HOUSTON — Why could a shortage of carbon dioxide affect our food supply?
We’ve talked before about how a lack of carbon dioxide has sent beer makers scrambling. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports the shortage is affecting everyone from meat suppliers to pizza makers.
Carbon dioxide is widely used in the food and beverage industry. The byproduct of industrial processes like ethanol production has been in short supply since 2020. Issues with a deposit of naturally occurring carbon dioxide in Mississippi earlier this summer added to the issues.
Now, the Journal reports meatpackers like Tyson and Oscar Mayer are being forced to search high and low for the gas. That’s because major suppliers are limiting their deliveries of CO2.
According to reports, Kraft has warned retailers there could be a major outage of deli fresh turkey cold cuts and other sliced meats like bologna. Meanwhile, companies like Butterball are trying to figure out how to get the job done using less carbon dioxide.
The good news is a trade group says supplies of the gas should return to normal around mid-to-late October, but between now and then it could get rough, and we aren’t the only ones in a spot of trouble.
The United Kingdom is also dealing with a major shortage of CO2. There everyone from pub owners to meat suppliers is asking the government to come up with a plan.