Costco is usually all about making sure you have huge quantities of whatever you want, but not this week. Due to shortages, some of its stores have put purchasing limits on items like rice, flour, and oil. According to an article in the New York Sun titled “Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World,” a California Costco store posted a sign reading, “Due to the limited availability of rice, we are limiting rice purchases based on your prior purchasing history.” Anyone who hoped to buy more than one bag was out of luck.
The rations stem from global shortages of rice—and it’s speculated that flour is in demand from bakeries that turned to the big box stores when commercial suppliers raised their rates. “The curbs and shortages are being tracked with concern by survivalists who view the phenomenon as a harbinger of more serious trouble to come,” reports the Sun. It notes that “large chain retailers seem more prone to shortages and limits than do smaller chains and mom-and-pop stores.”