What a Butter Shortage Could Mean for Holiday Baking
All of the holiday bakers out there might want to stock up on butteran essential ingredient in many delicious recipes, as there is currently a major shortage.
According to The Wall Street Journalbutter availability is at its lowest since 2017, and the shortage is due to issues with staffing and limited milk production.
As is always the case with supply and demand, this has caused the price to go up. The Wall Street Journal reported that the price has increased by over 24.6% in the past year.
A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dairy Market News report also describes the rise in demand across the country.
It says, “In the Northeast, retail butter demand is picking up, but tight inventories are causing some producers to regulate supplies across existing orders…In the Midwest, butter demand is currently outpacing supplies.”
Along with butter, the price of groceries overall has also increased by 13.5% in the last 12 months.
Hopefully, you don’t have to worry too much, as the dairy industry is adapting to the situation in order to keep people supplied with butter throughout the rest of the year.
Joe Coote, chief executive at Darigold Inc. said, “We want to run the assets we have harder when we can get more milk off farm.”
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But there are ways to prepare or adapt to the situation.
According to EatingWell, butter typically lasts from one to three months in the fridge. And since it freezes well, it can last up to a year, so you might want to store some in the freezer now, just in case.
There are also many great alternatives to butter. Taste of Home‘s list of ingredients to consider as substitutes includes margarine, as expected, as well as shortening, olive and vegetable oil, coconut oil, and a few lesser-known options, like pumpkin puree, applesauce, greek yogurt, and bananas.
Using a substitute for butter can also have added health benefits, which is something to consider for baking in the long run.
While you might have to get a little creative or start storing some butter now for the holidays, you should be able to make the same classic holiday baked goods for the 2022 season.