Stories about acres of ripe produce plowed under before harvest and millions of animals selectively slaughtered from flocks and herds abound in the news.
With much of the processing and food service industry operating at limited capacity, there is no way to bring these products to market. This heart-wrenching and wasteful activity in our food system is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While farmers across the country are committed to providing food for our tables, the way that they have grown accustomed to delivering the food to us has been altered by forces outside of their control. The industrial food system is broken, and supply chain disruptions brought out by the COVID-19 pandemic have illustrated the fragility of this system. Perhaps it is time for us to re-think where we get our food.
In the United States, food travels more than 1,500 miles to get to the store and then to our plates. But, our food does not have to come from thousands of miles away. Local food systems minimize the distance food travels in order to get to our homes.