Last week I went to Costco to buy a bag of rice for my friend. To my confusion, there was not a single bag of rice where once there usually are 20 bags each of 4 or 5 different varieties and sizes. I noticed a couple Chinese standing near the missing rice area talking and they asked a couple Costco employees the whereabouts of the rice.
Not paying much attention to what was going on I did the rest of my shopping. A few minutes later some Costco employees came out with pallets of rice and out of nowhere half the people in Costco were swarming over him trying to take the rice off the cart before he put up the price and the 2 bag limit. “Hold on people, don’t touch anything until I set this on the floor!” he yelled. Near pandemonium ensued as people grabbed up two 50-pound bags each. It was like a scene from a movie where aid workers show up with food and all the people swarm in a mad dash to get food just to survive another day.
Since I don’t frequently buy rice, I thought maybe it was on special. But $16 for a 50 pound bag didn’t seem like a fantastic deal to me. What I didn’t know at the time is that there is a worldwide rice shortage going on. This morning my coworker sent me a link to this NY Sun article: Food rationing confronts breadbasket of the world. Stores are limiting rice along the West and East coast and countries like India and Vietname are halting exports of their rice.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know that I personally am low on rice and I should have bought the extra 50-pound bag. It looks like I’ll be eating a different kind of carb for a while until the rice shortage works itself out.