If we don't reform our food system in the next round of stimulus, we might not be ready the next time we face a challenges.
From wasted food, to the exploitation of farmworkers, the Covid-19 pandemic has made it painfully clear that this country’s food system must be changed. Politicians must pass further stimulus legislation that includes policy to reform our inflexible, consolidated food system to prepare for future crises.
Consider the many problems in the meat industry. Workers ill with Covid caused temporary processing facility closures, putting our nation’s meat supply in jeopardy. President Trump forced meatpacking plants to re-open by executive order, yet, further disruptions are likely. Roughly half of those plant workers are immigrants, living at or below the poverty line. Forced to return to work, they are still at risk of getting sick.
Because these plants could not shift production to the retail market when restaurants, schools, and hotels closed, product could not move. These supply chain bottlenecks caused farmer prices to fall, even as processor profits rose.