Alright. This is beyond ridiculous. And it has really got to STOP. Retailers and the mainstream news media are once again warning of severe supply shortages due to unnecessary HOARDING. During the first Covid lock-down in 2020 most everyone knew about the severe toilet paper shortages across the U.S. due to hoarding (See: “Americans. Love. Toilet Paper.” and “Hey Toilet Paper Hoarders: We Know Who You are Now”). Along with the completely unwarranted toilet paper shortages in 2020 the U.S. also saw ongoing shortages in hand-sanitizers, hydrogen peroxide, household cleaning products, paper towels and junk food (no big surprise there). But THIS time things have really gotten out of hand…
Now in the Fall of 2021 with the onset of Covid v.2, retailers and the news media are warning of current and impending shortages of not only toilet paper (Really Hoarders? You don’t have a rented storage locker filled with this stuff by now?) but also low supplies of paper towels, bottled water, fresh (sold refrigerated) dog food and canned peaches. WAIT. CANNED PEACHES? Are you kidding, America? Did some nitwit influencer with two million followers post an irresistible recipe for “Peach Cobbler Dump Cake” on Pinterest?
Thinking there must be a secret to this canned peach craze I figured maybe there was some underground internets coverage about using canned peaches in the DIY realm. So in an effort to understand what the sudden demand in canned peaches is all about I did some searches on DuckDuckGo for how to fix or repair things using canned peaches. Can they be used to patch a roof? I wondered. Or maybe a leaky sink pipe? Or some well-kept secret about using them in your fuel tank to get better mileage? Using the search terms “fix things home repairs using canned peaches” I discovered…Nothing. Just pages upon pages of recipes for baking, canning, frying, dehydrating, freezing and barbecuing…you got it: canned peaches.
Next, I put out queries to everyone in my contact list asking it they knew anything about the sudden canned peach craze going on across the country. The responses included some wise-cracks about sticky syrup, a strategy for how to best chase the peach half floating in peach juice around the bowl with a spoon, three recipes for peach cobbler and a link to the best peach meme generator. <sigh> So, well, I am sorry. I did my level best. But I was unable to uncover the reason behind the current craze for canned peaches. But there was some insight as to the overall shortage in canned peaches…
First, the agriculture industry is reporting that people are just looking for a long-term supply of healthy foods <apparently these ag people use the word “healthy” very loosely> and that consumers are purchasing more shelf-stable items—and that has boosted sales of canned peaches in Covid v.1 and again in Covid v.2.
Of course some cold snaps have affected peach crops over the course of the last many years, but that is not the biggest issue causing the current shortage. Rich Hudgins, president and chief executive officer of the California Canning Peach Association said during the last hoarding, “The retail sales movement that we’ve seen over the past four weeks has been unprecedented. I think part of it is emotional that you kind of overreact and say, ‘Let’s get as much stuff as I can hold and have a supply of food for the coming days.” <That’s otherwise known as “HOARDING”, Mr. Hudgins.>
And some top exec of canned fruit said that canned or processed fruit “can stay on your shelf for a long period of time and gives people reassurance that they can have something that is not only healthy, <there they go with that word again> but is also not going to go bad.” <Is this not an oxymoron?>
So whether it is peaches, toilet paper, fresh dog food, paper towels, bottled water or flavorings for Starbucks offerings, AGAIN we have “this latest burst of demand” (aka the compulsive urge to hoard) as a primary driving force behind the shortage of goods and the supply-chain difficulties hitting the U.S. (and overseas) right now. If people are not going to control their own impulses it is high time that retail management and consumers start to take things into their own hands. Let’s stop this unnecessary hoarding and see some policies limiting the number of items each consumer can purchase at one time. And consumers need to speak up when they see crazies with their grocery carts stacked sky-high with toilet paper. They can have their damned canned peaches with the encodrine-disrupting BPA and BPS leaching into the food from the lining inside of the cans. But my dog is refusing to eat since the store ran out of Fresh Pet week before last, and I, for one, am not going to be put in a position to have to raid the National Parks restrooms again for toilet paper. Take your meds and take only what you NEED People, or prepare for some syllables that cannot be unheard.