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Yeast Shortage on the Lower North Shore


We have all heard the stories of the mass buying of toilet paper that had taken place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people feared that there would be a lack of the sanitary product, store shelves were quickly emptied. But now the newest grocery item to see a decrease, or lack there of on store shelves, is bread yeast.

This fact hit home when my elderly mother called me yesterday evening from my hometown of St. Augustine, all flustered, "Is there any yeast to buy in Blanc-Sablon?" she asked. She went on to explain that there was no yeast to buy locally, and with my Dad loving homemade bread like the air we breathe, she was in a frantic search for this now precious commodity.

Joining the yeast search effort, I placed calls to the local grocery stores in Blanc-Sablon and Lourdes, just to be confirmed the very same, that yeast is currently not available. Perry Barney explained to me this morning, "We had a very limited supply since a few weeks ago, and now when we try to order more, we are told that the item is out of stock or not available."

Feeling defeated in my search coming up empty, I placed a call back to St. Augustine and broke the news to my Mom. "Well that's no good, what can we do?" she said. And then the plan was hatched, "You can mail what you have left in your cupboard!"

So through the craziness of this pandemic, and the stories that we will all tell when it is finally over, I will be heading to Canada Post today to mail my Mom the precious yeast from my pantry.

So why is there a shortage of yeast currently?

Bread production is up between 15 and 20 per cent since the COVID-19 crisis hit hard in North America, with increased demand for bread products from both industrial customers, and from the general population. Yeast is one of the key ingredients in bread, along with flour and water. Bread sales have jumped significantly, as has the amount of people baking bread at home.

So treasure the yeast you currently have, as for now it is a luxury!

Abbygail Wellman

CFBS Journalist

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