The government’s reactions around the World to the pandemic has had many detrimental side effects on society.
One which we will have all heard about, but really isn’t being discussed enough, is the devastation caused to the food industry.
As the pandemic got underway, and the lockdowns began, every step of the food supply chains were effected. But ultimately every step effected had a knock on effect in both directions of the supply chain.
The end result is a producer with an excess of produce and a consumer with not enough. But it gets worse, farming is a very time sensitive business in the 21st century. When the supply chain breaks down, farmers are left with a backlog of produce which quickly becomes worthless.
Here are a few examples of the devastation caused so far by the pandemic:
Two million chickens on several farms in Delaware and Maryland will be “depopulated” — meaning humanely killed — due to a lack of employees at chicken processing plants, according to a statement from Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. – CNN
It’s a similar story in the neighbouring district of North Carolina:
Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon said this is the first time, during the pandemic, North Carolina farmers have had to euthanize their animals.
Reardon said roughly a third of the 1.5 million chickens already had been killed.
According to Agriculture officials, on Thursday 2,006 workers in 26 processing plants across North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus. – WVLT8
The following story coming out of Iowa describes how thousands of pigs were exterminated using hot steam:
A mass-extermination of farm pigs was reportedly recorded at an Iowa Select Farms facility in Grundy County this month
Video shows the pigs being herded inside a barn to under ‘ventilation shutdown’, which is a depopulation method
The pigs are locked inside the barn, all airways sealed and hot steam is pumped inside – Daily Mail
Released footage by an undercover employee shows this brutal culling in all its horror:
But it’s not just livestock, vegatable producers are also having to destroy produce amid the pandemic:
When COVID-19 closed down restaurants and hotels, potatoes headed toward food service had nowhere to go.
It had a chain effect down to processors and growers, trapping 1.5 billion pounds of potatoes in the supply chain.
While farmers across Idaho and Montana have given away millions of potatoes, they’ve also been forced to destroy millions more. – Business Insider
Jim Alderman, a vegetable farmer in Palm Beach County, Fla., said the lack of big buyers has cut off growers in his area from critical buyers including cruise lines and Disney World.
He started dumping his tomatoes. Nearby farmers are doing the same with zucchini and yellow squash, which now fetches market prices far below the cost of picking and packing.
“They’re cutting their squash every day and throwing it on the ground, hoping the market will turn around,” Alderman said. Politico
There are endless stories coming out like this from all over the World and there is no sign that things are going to improve anytime soon.
‘Every instance of famine or acute food insecurity today is, at its core, man-made’, this was a statement made on the opening of a document entitled ‘The Crime of Starvation and Methods of Prosecution and Accountability' by Global Rights Compliance.
A very true statement indeed. The lack of food globally is far less than the total food wasted, and except for the occasional environmental catastrophe, it’s all entirely preventable..
In 1957, the U.S. military intelligence explored the elimination of the food supply of the Sino-Soviet bloc, right down to determining the calories required for victory:
In order to have a crippling effect on the economy of the USSR, the food and animal crop resources of the USSR would have to be damaged within a single growing season to the extent necessary to reduce the present average daily caloric intake from 2,800 calories to 1,400 calories; i.e., the starvation level.
Reduction of food resources to this level, if maintained for twelve months, would produce 20 percent fatalities, and would decrease manual labor performance by 95 percent and clerical and light labor performance by 80 percent.
Now I’m not suggesting or dismissing the idea that these food shortages are being used to intentionally reduce the population, I am merely pointing out what the destruction food supplies can do to a population over a relatively short period of time.
The following video from Ice Age Farmer goes over this topic in more detail:
Be Aware, Be Prepared
Here in the West it’s very hard to take seriously this idea that we could be in for some food shortages. With fast-food joints on every corner and supermarkets jam packed full of food, it’s hard to imagine.
But the truth is we are more vulnerable to food shortages than ever before. Our supply chains have become so efficient that the need for stocks are now very small, supermarkets typically hold enough supplies for about 48 hours.
But this efficiency comes at a cost, fragility. We saw how quickly the supermarket shelves became bare at the beginning of the pandemic. In a matter of hours the mad panic emptied the shelves, and with supply chains beginning to deteriorate, even to this day stocks have not returned to what they once were.
So with this in mind, wouldn’t it be wise to prepare for the worst?
At the very least stock up on dried foods, rice, beans, lentils, chickpeas, e.c.t. Just rotate your stocks and that way you haven’t wasted any funds on the preparations.
As they say ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry’