When we race to the grocery store or dine in a restaurant, we usually don’t think about all the hands that work to put food on our tables. But when the food chain is disrupted by a global pandemic, we have a reality check. At least 50% of the nation’s milk, produce, seafood, meat and egg supply is normally reserved for the foodservice and restaurant industries, so when these venues shut down, the system has to recalibrate. But that takes times and waste will occur initially. The good news is that the food system is working tirelessly to find solutions. Processors and distribution systems are changing production lines and rerouting trucks. Farmers are creating more options for consumers to buy direct, restaurants are selling basic grocery items and grocers are working around the clock to keep shelves stocked. We need to be grateful for all those who are working at great personal risk to keep us fed.
With all the questions about food safety, we need to review the basic food safety guidelines. There is no evidence that food or food packaging is associated with transmission of the coronavirus at this time but it is important to maintain safety standards in our kitchens. Read more about all of this in my recent issue of The AgriNutrition Edge Report.