Meat shortage and prices

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evergene

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May 5, 2020, 8:42:38 PM5/5/20
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The meat department at Piedmont Grocery in Oakland is pretty good. And
you can phone them before you go, and they'll have your items ready to
pick up. They carry one cut of beef that I like a lot and isn't
carried by most supermarkets: hanger steak. FWIW, the tag on the steak
says it's grass-fed.

I forgot that a shortage of beef and pork has begun. I called Piedmont
yesterday and, not thinking about price, ordered three beef hanger
steaks, two racks of pork ribs, and a smoked ham shank. When I picked
up my package, I found that the price of the ribs, usually $4.99/lb on
sale or $5.99/lb not on sale, is now $7.99/lb. And the hanger steaks,
which had been $9.99/lb since I can remember, are now $12.99/lb. The
price of the ham shank is still the same, $4.99/lb. I completed my
purchase, but it'll be a long while before I buy meat like that again.

In a way, though, I'm glad I had ordered in advance, because if I had
seen the new prices first, I doubt I would have bought the meat, but
now I'm glad I've got a month or six weeks worth of meat (today's
purchase plus what I already had) in the freezer. We usually get one
meal out of a single hanger steak, and two meals from a rack of ribs.
That's for two people.

The other nice thing about Piedmont Grocery is that they put out a row
of about 20 chairs, spaced the requisite six feet apart, leading up to
the entrance. I don't know if the chairs stay out all day; I get there
for senior hour, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and my crappy spine is
grateful to be able to sit while waiting to get in. Today, I don't
know why, the line was very short, fewer than 20 people just before 9.

David Arnstein

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May 5, 2020, 10:00:47 PM5/5/20
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In article <7rv3bf9d5ba62e28c...@4ax.com>,
evergene <ge...@geeaitcheekaygee.com> wrote:
>I forgot that a shortage of beef and pork has begun.

I did not forget. I have been buying and freezing meat more than I
have ever done in my life.

>The other nice thing about Piedmont Grocery is that they put out a row
>of about 20 chairs, spaced the requisite six feet apart, leading up to
>the entrance. I don't know if the chairs stay out all day; I get there
>for senior hour, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and my crappy spine is
>grateful to be able to sit while waiting to get in. Today, I don't
>know why, the line was very short, fewer than 20 people just before 9.

That's very interesting. I went (in person) grocery shopping today, for
the first time in several weeks. Safeway had long lines at the registers,
because only a few clerks were in place. I have not experienced waiting
in line to enter a business. I suppose that I will, eventually.

In other news, Safeway had some toilet paper in stock today. Also facial
tissue. But no wet wipes for skin, or disinfectant wipes for household
cleaning. I really miss the convenience of those wipes.

Oh yeah, some thug got angry at some store employees while I was there.
Perhaps they asked him to leave, since he was not wearing a mask. As he
exited the store, he cursed them and he knocked items off shelves
continuously. The employees, all women, followed him out but did not
otherwise confront him. I consider them to be quite brave.
--
David Arnstein (00)
arnstei...@pobox.com {{ }}
^^

Todd Michel McComb

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May 5, 2020, 11:35:20 PM5/5/20
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In article <r8t5oe$s71$1...@reader2.panix.com>,
David Arnstein <arnstei...@pobox.com> wrote:
>I have not experienced waiting in line to enter a business.

Me either.

Al Eisner

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May 6, 2020, 1:51:42 AM5/6/20
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A male employee of a market (I've forgotten in what state) was shot and
killed for exactly that. The wife was arrested, her husband and son
being sought.

I've been mostly using Instacart lately which costs more (I pay a
monthly fee and a tip for the shopper). It's a hassle - I have to stay
in touch via text with the shopper to make sure they honor special
requests and can handle out-of-stock situations, and even so some of
them still make mistakes (as often in my favor as not). Instacart was
overwhelmed when shelter-in-place started, but they have recovered
somewhat since then (perhaps more people need the jobs). But I can't
go shopping now, so the convenience outweighs the hassle. Of course
some items are simply impossible (towels and toilet paper, anything
anti-bacterial, etc.)

As for meat, which I get at Draeger's, no evidence yet of increased prices
(which at Draeger's started out somewhat high).
But I have to call the meat department in advance to tell them exactly
what I want and how prepared/packaged, since the shopper would
likely screw it up.
--
Al Eisner

David Arnstein

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May 6, 2020, 3:37:25 AM5/6/20
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In article <alpine.LRH.2.00.2...@iris02.slac.stanford.edu>,
Al Eisner <eis...@slac.stanford.edu> wrote:
>I've been mostly using Instacart lately which costs more (I pay a
>monthly fee and a tip for the shopper). It's a hassle - I have to stay
>in touch via text with the shopper to make sure they honor special
>requests and can handle out-of-stock situations, and even so some of
>them still make mistakes (as often in my favor as not).

My one experience with Instacart was meh. I didn't mind working out the
(many) substitutions via text, but the quality of the produce was not
the best. Not awful, but meh.

I have had the best results with Whole Foods delivery. It makes the most
sense if you have Amazon Prime. If so, you only have to spend $35 to
get free delivery - except for the tip.

If you can snag a delivery slot, Amazon Fresh is pretty good too. The
produce quality is not as good as Whole Foods delivery, but everything
does cost a bit less. Last week, I purchased a frozen item. Amazon Fresh
put it in an insulated bag along with two packages of dry ice. Fun!

