President Joe Biden said Thursday that a food shortage is in the near future for the U.S.—and it’s “gonna be real.”
Following the sanctions that were placed on Russia by the U.S. government as a result of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion into Ukraine, Biden is predicting that groceries across the country will be in short supply, and pricier than ever before.
“With regard to food shortage, yes we did talk about food shortages, and it’s gonna be real,” Biden said during a press conference at a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium. “The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”
Russia and Ukraine are considered the “breadbaskets of Europe” due to their expansive wheat production. The two countries combine for nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley exports.
Since a week before Russia invaded Ukraine, prices of wheat surged 55%. Ports in Ukraine that send wheat and other food staples worldwide to be made into bread, noodles, and animal feed were shut down as millions flee or stay to fight in the war.
Ukraine also is a major supplier of corn and the global leader in sunflower oil, used in food processing. The war could reduce food supplies globally, which could create food insecurity and throw more people into poverty in places like Lebanon and Egypt, where diets are dominated by bread.
It will also affect people in the U.S. living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to afford food for their families.
“It comes at an absolutely horrible time for American consumers because we’re looking every day at inflation almost reaching 10%,” Dan Varroney, a supply chain expert, told Fox Business. “Last month’s figures were close to 8%. And that means that consumers, including those that are living paycheck to paycheck, are going to pay more for food.”