It seems like we can't go a day without hearing about another shortage of a popular food item at the grocery store. First, it was toilet paper, then eggs, and now it's corn, which affects the availability of many snack items that use it in their recipes.
America's love affair with corn is well-documented. We grow more of it than any other crop, consuming it in everything from tortilla chips to high fructose corn syrup. So it's no surprise that one of our favorite snacks, popcorn, is also derived from this versatile grain.
However, experts are now warning of a potential popcorn shortage due to a decrease in the amount of corn being grown by American farmers.
The reasons for this decrease are numerous but include the fact that other crops are currently more profitable and that the demand for corn-based ethanol has declined in recent years. Whatever the reasons, the result is fewer acres of corn being planted, which could mean less popcorn for movie theaters and snack foods companies.
While the impact of a popcorn shortage may not be as dramatic as, say, a global coffee shortage, it is nonetheless problematic for those who enjoy this delicious treat.
However, there are still plenty of other snacks to enjoy while we wait for the corn situation to improve. Potato chips, pretzels, and nuts are all excellent alternatives to popcorn. And who knows, maybe this shortage will be the impetus for some creative new snack foods to hit store shelves?
By purchasing locally grown corn, we can help encourage farmers to produce more of it. We can also contact our elected officials and tell them that we support policies that help farmers grow corn.
What do you think?
Do you plan to stock up on popcorn?
Does this food shortage concern you?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.