Back in early April, a month into the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, we had already experienced bare shelves at the grocery store. First, there was nowhere to buy toilet paper or disinfectant wipes. Then stores ran out of canned foods and rice. But these were temporary issues, caused by problems with transporting the stuff rather than making it. And more than a little hording mentality weighed in as well.
It was in mid-April that we started to get headlines scaring us about longer-lasting “food shortages.” Meat processing plants across the country were closing down as the cramped workspaces sparked Covid-19 outbreaks.
Combine that with occasional empty grocery store shelves, and people were starting to get scared. Of course, that was the point. Scary headlines make you click and read through, which is exactly what Big Media and their advertising sponsors over at Madison Avenue want.
But that was just the start of the scare campaign. Later that month, Bloomberg News ran a story headlined “World’s Biggest Wheat Supply Dries Up When Some Want It Most.”
The director of public affairs for the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Lisa Lochridge, said the food supply chain was in “a disastrous situation.” And in a full-page ad in the Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, John Tyson, the board chairman of meat processor Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN), warned that “the food supply chain is breaking.”
None of it happened, of course. We didn’t run out of meat. In some cases, like bacon, the problem was falling demand, not falling supply.
As I told you back then, it was all a self-serving ploy to get government handouts. I also showed you how to profit from this non-existent food shortage.
I hope you followed along, because those investments have been very profitable since.