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Old 27th April 2020, 11:31 AM   #1
Meadmaker
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Food Supply Disruptions - Government Response

I've been watching it develop. So far, food supply disruptions have been largely a matter of convenience. Your favorite product is out of stock. At the beginning, there was "stocking up", which looks a lot like hoarding, but really it's just a rather common sense reaction to the fact that you don't want to go to the grocery store for a few weeks. That should go away, eventually.

Now, though, we're hearing of actual, pending, shortfalls, especially for meat. I won't link to a specific article, but try putting "meat" in a google news search. What you will see is some bleak forecasts.

Yesterday, Tyson Foods bought a full page ad in the New York Times to talk about supply chain disruption.

This could be bad.

Meanwhile, farmers are actually destroying crops and destroying animals.


So, can the government do anything about this? Should they?

I honestly don't know the answer to the first question. How do you increase slaughterhouse capacity? It would seem that at the very least, government could provide testing to workers at key food processing centers, so that workers could be sent home before they have a chance to infect lots of other workers. Is there anything else they could do?

The answer to the second question rather obviously depends on the answer to the first question. However, if the answer to the first question is yes, then I say the answer to the second question is yes. It's food. We have to eat. The "free market" won't take care of this problem.

Is government doing anything about it now? Is anyone looking into this problem?

One thing I am certain of is that the solution is not to give someone money to compensate them for their losses. I can't eat money. I just read today that in this time of meat shortfalls, one facility had to kill two million chickens. If the farmers are compensated for their lost money on raising those chickens, I still can't eat the chicken. I'm not saying that we absolutely shouldn't give anyone money in this situation, merely that doing so does nothing to solve the problem.

And if real food shortages develop, should we blame Donald Trump? Yes. That's the point of having a government, to do something about the really big problems that private enterprise can't handle. To be fair to The Donald, if I can't buy meat real soon, I'll also throw some hate toward congressional leaders, who have less power to act than the President has, but if they are not at least making a whole bunch of noise about it, they really should share some of the blame.

So, here's a thread specifically for issues related to food supply, and whose fault it is if there isn't enough of it. I put it in USA politics because I anticipate that "whose fault is it" will be a significant part of the discussion, and because I am particularly interested in the situation in the USA. However, even better than the "whose fault is it" discussion would be information about what could, realistically, be done. Then we can get around to blaming politicians for not doing it.

Or, is it too much hype? Other than having to pay and addition 20% or so for meat, is there really a big problem here? Is it just hype, or will there be actual food shortages, with accompanying malnutrition?
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Old 27th April 2020, 11:40 AM   #2
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But why should’ve there be disruption? Social distancing can be used in factories and the like, in areas where it can’t be avoided employees can be provided with PPE.
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Old 27th April 2020, 11:41 AM   #3
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This article goes into some pretty good detail on the issue:

USDA let millions of pounds of food rot while food-bank demand soared

Part of the issue is the change in consumers - far, far fewer purchases from restaurants and other food service type places. Supply system not set up to rejigger distribution to retail.

Fresh food seems to be the biggest issue. Lots and lots of people will eat food made from fresh produce and meat that is cooked on-site - in restaurants and cafeterias. But not at home....

For its own part, USDA has been pretty slow to adapt to changing circumstances.
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:08 PM   #4
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Part of the problem is unavoidable. Under the circumstances, people want food that has a long shelf life. In a sane, normal, world, I would frequently stop at a grocery store on the way home and buy the onions or peppers or mushrooms to make the meal I was planning. Obviously, I'm not going to do that now. Meanwhile, that increases demand for other products, because the calories have to come from somewhere. So, I can't blame government for everything.

In the early days of the epidemic, there were meat shortages that were a distribution issue. Everyone wanted weeks worth of food that they could fill their freezers with so they didn't have to return. I don't blame government for that.

