Butter shortage: How the holiday baking season could be affected
(WJW) — When it comes to cooking and baking, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that butter just makes things better.
But with the holiday season coming up, many may have to scramble to find enough butter for their baked goods. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which recently reported on a dairy shortage in the U.S. due to staffing issues and lower milk production.
With less butter on shelves and in storage facilities (reportedly the lowest since 2017), that means the price of the yellow stuff has gone up.
Since last summer, butter prices have soared, making it one of the grocery items hardest hit by inflation, data from the Labor Department shows. Butter prices jumped 24.6% between late July 2021 and August 2022, third only to margarine (38.3%) and eggs (39.8%).
A shortage of butter also comes amid a new trend drawing attention on TikTok and Instagram – butter boards. It is sort of like a charcuterie board, but features softened butter with higher quality bread, USA Today explains.
However, the dairy industry is well aware of the issue and is working to supply Americans with the products they need in the months to come.
“We want to run the assets we have harder when we can get more milk off-farm,” Joe Coote, chief executive at Darigold Inc, told the Journal.
Those gearing up for the big baking season ahead should note butter does freeze well, and that there are plenty of substitutes for recipes including Crisco, olive oil and coconut oil.
Severe weather – everything from heat and droughts to overwhelming rain – could pinch the U.S.’s food supply in the coming weeks, CNN reports. The cost of food production and the Russia-Ukraine war are also said to be feeding the rising costs.
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