May 9 2020: Shortages, Flexibility, and Prioritizing Your Panic

May 9 2020: To shake things up this past week, we had Pizza Tuesday and Taco Friday. I know, I’m a rebel. It was driven by the fact that I didn’t have the stuff to make tacos on Tuesday, and we went to the grocery store on Wednesday.

When I wrote about our trip out the other day, I didn’t mention shortages. Back in the early days of this thing, I’d take pictures of the toilet paper aisle in the stores to show that Finland was well-supplied. There was another early trip where they were out of yeast and shelf-stable milk. For the most part, there hasn’t been a lot of disruption.

What I noticed this past week is that the price of pork has risen substantially. Beef and chicken were about the same, which is odd because most of the meat is produced domestically. All I can think of is that Finns are big on pork. I think they eat more pork than any other meat other than maybe fish. Folks stuck at home might have been panic-buying and packing their freezers.

One thing they were absolutely out of were tortilla chips. They had every other variety of chip you could imaging, but no tortilla chips. I wonder if it’s because the bulk of the world’s corn comes from the United States, and that’s where the disruption is. Corn tortillas are nigh-impossible to find here. It takes a special trip to the Turkish market (which I’m not sure is even open) to get masa. So I couldn’t even make my own. I ended up buying large burrito-sized flour tortillas, making crispy quesadillas, and using those to scoop up taco meat and other toppings. It worked.

Prioritizing Your Panic

I know people who’d lose their damned minds if the store were out of something they wanted. Katie and I once spent 45 minutes in a grocery store because her mother could not find the gallon-sized Diet Peach Snapple and would not leave until someone assured her that it had not been discontinued and could tell her when they’d be getting more in stock. Then there are the incidents I’ve written about in the past, where people shoot fast food workers because they left bacon off a burger or were out of chicken nuggets.

Which is why I’m not surprised to hear about Americans’ ridiculous behavior regarding the shutdown. Consumerism has promised them that they can have what they want when they want it. As long as they can afford it, they’re entitled to it. Having to wear a mask, or not being able to sit down to eat at a favorite restaurant, seems like a stupid hill to die on. Except the mildly inconvenienced people aren’t the ones dying, they’re the ones doing the killing.

May 9 2020

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  • Today is Day 54 in isolation. 

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3 Replies to “May 9 2020: Shortages, Flexibility, and Prioritizing Your Panic

  1. Berin,
    Sorry – I thought flour tortillas make an acceptable substitute – true there not nearly as good as corn tortillas , but when your raiding the pantry for a snack at 10 at night – they’re ok.

  2. It’s easy to turn tortillas into chips. Here’s how I do it – cut into suitable sized wedges, brush with a little oil (or toss the pieces with a little salt and oil in a ziplock ). Bake in in 120 degree C oven for 12 to to 18 minutes. Speaking of yeast – my wife found some dried yeast over 18 months past date, but still usable. We’ve been eating homemade focaccia for the last couple of weeks. Making do with what you have is not so hard once you make the effort.

    1. It’s not hard. I think you missed a part of what I wrote.

      “Corn tortillas are nigh-impossible to find here. It takes a special trip to the Turkish market (which I’m not sure is even open) to get masa. So I couldn’t even make my own.”

      All I can get easily are flour tortillas, which make crappy chips, so I made quesadillas instead.

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