I used to never really pay much attention to the ‘best by’ dates on most food, with meat and dairy products being the notable exception. However, as my prepper stash has grown larger and I date everything to keep it organized, I check everything. While putting away some canned goods from a recent prepper haul, which are becoming increasingly more frequent, I noticed something odd. The dates on many of the new items made them older than the ones I already had. Instead of the dates placing the new cans to the back of the shelf, they were much closer to the front of the stash and sometimes the oldest I had. This was the same products and brands that I always buy and from 3 different retailers. So, why would the product currently on the shelf be older than items of the same brand that I had purchased months and even years before?
I have a friend who manages a discount store, part of a chain that purchases and sells items from other stores that are older models, older packaging or are getting close to their expiration dates. Read that last one again. This type of store normally has so much over stock that it is a challenge to get it all to the floor. However, he tells me his biggest challenge now is stretching the merchandise to look like they have more than they do and the product is simply not coming in as it used to. He said this really began when that ship blocked the Suez Canal back in March and has gotten progressively worse since. I have to draw the conclusion that product that the big retailers would normally liquidate due to its age is instead going to the shelf regardless.
Now, regardless of what the media says, regardless of some politician says, the supply chain issues are not getting better, they are actually getting worse. As of Nov. 17th, the most recent number I could find, there were 179 ships waiting to be unloaded and with CA’s recent attacks on the trucking industry, this number is likely to continue to grow. The media is not telling us the whole truth, not that it should be a surprise to anyone, but you need to plan accordingly. You may want to check those expiration dates before you put that item in the cart.
Forget hoping for the best, prepare for the worst, now.