Julian Macassey

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May 6, 2020, 12:40:02 PM5/6/20
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There is a source of local meat. There is also the odd problem
of only Federally indpected slaughter houses can process butchered meat,
but Sate inspected slaughter houses can only sell meat on the hook. If
you have the friends to buy your cuts, or a large freezer, that is the
way to go. They will arrange pickup and delivery.


Here's your source of meat:

https://www.markegardfamily.com/shop

Perfect edge cutlery sell knives and butchering tools.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/perfect-edge-cutlery-and-chefs-supply-san-mateo-4





--
Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole
country. - Vladimir Lenin, December 22, 1920

evergene

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May 6, 2020, 12:42:11 PM5/6/20
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Since shelter-in-place was implemented, I've done my shopping early in
the morning, when the places where I shop have seniors-only hours. At
those times I've always encountered lines to enter the store, varying
in size from around 10 to >75 people.

Lines have been much shorter lately. When I exited Piedmont Grocery
last time, there was no line waiting to get in. The lines move
quickly, and inside the stores it's much faster to shop and pay and
leave than it was in non-Covid times. Makes sense -- the bottleneck
occurs early in the shopping process, and activity in front of the
bottleneck speeds up.

The trickier part is keeping shoppers inside a store at a safe
distance from each other. Inevitably little clusters of 3 or 4 people
form in the aisles. About two weeks ago, in Trader Joe's, I saw a
store employee ask some people in a cluster who were blocking an aisle
to create some distance. The employee got glared at by one person, but
the cluster dispersed.

The latest item I've had a hard time finding is butter priced lower
than $6/lb.

Todd Michel McComb

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May 6, 2020, 12:47:29 PM5/6/20
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In article <fbo5bf59klrj4bgpo...@4ax.com>,
evergene <ge...@geeaitcheekaygee.com> wrote:
>Since shelter-in-place was implemented, I've done my shopping early
>in the morning, when the places where I shop have seniors-only
>hours. At those times I've always encountered lines to enter the
>store, varying in size from around 10 to >75 people.

Yeah, I just go any old time. It seems to work out better, from
what I can tell.

I've yet to experience any sustained difficulty getting grocery
items I wanted. I guess we'll see about this latest meat thing.
Before I read your post, though, I had just been to Safeway, where
the meat section seemed fully stocked -- at least as appraised
from a distance.

evergene

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May 6, 2020, 3:04:02 PM5/6/20
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Coming back from a neighborhood stroll, I walked past TJ's at around
11:15 this morning. There was no line at all waiting to get in.

Al Eisner

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May 6, 2020, 7:36:06 PM5/6/20
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On Wed, 6 May 2020, David Arnstein wrote:

> In article <alpine.LRH.2.00.2...@iris02.slac.stanford.edu>,
> Al Eisner <eis...@slac.stanford.edu> wrote:
>> I've been mostly using Instacart lately which costs more (I pay a
>> monthly fee and a tip for the shopper). It's a hassle - I have to stay
>> in touch via text with the shopper to make sure they honor special
>> requests and can handle out-of-stock situations, and even so some of
>> them still make mistakes (as often in my favor as not).
>
> My one experience with Instacart was meh. I didn't mind working out the
> (many) substitutions via text, but the quality of the produce was not
> the best. Not awful, but meh.

That depends on the store, not so much on Instacart. I would not trust
Safeway, for example, for produce, especially sight-unseen. (In my
area Sigona's is on the Instacart list.)

> I have had the best results with Whole Foods delivery. It makes the most
> sense if you have Amazon Prime. If so, you only have to spend $35 to
> get free delivery - except for the tip.

Only a few Whole Foods stores on the Peninsula or in the South Bay
have delivery. The ones closest to me do not.

> If you can snag a delivery slot, Amazon Fresh is pretty good too. The
> produce quality is not as good as Whole Foods delivery, but everything
> does cost a bit less. Last week, I purchased a frozen item. Amazon Fresh
> put it in an insulated bag along with two packages of dry ice. Fun!

I keep checking Amazon Fresh for certain items, which are pretty
much always out of stock. And if one happens to be available, it will
probably be out by the time of a delivery - hard to tell, since I
haven't yet managed to find a delivery slot.
--
Al Eisner
San Mateo Co., CA

Ciccio

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May 8, 2020, 12:22:14 AM5/8/20
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Same here - Zero lines to get in with shorter lines to check out at
Walmart Market, Safeway, and Nob Hill. Plenty of meat, paper goods, or
anything I may want and with no sticker shocking.

That is, the shopping experience is about the same, if not a tad better,
than before March. With the big exception of the current health risks
and rituals relating to prevention and disinfection.

Ciccio

Peter Lawrence

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May 18, 2020, 9:12:16 PM5/18/20
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On 5/6/20 4:36 PM, Al Eisner wrote:
>
> I keep checking Amazon Fresh for certain items, which are pretty
> much always out of stock.  And if one happens to be available, it will
> probably be out by the time of a delivery - hard to tell, since I
> haven't yet managed to find a delivery slot.

Amazon Fresh delivery slots come available reliably at midnight each night
for two or three days out. They're all gone within 15 minutes. But they're
there at midnight each night.

So one can fill their Amazon Fresh cart before midnight and then at midnight
go grab a delivery slot. Of course during checkout Amazon might state that
an item in your cart is no longer in stock, but c'est la vie!

If found Amazon Fresh reliable for dry goods. I haven't ordered any frozen
foods or food that require refrigeration from them though.


- Peter

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