However, now we have different issues, and government should have seen some of these coming, and could have done something about it. Testing and PPE at food suppliers, at taxpayer expense, would have been a very good idea. And if the FDA failed to adapt, I blame Trump, because the buck stops in the oval office. This was not hard to see coming. That's what task forces are for. Part of their job is anticipate problems and provide solutions before those problems become crises.
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I've been watching it develop. So far, food supply disruptions have been largely a matter of convenience. Your favorite product is out of stock. At the beginning, there was "stocking up", which looks a lot like hoarding, but really it's just a rather common sense reaction to the fact that you don't want to go to the grocery store for a few weeks. That should go away, eventually.

Now, though, we're hearing of actual, pending, shortfalls, especially for meat. I won't link to a specific article, but try putting "meat" in a google news search. What you will see is some bleak forecasts.

Yesterday, Tyson Foods bought a full page ad in the New York Times to talk about supply chain disruption.

This could be bad.

Meanwhile, farmers are actually destroying crops and destroying animals.


So, can the government do anything about this? Should they?

I honestly don't know the answer to the first question. How do you increase slaughterhouse capacity? It would seem that at the very least, government could provide testing to workers at key food processing centers, so that workers could be sent home before they have a chance to infect lots of other workers. Is there anything else they could do?

The answer to the second question rather obviously depends on the answer to the first question. However, if the answer to the first question is yes, then I say the answer to the second question is yes. It's food. We have to eat. The "free market" won't take care of this problem.

Is government doing anything about it now? Is anyone looking into this problem?

One thing I am certain of is that the solution is not to give someone money to compensate them for their losses. I can't eat money. I just read today that in this time of meat shortfalls, one facility had to kill two million chickens. If the farmers are compensated for their lost money on raising those chickens, I still can't eat the chicken. I'm not saying that we absolutely shouldn't give anyone money in this situation, merely that doing so does nothing to solve the problem.

And if real food shortages develop, should we blame Donald Trump? Yes. That's the point of having a government, to do something about the really big problems that private enterprise can't handle. To be fair to The Donald, if I can't buy meat real soon, I'll also throw some hate toward congressional leaders, who have less power to act than the President has, but if they are not at least making a whole bunch of noise about it, they really should share some of the blame.

So, here's a thread specifically for issues related to food supply, and whose fault it is if there isn't enough of it. I put it in USA politics because I anticipate that "whose fault is it" will be a significant part of the discussion, and because I am particularly interested in the situation in the USA. However, even better than the "whose fault is it" discussion would be information about what could, realistically, be done. Then we can get around to blaming politicians for not doing it.

Or, is it too much hype? Other than having to pay and addition 20% or so for meat, is there really a big problem here? Is it just hype, or will there be actual food shortages, with accompanying malnutrition?
Could "making a lot of noise about it" be seen as inciting to panic at this point?
Especially when so many of us are already so on-edge from the quarantine?

It seems pretty easy to imagine that moments after the "meat crisis" hits the news in force, it will become impossible to find any at the grocery stores.

We can all have a nervous laugh at idiots fighting over toilet paper- but fighting over food steps things up another uncomfortable notch.
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:17 PM   #6
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The meat packing industry, of course, has a long history of abusing its workers.
I have a cousin who was general manager of a packing plant owned by a big company. Hmm why not name them: Iowa Beef Packers. He was in my state, so my parents decided to go visit him. They came back extremely upset. He was not only abusive to his wife, but openly bragged about hiring illegal aliens then making "anonymous" calls to Immigration to trigger raids just before they were due to be paid.

His younger sister is the one who died of Covid-19 recently.
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Could "making a lot of noise about it" be seen as inciting to panic at this point?
There's nothing wrong with yelling fire in a crowded movie house if the movie house is on fire.
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
The meat packing industry, of course, has a long history of abusing its workers.
I have a cousin who was general manager of a packing plant owned by a big company. Hmm why not name them: Iowa Beef Packers. He was in my state, so my parents decided to go visit him. They came back extremely upset. He was not only abusive to his wife, but openly bragged about hiring illegal aliens then making "anonymous" calls to Immigration to trigger raids just before they were due to be paid.

His younger sister is the one who died of Covid-19 recently.
I was raised in a largely Hispanic area in Detroit (SouthWest side FWIW) the vast majority of my friends were Immigrants from Mexico (and other Latin American countries), some clearly here "illegally", others naturalized citizens or first-generation born in the USA.

