COLORADO SPRINGS — In the wake of meat processing plants across the country being hit by outbreaks of covid-19 demand for meat by shoppers, limited supply and rising prices will likely continue to be an issue pushing consumers to get creative both shopping and in the kitchen.
Ashley Barnett says, "The last few times I've been to Ralph's, they limit the number of products like two beef, two chicken, two pork."
The current pandemic is forcing several plants to close and slowing production, but health experts say Americans shouldn't panic.
Audra Wilson is a registered dietitian with Northwestern Medicine who says, “You can get a lot of protein from foods other than meat."
Wilson says the average woman needs 50 to 60 grams of protein per day. The average man needs 70 to 80 grams of protein a day.
And if chicken, pork or beef are not available to you, protein sources can also be found in dairy, eggs, seafood and plant-based proteins including beans and legumes.
The challenges of the current pandemic can also open new doors, says Wilson. “I think of it as an opportunity to explore some new types of proteins, to maybe find some recipes. Get in the kitchen and try cooking these new types of proteins and maybe creating some new weekly staples for the family."
You can also get creative when it comes to the ways you source your meat and think bigger than your local grocery store.
Mint Creek Farm near Chicago, Illinois for example offers community supported agriculture shares where members receive weekly or monthly meat and egg deliveries As well as a la carte options.
Raya Carr with the farm says on-line sales are booming. “We're adding extra support in the office, and we're hoping to hire on our farm soon. We're not on the only ones doing that. There's other local farms doing that based on this increase in demand."
Sales of plant-based meat alternatives like Tofurkey and Beyond Meat are spiking. Beyond Meat is reporting first quarter net revenues are up 141% over last year.
I you want to find a meat or produce a community supported agriculture program options near you area visit: https://www.localharvest.org/ or https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/csas