workers would experience over $400 million in lost wages and that consumers would experience limited meat and poultry supplies and potentially higher prices.”

This means that meats won’t be inspected so they can’t be processed. So during that time, anything that goes to restaurants, stores or beyond “custom exempt” may see some changes.

Custom exempt is covered if, for example, you buy a steer or pig and take it in to a small processor (if you can find one!) and have it processed for yourself. You can’t legally sell it or distribute it to others.

Further:

“The White House warned Friday that spending cuts set to take effect in March may result in furloughing every U.S. meat and poultry inspector for two weeks, causing the meat industry to shut down, Reuters reports.”

Many still think we’re alarmists. They cannot conceive that there is a disruption to the food system but it’s coming. It may not be as bad as imagined, but may be worse. By the time it is, it’s too late to get prepared.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is good for us – we can sell customers livestock to be done custom exempt, as whole animals can be done. Breaking down to smaller packages and options – well that can be tougher.

And of course part of the preparation is knowing who is providing your food, and ensuring they are able to continue. Changes are coming, some good, some bad…but one thing is certain. It’s never too early to get prepared.

Know your farmers. Just in case.

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