A common thread was the prevalence of available employment for them in food-processing industries (Detroit was not a hub for this kind of industry, but there was still a good deal of it around), so much so that some families I knew would have relatives from Mexico come to stay with them for months at a time to work at such places- then return to Mexico for a while.

The link between immigrants and food production was apparent to even me (a city boy) and I don't think it has changed much over the subsequent decades. With the current administration (and to a lesser extent, probably any administration) the immigrant-food link is going to inject some pretty divisive politics into any food crisis that may be arising from the situation we find ourselves in.
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
There's nothing wrong with yelling fire in a crowded movie house if the movie house is on fire.
Maybe.
To belabor the analogy though, is it okay to yell "fire" when you only have a vague impression of the smell of smoke?
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Maybe.
To belabor the analogy though, is it okay to yell "fire" when you only have a vague impression of the smell of smoke?
I'm trusting that the congressional leaders I would want to make noise about the problem would actually look into the problem and verify that it's a real problem before yelling "fire".

I'm assuming that some of them are actually looking into things other than how to take advantage of verbal gaffes at press conferences.

And, that's probably wishful thinking, but if so I'll still say they suck if they aren't being proactive on the problem.
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Old 27th April 2020, 01:04 PM   #11
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Here in Germany a bizarre element of the "lockdown" is that we literally have had all the time since then fantastic sunny weather with clear blue sky and no rain at all, while we depend on rain a lot. We all look like Cubans right now if we have a balcony (like I do). While April is proverbially the month where weather changes faster than your underpants. So now if nothing changes quickly we are heading into a serious drought that will endanger our food safety (which being a small densly populated country has always been in danger as Uncle Adolf and his "lebensraum" knew). I'm starting to get a bit worried about that, also because they just flew in around 80,000 untested people from very-eastern Europe to help to keep the machine alive.
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Old 27th April 2020, 01:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Here in Germany a bizarre element of the "lockdown" is that we have literally have had all the time since then fantastic sunny weather with clear blue sky and no rain at all, while we depend on rain a lot. We all look like Cubans right now if we have a balcony (like I do). While April is proverbially the month where weather changes faster than your underpants. So now if nothing changes quickly we are heading into a serious drought that will endanger our food safety (which being a small densly populated country has always been in danger as Uncle Adolf and his "lebensraum" knew). I'm starting to get a bit worried about that, also because they just flew in around 80,000 untested people from very-eastern Europe to help to keep the machine alive.
So, the drought part isn't exactly the government's fault, but it seems like the government is facing the same sort of problems with food processing and workers, but they are actually taking steps to prevent it from becoming a crisis. Did I get that right?
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Old 27th April 2020, 01:08 PM   #13
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I'm expecting major problems with anything that requires a lot of labor, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables. We need a lot of people to harvest these sorts of things, and, as mentioned above, they tend to be immigrants, which will be its own problem this year. They live and work in conditions in which maintaining social distancing will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Lots of those workers will likely decide to just stay home this year, and the rest will have an increased chance of catching the virus, requiring shutdowns of the whole operation for days or weeks, at a time when you simply can't afford to shut down. Harvests are a time-critical operation after all. Leave it too long, and the food rots in the field, freezes in an untimely frost, or gets eaten by pests.

That's not to say we'll starve. Agriculture that is heavily industrialized will still work. One guy running a combine harvester can feed a lot of people, and it's the sort of work that would be possible to do while maintaining social distancing.

So we'll be fed, even if it's a bit less than we're used to, and bit more monotonous. I imagine it will be like when my mother was growing up in Newfoundland. They got one orange each on Christmas morning, and that was pretty much all the fresh fruit they saw all winter.

Of course, a hell of a lot of people will scream their heads off about this, and act like eating their daily bread plain is the worst oppression ever suffered in all of history.
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Old 27th April 2020, 01:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker
Other than having to pay and addition 20% or so for meat, is there really a big problem here? Is it just hype, or will there be actual food shortages, with accompanying malnutrition?
There is no problem. Lots of people already die every year due to malnutrition, just like many die of the flu each year. And so far not a single one has been attributed to Covid-19.

