COVID-19 and the Food Industry
Experts are projecting meat shortages in grocery stores within the next two weeks because many of the largest meat processing plants are being shut down due to coronavirus, with workers in crowded work stations in damp cool conditions. This will impact the 'food chain.'
Farmers' broilers are ready now for harvest and there's no place to take them. Their solution becomes 'foaming'--i.e, suffocating 15,000 chickens in a factory house. In our economy of efficiency, food is giant-sized to the point of fragility.
The solution is thousands and thousands of decentralized small facilities scattered over the landscape, located nearer to farms and nearer the markets. Small is still beautiful!
As for customers, we demand change by the way we purchase our food.
Search out local farms! Bureaucracy regulates that we can only process 1000 chickens per year off our farm, even though we could raise more. Will they back down?
Those who do not see the resiliency in small scale to 'feed the masses' view USDA-inspected facilities as adequate, but we're seeing that system is fragile as USDA processors are few and far between. Only in the face of a pandemic do we see how inefficient feeding the world becomes when agri-business gets involved in the dumping of 3.7 million gallons of milk, plowing up thousands of acres of vegetables, and euthanizing chickens.
Wonderfully, Twin Brook Camillus Farm, LLC made a 'farm contract' with young Christopher Burns to care for and work out the processing of our broilers for this summer. I feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. Our first 100 broiler chicks arrive April 29, 2020.
Chris could bring more brooder pens to our farm, and we could have multiple orders of chicken meat this summer so that our 'local world' could begin filling freezers for the pandemics of our time.