How do you pack the protein? Inflation, sanctions against Russia could affect your diet

bonney and sons seafood in pungo.jpg
Posted at 3:08 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 17:30:08-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The price of cod and crab could increase significantly as sanctions against Russia hit the seafood supply in the U.S.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. received more than 28 million pounds of fish from Russia in the past two years ending January 31.

In Virginia Beach, Bonney and Sons Seafood, in business since 1969, is still plugging along. Manager Pam Barnum says they still have plenty of locally sourced seafood options, but they have stopped carrying crab legs... for now.

Barnum said pre-pandemic, they would sell crab legs for $24 a pound, and now the cost for the shop to buy Alaskan King crab is already $48 a pound. She did say it’s one of their most requested items and they’d love to be able to offer them again soon.

As News 3 visited the shop, Bonney and Sons was receiving multiple shipments from local distributors, including a delivery of scallops, flounder, mahi-mahi and oysters from the Eastern Shore.

Barnum added that they have increased cod prices already by about $2 per pound, but they do their best to keep products affordable.

She also recommended families on a budget consider flounder, a less expensive, locally sourced option.

As for meat, Shopwise Meat Market on Seaboard Road is seeing more customers looking for protein.

“I’m not having a problem at all getting stuff or keeping the store stocked with the important items that everybody wants,” said owner Jerome Persichina. “Some of the specialty items, I have a little problem with, but eventually they do come in.”

While the avian flu has affected some poultry farms in the U.S. and ultimately the food supply, Persichina explained they get fresh chicken from the Eastern Shore. He said though the prices have fluctuated, they’re staying well-stocked.

A representative for the Virginia Cooperative Extension says they have not heard of any locally confirmed cases of avian flu at poultry farms and that local production of eggs and poultry seems to be adequate.

According to Persichina, barbecue season brings a lot of customers, including many buying chicken skewers.

With inflation, Persichina explained while he does hear grumblings about prices at the grocery store, he's been happy to serve the community for the past 19 years.

Meanwhile, at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, they received an enormous shipment of protein — meats from Smithfield Foods. The 25,000-pound delivery was made on Thursday. It’s estimated to be the equivalent of more than 100,000 servings.

Local food banks have recently stated that lean protein is an important staple to give to low-income clients.