Hunger in the United States
Quote:
In 2019, over 12.5 million children, and 40% of US undergraduate students experienced food insecurity.

The United States produces far more food than it needs for domestic consumption—hunger within the U.S. is caused by some Americans having insufficient money to buy food for themselves or their families. Additional causes of hunger and food insecurity include neighborhood deprivation and agricultural policy.
So you see, people are already starving due to unnecessary food shortages anyway - even without lock-downs etc. If it was a problem we would already have addressed it.

Which we have. The invisible hand of the market is sorting it out. Those who can't afford to eat may starve while food for the rich goes to waste, but that's just the way Capitalism works. Any other system would be less efficient* - especially if the government got involved. You know they would screw it up (because that's what governments do) and then there would be food lines where everyone has to take their turn for a moldy loaf of bread. Mark my words, any attempt by the government to manhandle the situation will instantly turn the US into a communist hellhole!

* defined as:- how much return I get on my investments.
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Old 27th April 2020, 05:04 PM   #15
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Meat is a luxury from a resource perspective. A meat shortage is not synonymous with a food shortage. It could even increase the food supply.
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Old 28th April 2020, 05:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Trump Retweeted

The Counter
@TheCounter
First, there is no shortage of meat destined for the grocery store shelf.
It might take stores longer than usual to restock certain products, due to supply chain disruptions. But we have many millions of pounds of meat in cold storage across the nation.
Well, Trump has acknowledged, in his own Trumpian way, that there is a problem. His acknowledgement comes in the form of a denial, as is to be expected.

You can just see this coming from a mile away.

(The quote above came from a different thread.)

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Old 28th April 2020, 05:26 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
The meat packing industry, of course, has a long history of abusing its workers.
I have a cousin who was general manager of a packing plant owned by a big company. Hmm why not name them: Iowa Beef Packers. He was in my state, so my parents decided to go visit him. They came back extremely upset. He was not only abusive to his wife, but openly bragged about hiring illegal aliens then making "anonymous" calls to Immigration to trigger raids just before they were due to be paid.

His younger sister is the one who died of Covid-19 recently.
I don't think people really appreciate how poor working conditions are in meat and agriculture industries. Smithfield Pork is becoming one of the country's largest outbreak clusters (outside of prisons), and it's in S. Dakota where general infection rates are low. PR from the company has placed the blame on their workers.

Suggesting that these meat plants are going to start taking good care of their employees by providing good pay, PPE, and paid leave is a massive shift in their normal operations.
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Old 28th April 2020, 06:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I don't think people really appreciate how poor working conditions are in meat and agriculture industries. Smithfield Pork is becoming one of the country's largest outbreak clusters (outside of prisons), and it's in S. Dakota where general infection rates are low. PR from the company has placed the blame on their workers.
Yeah, they were blaming it on their workers living together in cramped quarters. The thing is their employees live like that because of Smithfield's employment practices.

People don't live like that for ***** and giggles. They live like that for a reason. Mainly, they are undocumented laborers being paid a pittance.
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Old 28th April 2020, 06:54 AM   #19
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Senators Mike Lee and Amy Klobuchar are asking that this be looked into. They sent a letter, not a tweet.


https://www.ksl.com/article/46746178...t-supply-chain


Good on them. Legislators cannot move resources as quickly as the President could, but they can do a little bit.
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Old 28th April 2020, 06:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Meat is a luxury from a resource perspective. A meat shortage is not synonymous with a food shortage. It could even increase the food supply.
I don't think we are on the verge of seeing starvation in America. However, diet disruptions are a real problem.

With the price rises we have already seen for meat, it's a safe bet that there are many people that have been priced out of the market, and just don't get any now. While there are other great sources of protein, I'm guessing that a lot of folks don't really know the wonders of tofu and nut loaves.
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Old 28th April 2020, 08:19 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
So, the drought part isn't exactly the government's fault, but it seems like the government is facing the same sort of problems with food processing and workers, but they are actually taking steps to prevent it from becoming a crisis. Did I get that right?

The situation here is that every year in harvest season many many people from the poorer parts of Europe come for a couple of weeks to do the "dirty" work. This time they had to be flown in.

