The news is dire: The USDA is predicting an upcoming huge inflation in the price of food. Egg prices predicted to increase 20%, and other groceries 8% or more. Prices overall from April of 2021 to April of 2022 are up 9.4%.
The level of food price inflation varies depending on whether the food was purchased for consumption away from home or at home:
- The food-away-from-home (restaurant purchases) CPI increased 0.6 percent in April 2022 and was 7.2 percent higher than April 2021; and
- The food-at-home (grocery store or supermarket food purchases) CPI increased 1.3 percent from March 2022 to April 2022 and was 10.8 percent higher than April 2021.
Food price increases are expected to be above the increases observed in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, food-at-home prices are predicted to increase between 7.0 and 8.0 percent, and food-away-from-home prices are predicted to increase between 6.0 and 7.0 percent. Price increases for food away from home are expected to exceed historical averages and the inflation rate in 2021. [. . .]
An ongoing outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza has reduced the U.S. egg-layer flock and drove a 10.3 percent increase in retail egg prices in April 2022. Retail poultry prices have been high, with historically low stocks of frozen chicken (also called “cold storage”). The ongoing highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak has also contributed to increasing poultry prices as over 38 million birds have been affected. The disease prevalence also impacts international demand for U.S. poultry. Price impacts of the outbreak will be monitored closely. Poultry prices are now predicted to increase between 8.5 and 9.5 percent, and egg prices are predicted to increase between 19.5 and 20.5 percent. [. . .]
Farm-level egg prices are now predicted to increase between 73.5 and 76.5 percent in 2022.
Wholesale dairy prices increased by 2.7 percent in April 2022 on strong domestic and international demand. Wholesale dairy prices are predicted to increase between 13.0 and 16.0 percent.
So what can we do?
Obviously, we can begin (or continue) to stockpile. It is easy to stock up on dry and canned ingredients. It is more difficult to get good stocks of things like milk and eggs. And the USDA says that egg prices increased by 10% in April and is predicting an increase in the price of eggs of 20%!
You can purchase dry and canned milk. And, yes, you can get whole milk powder (check the internet). You can even freeze milk, if you have the freezer space.
Eggs are a bit more difficult. You can raise your own chickens for eggs, if possible. You can buy dried egg products (either whites or whole eggs). Those are especially good for cooking and baking, but they are expensive. You can also do what I am planning: freezing eggs. Here is a guide for freezing fresh eggs that you buy at the grocery store; whole eggs, egg whites, or egg yolks:
Can I Freeze Whole (Raw) Eggs In Their Shells?
When you think about freezing eggs, freezing whole eggs — shells and all — is probably what comes to mind. But we recommend that you do not do this. Here’s why. First, because eggs are liquid, they expand when they freeze and crack their shells, exposing the interiors to freezer burn and turning into a gloopy shell-studded mess when thawed. Second, whole eggs yolks don’t freeze well — they thicken into an unappealing gelatinous mass.
What’s the Best Way to Freeze Whole Eggs?
Crack them out of those shells! Then lightly whisk the yolks and whites together until just combined and transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. Yes, you must mix together the yolk and the white. Consider these your future scrambled eggs and omelets. Next, label and date that bag and freeze it flat. To thaw, transfer to the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to cook with the eggs, use this equation: 3 tablespoons = 1 whole egg.
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