Meat Shortage & Higher Prices: How To Cope As A Meat-Eater

meat shortage

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, some meat processing plants in America had outbreaks, causing those plants to shut down. Or others closed to keep their employees safe. Because of this, we are now seeing a meat shortage in America. The shortages appear to be local at the moment, but could become national in mid to late May. So as a meat-eater, how can we cope with this? This is what I’m doing:

You Don’t Have To Go Meat-Less

Right now I’m seeing articles telling meat-eaters to deal with the meat shortage is by making vegetarian meals. I can’t suggest that because some people can’t digest vegetables well. A few can’t digest many types at all.

Frankly, I’m not planning to go meat-less at all. I’ve written about my success on the Carnivore Diet here and here. I would rather eat less meat than none at all.

How To Deal With A Meat Shortage: Buy More Now

I have been buying more meat during my past shopping trips for the past two months. I go more if the store has a really good deal on meat. Then I bag it up and store it in my freezer.

You need to do the same. Go to the store and buy as much meat as you can now. If the store has a limit, which it most likely does, buy the limit, put it in your car, and go back inside to buy more. If the store won’t sell you any more, then go to another location.

Now, I’m not saying you should panic buy. However, you should buy as much meat as you need for yourself and your family.

How To Deal With A Meat Shortage: Look To Local Farmers

If you’re local grocery stores are out of meat, consider buying meat from a local farmer. Go to any search engine and search for meat farmers in your state. You should find some who will ship meat to your house, or you can buy it and drive to pick it up.

A big downside to this method is the cost. Many of the local farmers in Georgia where I live sell grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken and pork. Due to the longer time it takes to grow the animals for slaughter, prices are higher. Yet, the meat is more nutritious.

As of a result of this method, however, you could have a decent stock of meat. Plus, some farmers may sell you a quarter or a half of a cow or pig. While the upfront cost is high (usually several hundred to $1000+), you can have enough meat to last you for several months.

How To Deal With A Meat Shortage: Buy Tougher Cuts

Many Americans love expensive cuts like ribeye steaks or chicken wings, yet those may be harder to find. Or if you do find them, the price per pound could be astronomical! So what can you do instead? Buy cheaper cuts of meat.

During a meat shortage, you may only have these cuts available to buy. And many people don’t like to buy them since they contain less fat and more connective tissue, requiring low and slow cooking.

Let’s review cheaper cuts of meat to buy:


  • Fatty Ground Beef (I buy this most of the time)
  • Chuck Steak / 7 Blade Roast
  • Bottom Round Roast
  • Back Ribs (I really enjoy these)
  • Brisket
  • Skirt
  • Beef Liver


  • Pork Loin Roast (and other types of roasts)
  • Boston Butt / Pork Shoulder
  • Ground Pork
  • Spareribs


  • Whole Chickens
  • Liver
  • Thighs
  • Legs
  • Quarters

Canned Meats Are A Good Choice

You can find various types of canned meat in your grocery store, from canned beef to canned chicken breast. Although the price per pound can be worse than buying a cheap fresh cut, it’s good to have some on hand.

One problem I have with certain canned meat is the filler used in some brands, and other brands use preservatives. Finally, the texture can be weird, but that can be just me.

I prefer to buy and eat canned fish. I grew up eating canned salmon, mackerel, and sardines. So I continue buying and eating those today. Actually, my cabinet has several of each type right now.

Consider Fish & Seafood

Finally, if you can get wild or properly-farmed fish and seafood at a reasonable price, these are good alternatives to eat during a meat shortage. Right now, however, I’m seeing fish and seafood climbing up in price unless you live by the ocean or near fish farmers.

Finally, Eat Less Meat

Let’s say you eat two pounds of meat a day: Once at lunch and once at dinner. Maybe consider eating a pound and a half of meat a day instead. This can allow you to extend your meat supply.

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