Today it is raining cats and dogs for the first time since the "lock down" started. Thank heavens!
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:06 PM   #22
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It seems that it has reached Trump's ear, and he has a plan:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/tr...cid=spartandhp

Basically, order them to stay open, using the Defense Production Act, and shield the owners from liability suits that are brought by sick workers. (Or presumably, by their next of kin.)

I won't condemn the action in a knee jerk fashion, because I want hamburger, but.....it doesn't seem like the absolute best way to handle things. Unless I missed something, it basically says, "Workers be damned. I don't care if you die." At the very least, if I were in charge of things, it would be accompanied by a pretty large investment in worker safety equipment or practices.

Also, "ordering them to stay open", is a little bit weird. They aren't being closed down due to a choice by the owners. The plants aren't making other things. They aren't losing money. The owners want to stay open, except for that pesky problem of people getting sick, going to hospitals, and dying. Well, that isn't actually a huge problem, but some of the ones who get sick may file lawsuits. So, ordering them to stay open means, "Disregard worker safety. We'll make sure they can't sue you."

ETA: A different article said that the order will include government provided additional PPE for workers, and "guidance" on safety.

To me, this doesn't seem like an awful idea, although we don't have the actual order yet. I'm not sure what I would have done. It is a big problem, and something should be done, and this is something, so, maybe it's for the best. I guess we'll have to see what the actual order says.

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Old 28th April 2020, 01:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
It seems that it has reached Trump's ear, and he has a plan:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/tr...cid=spartandhp

Basically, order them to stay open, using the Defense Production Act, and shield the owners from liability suits that are brought by sick workers. (Or presumably, by their next of kin.)


It's telling that they all seem to be focusing on the legal liability issue, without mentioning any kind of plan to provide workers with protection. We know there are problems with finding enough PPE even for medical workers, so where's the plan to get some for this "essential industry"? From all we can see, they don't have a plan. And, even if they do have a plan, it's clearly not the part they consider to be important, otherwise they'd at least mention it, wouldn't they?
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Meat is a luxury from a resource perspective. A meat shortage is not synonymous with a food shortage. It could even increase the food supply.
For once I agree with you.

I lived in a nation of mostly vegetarians. The emphasis on meat here in the states seems silly to me. Those companies treat their workers like crap, it is a dangerous job to begin with - and our government seems to think that beef is manna from heaven and we'll all die without steak.
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
It's telling that they all seem to be focusing on the legal liability issue, without mentioning any kind of plan to provide workers with protection. We know there are problems with finding enough PPE even for medical workers, so where's the plan to get some for this "essential industry"? From all we can see, they don't have a plan. And, even if they do have a plan, it's clearly not the part they consider to be important, otherwise they'd at least mention it, wouldn't they?
See my ETA: Apparently, they at least mentioned it. I saw it in a different article after my initial post. No details available at this time.
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:40 PM   #26
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
...and we'll all die without steak.
Mmmm…….steak.....



But seriously, although you have a perfectly legitimate point, alternative protein sources couldn't be created to fill the gap in the short term.
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:43 PM   #27
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Mmmm…….steak.....



But seriously, although you have a perfectly legitimate point, alternative protein sources couldn't be created to fill the gap in the short term.
Instead of sending the soybeans to the cows, they can be sent to the meat aisle.
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Old 28th April 2020, 02:01 PM   #28
BStrong
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Snipped with respect

This could be bad.

and again

Is government doing anything about it now? Is anyone looking into this problem?

And again.
You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Growers in California are having real issues securing field workers and the Numb-nuts-in-Chief wants to make it harder:

https://www.thecalifornian.com/story...ic/2985155001/

The Trump administration is considering cutting the pay of guest visa farmworkers during the coronavirus pandemic to help the farm industry. But California growers aren’t thrilled: They say it won’t help them much with their financial crisis. And they worry that it might even hurt them by creating uncertainty for their essential employees, prompting them to look elsewhere for work once the pandemic ends.

Unions and other worker advocates also worry that reducing farmworkers’ wages would cause hardships for people already living on the edge of poverty, and may end up lowering the pay of domestic farmworkers, too.


