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Rice Shortage?

DH just came back from Costco and said he couldn't buy rice until tomorrow morning...has anyone else run into this kind of rationing?

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  1. There are a couple of posts about it - including this one:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/511691, which links to another thread about rice prices etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      thank you...i knew there had to already be a discussion on this...

    2. MSNBC reported today Sams Club is rationing. Max 4 bags per day.


        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Look- I just came back from the grocery store and a 15 ounce box of Rice Krispies set me back $42 dollars.... a six-pack of repulsively bland rice cakes were $16....a 32 oz. container of rice milk $22....and the lowest end bottle of Sake was $350 this is getting out of hand!!!!!

          I'm just kidding, but I wonder if the last stronghold of cheap eats, the local chinese restaurant is going to start nailing me for the complimentary white rice...

          Bring on the Quinoa....

        2. Come on, you guys. Don't panic. It's the Chinese restauranteurs who are trying to avoid additional price increases. They're trying to stock up (because they are smart!!). The big box stores are trying to serve more customers, so they're trying to restrict this stocking-up. (Even though all their previous advertising would seem to support and encourage stocking-up.)

          Go to your grocery store and buy a 1 pound bag of rice. You'll be fine. UH, unless you're trying to feed many hundreds in the next day or so.

          And, Paulis .. it's really not funny. Making people panic is never funny.


          4 Replies
          1. re: k_d

            Well, this is a very serious issue at many other countries where rice is a staple. People will die and some governments will fall, no doubt.

            1. re: PeterL

              There are rice lines here (Bangladesh) already and many people think that the rice shortage will be the downfall of the provisional government.

              It's a shame that Costco is out of stock and that people are paying higher prices in the States, but when you compare it to the very real threat of starvation that people are facing in developing nations, it's hard to get too worked up about it.

              1. re: lulubelle

                I noticed today, that after two attempts at finding either Basmati or Jasmine rice at both Sam's and Costco's, you can find US domestic rice in large quantities at low prices. I believe the shortage is mostly Basmati and Jasmine rice, and no large bags are available at the warehouse clubs. However, I did see many bags of Riceland rice (US long grain) on my last visit, and today, I saw Mahatma brand long grain rice at $7.98 for a twenty-pound bag, so we don't really have a shortage here except for some of the really popular Asian varieties.(I believe that Mahatma is also US domestic). We may just have to switch varieties, thankfully, but will certainly not suffer the same consequencies as poorer counties.

            2. re: k_d

              uhhhh what if youre asian,and one pound just doesnt cut it.

            3. Guess I better run out and get 50 pounds of rice at Costco, there is a shortage!!
              But what would I do with 50 pounds of rice. Kind of like the toliet paper shortage that Letterman started, sure enough, everyone went out and stocked up and there was a shortage.

              3 Replies
              1. re: duck833

                Actually, I do buy rice in 25 pound bags, as well as my flour. Flour has also had a precipitous price rise. Used to cost me $6, and now it's $9 - just three months later. Pizza places are beginning to try to stock up on their large bags of flour, just like the Chinese restaurants are beginning to load up on rice - all trying to beat the price increases.

                1. re: duck833

                  I believe it was actually Johnny Carson's joke that started the run on TP decades ago.

                  1. re: duck833

                    My wife went to Costco friday afternoon and they were out of the Thai jasmine rice. I returned yesterday morning and they had restocked it. I saw people loading shopping carts full of bags of rice. They were panic buying, but there isn't any shortage of it. I just picked up the the one bag I needed that will last me the month.

                  2. Reading a few of the comments I find it amusing that the take on this subject is so relaxed. When I read the rationing I begin to factor in other things that people don't like to talk about. So let's factualize that wheat is in shortage - this affects beer, bread, pizza, etc.; rice is in shortage - this would affect anything that comes with rice as an ingredient; gasoline is going up because of few reserves available that are not ecologically damaging - well then all the trucks used to transport things to your local safeway will be affected TREMENDOUSLY. Now last but not least - are you readers the only populace in the world? No - there are probably 6 BILLION other consumers of food - and people reproduce like rabbits. So consumption will not end. The shortage is real - if you won't feel it now then lucky you; when I read something like this I am ready to start tiling and fertilizing my backyard so that I can grow my own things and not have to be reliant on what's in my safeway; growing your own is hard work - but many of us Americans should start to learn the freshness and value of being self-reliant.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: ISACHOW

                      "growing your own is hard work - but many of us Americans should start to learn the freshness and value of being self-reliant."

                      GULP! I am trying to wrap my teeny weeny mind around growing my own rice in downtown Montreal on my rooftop terrace! I have trouble growing a few container garden tomatoes... I seem to recall rice requires a lot of water...

                      1. re: moh

                        I spoke w/ my husband again last night, and he said there is no rice shortage in the US (he's in the business). People are reacting to headlines about shortages elsewhere, and so "hoarding" here in the U.S.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          It does seem that the people who really need to hoard the rice are the ones who can't afford to... Hoarding is a luxury.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            Could it be that distributors are holding back on the product? I've heard from a reliable source that markets in San Francisco's Japantown are being told up front to expect their orders cut to barely anything. They are stocking up out of fear. This isn't the first time there have been rice shortages, so they take it seriously.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              From what I understand, there is plenty of US-grown rice - domestic crops aren't undermined. But imported rice is in short supply, and that is what is being rationed by the big box stores and why prices on popular varieties like basmati and jasmine are rising.

                            2. re: MMRuth

                              I heard an interview on NPR yesterday with a Costco representative (sorry, I didn't catch his name) who explained that there was no rice shortage in the U.S. There is plenty of rice to be had by "us" for our purposes. There is, however, less rice to be had in countries where it is more of a staple, which is driving the price way up (and causing a very severe shortage in affordable food in some parts of the world). In light of Sam's and Costco clubs charging a fee to be a member, the benefit of which is supposed to be lower prices, they believed that raising prices would be less palatable for their customers than a limit on buying. The way the rep explained it is that Costco opted for rations rather than price increases, in order to keep their supply healthy and maintain their bottom line.

                          2. re: ISACHOW

                            Isachow is Dead On about the root cause of shortages - very few cultures in the world are taking the limits on natural resources seriously and encouraging smaller families to slow demand. The world's population has doubled in one generation!
                            Unfortunately, most people do not have access to enough land to be self sustaining; population growth killed that option long ago. High density farming has increased 'efficiency' of food production but with serious downsides.
                            It is hard to be optomistic about the future...

                          3. Was at my local good sized Korean market today and did not see any out of the ordinary rice purchasing. The green (fresher?)rice was still on sale. This was in the Los Angeles area.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: torty

                              And I was at our local independent health food store here in Naples (Sunsplash Market) yesterday...the organic basmati rice sold in bulk was still $1.69 per pound and the bin was full...both of the organic regular oats bins, however, were empty...waaaah! There is a noticeable difference between those oats and Quaker...the Quaker oats are thinner, flimsier...I love a good thick oat, I've discovered, that is chewy.

                            2. Yeah there was a story on it yesterday in our town paper. Seems like they are paying farmers to NOT plant their ground. Next thing you know rice will cost twice as much as it does now. I like arborio rice and it already is expensive. Guess now we are going to be controlled as to what we eat.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Smileelisa

                                Go to any Ranch 99 and there are tons of 25 & 50 pound sacks of rice from Thailand, USA, and other countries. However, prices are higher than they were six months ago for the imported stuff.

                                  1. re: AndyGanil

                                    You are correct, but many of my non-asian friends do call it Ranch 99...lol.