The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Somewhat worrying - no rye flour by summer?

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Somewhat worrying - no rye flour by summer?

Check out this article:

Bakers Feeling Pinch of Short Supplies

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Already feeling the pinch from soaring wheat and flour prices, U.S. bakers are now beginning to experience some supply shortages.

Rye flour stocks have been depleted in the United States, and by June or July there will be no more U.S. rye flour to purchase, said Lee Sanders, senior vice president for government relations and public affairs at the American Bakers Association.
Read the full story here.

Any professionals out there actually experiencing this? Is this story for real, or just press hype?
GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

about the rice shortage.  I've focused so much on the wheat, rye, and other grains that I had forgotten about that one. 

Earlier this week, I received my second shipment from KA; this was the second one in a week.  I'm taking advantage of the free shipping and am stocking the cabinets and freezer. 

My latest concern is this:  Does this mean that dry beans are the next 'hot' item? 

The international food banks are hit hard, too.  Let's hope that we see a good spring and summer, weather wise, and that we see more farmers advantaged for food, rather than fuel crops. 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Yes, my father was talking about rice shortages on the phone tonight. What a mess.

suave's picture
suave

They were talking about rice on radio when I was driving home from work.   Apparently US grows twice as much rice as it consumes, so there shouldn't be any rice shortages in this country, but the price will most certainly go up. 

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

The "what if dry beans are the next hot item" is a little worrying.

Especially as I am a vegetarian and I live on lentils especially.

*thinks its time to stock up on everything*

 

I cant get wholewheat organic flour at my usual haunt now and need to find somewhere else, buit I'm not sure if that is due to the grain sortage :S

Oh dear. This is a worry isnt it. 

 

TGB


 

 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Sams Club and Costco are rationing the sale of rice on the west coast simply because people there are either hoarding rice or buying it to ship to family members in other countries where there is a serious rice shortage.

The Americans Bakers Association appears to be a lobbying group. There's no mention of any purported rye shortage at their website.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The next crop is ripe to be milled.  What's the problem?  It's great!  No chance of stale flour on the shelves.  Let's just hope somebody planted some winter rye to harvest. 

Mini O

naschol's picture
naschol

I had heard that the rice shortage was artificial.  It was caused by people stocking up because they had heard that there was a shortage.

 

I think the grain shortage is real.  Luckily, I had just bought 50# of rye and that will last me a couple of years!  I went in, later, to buy hard white wheat and the warehouse told me they were about out of that, were completely out of soft white wheat and rye, and didn't expect to be able to get anymore until at least August, if then.  This warehouse supplies businesses, so I know they were a little panicked.

 

Nancy

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I've had a small bag bought a few months ago, and I don't have a freezer so I keep it in a bin, tightly closed, at room temperature.  How would I know if it had gone off?  The rice shortage is real enough, especially for people who eat nothing but rice; there have already been food riots in the Mid East, and if you want to keep rice, or hoard it, you have to keep it in a special cold place or, as one supermarket owner said, you'll have it flying around your house in a month.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Paddy, I checked the label on the rye I purchased yesterday and it states it should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. I use airtight containers or ziplock bags for my stash. If the rye flour goes bad, it will smell a bit rancid. Baking 911 advises to keep all whole grain flours in the cooler or frozen, and white flours in cool, dark places, but not refrigerated.

Given the rising price of flour (KA BF went up again at WalMart; now $4 for 5# - was $2.12 four months ago) I've been stocking up on flour and large zip-lock bags.

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Whole rye flour, as well as dark rye (which contains some of the germ and bran, but not all) should be stored in the freezer because it goes rancid even faster than whole wheat flour. I grind my own flour from rye berries, but after it's ground, if I have leftovers, it goes right into the freezer in an airtight container.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...do you find you need less liquid when mixing the dough?  When anything that has been frozen comes to room temperature, there's bound to be some moisture, isn't there?  Just curious because it only occurred to me this minute.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That was ment sarcastically. I do believe that hoarding causes shortages. This drives the prices up more. The market responds to the simple laws of supply and demand. When hoarding gets involved, the demand grows quickly, many times beyond reason. Later, after the demand is met, there is too much supply (after all, people have stocked up). And then prices fall due to less demand or the product is sold or traded elsewhere. This in turn leads to another shortage and the cycle repeats itself.

Stocking up (outside of an approved organization) leads to uneven distribution of goods, and there will be those who will not be able to get any just because a neighbor suddenly purchases 10 times their normal requirement. This leads to riots and protests in countries where the people normally purchase food on a daily basis. The food is there, it is just not distributed evenly.

 

Unless the grain/flour is used within the next few months, it will get old and you will end up paying more for properly storing the extra food. A freezer does cost money to run. So do extra bags, containers, and place to store it, cooling, air conditioning, etc. Not to mention risks in vermin: moths, mice, and moisture. The quality of your flour may suffer with time. You may end up throwing some away, and this act of throwing away food is also where hoarding causes others to suffer needlessly and money is wasted. It hurts.

So keep a cool head and please don't go crazy, use the oportunity to experiment with other grains as well. The supply will catch up.

Mini O

LindyD's picture
LindyD

While I agree with Mini O that hoarding causes problems, the Wall Street Journal recently published an article which suggests stocking up from a financial standpoint.

Unfortunately it didn't make mention of the savings that can be had by simply growing some of your own produce. A packet of seeds costs less than a buck and lettuce, spinach, cukes, etc. can easily be grown in containers if need be.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

As I write...no kidding...and early too by a few weeks!  :)  Horray!

Mini O

LindyD's picture
LindyD

More good news from the ag-waves:

Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.86 billion bushels. This is up 3 percent from last month's estimate and 23 percent above 2007.