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Lime-aid

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This last season’s crazy weather has created another surging Sticker-jump in food prices across the spectrum. We all have seen it.I’ve been Bracing for impact all winter. Some friends and I make fun of the fact that we will have to sign a mortgage for shrimp and sell our children for limes. That is just the beginning. The 2013-14 winter transition into spring, has affected the food chain and everything we eat. The harsh weather conditions of drought, vicious storms, floods, soggy soil, hail, frost, ice and high winds have beaten fruits, vegetables and farm animals to death around the world(hit mostly during crop growing seasons) and our pockets are screaming.1/3rd of the United States is in USDA-declared crop disaster areas, so what about the other food producing nations? Lime shortage in Mexico has disrupted bars, restaurants –locally and abroad. Your drinks will have lime by request only, and an up-charge for extra wedges or taken off the menu totally. Some of my favorite Thai, Vietnamese and Latin restaurants will seem incomplete. Coffee, pork, oats and corn markets have felt some of the highest (ridiculous) gains in financial yielding assets for 2014. Coffee has jumped in prices so high (largely to drought in Brazil), large coffee companies, like Starbucks- have stopped buying coffee to give the market and the crop, a break. Beef is getting decimated across the U.S. and Mexico, and now takes 6 years to replenish herds, double time from how it was a few years back. It costs more money to move produce, dairy and meat from farmer to fork.
How can we prepare for all these inflated market-priced products? How can we predict catastrophic weather events? Have a drink. Watch, every day. Adjust (on the fly) as quickly (and daily) as possible. To be aware of pricing from all my vendors, I micro manage inventory daily, I get a lot of trucks, small orders, daily, to keep food cost flat lined and maintaining demand. I adjust constantly, seeking out the best price for quality and available product. I have seen inventory shortages in eggs, limes, and oysters (almost scarce) these past few weeks, jumps in all protein prices. I flinched when I saw my bacon price but shook it off when I was informed of the 5 dollar price-increase on local oysters. Mother nature-foreclosure pops in my head and on my invoice. Please fasten your seat belts; this will be a bumpy ride.

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