Meat Supply Facts

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You have likely seen much on the news and floating around social media in regards to potential meat shortages due to COVID-19. But what is the real story? While there have certainly been disruptions in the supply chain getting meat to consumers, as well as grocery store shortages largely due to panic buying, the fact remains that there is no current shortage of meat in the US. 

You can read more about what is happening with animal agriculture and our supply chain here: Is There a COVID-19 Meat Shortage

Meanwhile, farmers, local restaurants, and other retailers are working hard to get their products to consumers. In our area, many restaurants are repackaging their bulk orders to sell direct to households, local grocery stores and box stores are limiting purchase amounts to stabilize inventory, and farmers are selling direct to consumers.

NC Choices, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in collaboration with N.C. Cooperative Extension, promotes sustainable food systems through the advancement of the local, niche, and pasture-based meat supply chain in North Carolina. This effort has launched a program called “Meat Suite.”  “Meat Suite” is another option for households to find locally raised meat and purchase in bulk. “Meat Suite” is in the early phases of listing farms in North Carolina, but consumers can now search for producers near them filtered by distance, product, and production practices. You can begin your search at MeatSuite. Farmers interested in listing their operations on “Meat Suite” can find instructions on the CEFS website.

To do your part, buy only what your family needs, be sure you are sharing factual information, and support agriculture at every opportunity (for example, our local strawberry farms have an excellent crop this year). Farmers are doing their best to continue supplying American families with fresh, safe, and quality products. 

For more information regarding Extension programming in Currituck County, contact 252-232-2262 or Cameron_Lowe@ncsu.edu.