San Mateo county growers are holding on by the skin of their teeth, even offering hourly wages far above the fed. minimum.

If growers can't get workers we don't get produce, period.

As far as meat processing, the environment where the work occurs seems to aid in transmission of the virus.

We're in for an interesting time in the short term, and the FSM only knows in the long term but that's not going to be my problem.
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Old 28th April 2020, 02:48 PM   #29
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I overheard someone holding forth at volume in the Walmart bread section, about how a dairy farmer he knows still has to milk his cows every day, then gives away a bunch of milk, then dumps the rest. He's going to have to slaughter some cows because he can't feed them---and *that's* where the federal money should have gone, not dumped down the Wall Street rathole. Seems the very richest still think that money should go in from the top and trickle down, but with a general shutdown the very top is far less necessary to the entire structure than the very bottom. Farmers, smaller farmers more than larger, should be getting flooded with money so that there's still farmers after shutdowns end.
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Old 28th April 2020, 03:04 PM   #30
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
The Trump administration is considering cutting the pay of guest visa farmworkers during the coronavirus pandemic

The government sets the pay? What's up with that?

Or is that a minimum wage that is different than "regular" minimum wage?


Either way, count on Trump to figure that the best way to help with an industry that is suffering major illnesses is to cut workers' pay.
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Old 28th April 2020, 03:06 PM   #31
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
I overheard someone holding forth at volume in the Walmart bread section, about how a dairy farmer he knows still has to milk his cows every day, then gives away a bunch of milk, then dumps the rest. He's going to have to slaughter some cows because he can't feed them---and *that's* where the federal money should have gone, not dumped down the Wall Street rathole. Seems the very richest still think that money should go in from the top and trickle down, but with a general shutdown the very top is far less necessary to the entire structure than the very bottom. Farmers, smaller farmers more than larger, should be getting flooded with money so that there's still farmers after shutdowns end.
I can't eat money. The feds should be spending money to make it possible to use that food instead of wasting it.

And in case anyone asks, no I don't know exactly how to do that, but I'm confident there is a way.
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Old 28th April 2020, 03:12 PM   #32
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Yeah, *you* can't eat money. But the cows we drink our milk from still have to eat, farmers still have to buy grain. Dairy farmers aren't getting money to buy grain because demand for milk is way down. The store talker blamed schools not being in session, but that happens every summer---I doubt the dairy farmer reduces his herd every summer. The shipping industry is still going. It's very easy to socially distance when you're alone in a truck for 18 hrs a day. Money can definitely be 'eaten' if it's strategically sent to the right points, which isn't you and while I'd like to have some income right now, it's not me.
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Old 28th April 2020, 03:13 PM   #33
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Just when I posted a relevant article in the corona virus and politics thread, people go starting new corona virus threads.

Sigh, I shall move it over here.

Trump wants to be sure he can get his McNuggets so he orders workers to potentially risk their lives to keep the meat processors open,

Here's the sicker (sic):

Politico: Trump said he will sign an executive order on Tuesday to shield meatpacking companies from legal liability from worker claims of not being adequately protected.

Quote:
Meatpacking plants have become incubators for the virus as employees work side-by-side in dangerous conditions. Twenty meatpacking and processing workers have died from coronavirus, and at least 6,500 have been affected, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

At least 22 plants processing meat from pork to chicken have closed at some point after clusters of employees tested positive for Covid-19, according to UFCW....

...It's unclear how the executive order will address worker safety as employees must stay on the job.

OSHA has chosen not to impose mandatory safety rules and instead only issued recommendations. On Sunday, the agency released new guidance to intended to shield workers from infection.
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Space Force.
Because feeding poor people is socialism.

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Old 28th April 2020, 03:32 PM   #34
Horatius
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I can't eat money. The feds should be spending money to make it possible to use that food instead of wasting it.

And in case anyone asks, no I don't know exactly how to do that, but I'm confident there is a way.

One of the big problems is that the producers who were set up to serve the restaurant and industrial food systems don't have the equipment needed to start packaging their output for the retail market. And of course, no businessman is going to spend a lot of money on a new system that they only expect to need for the next year or so.

So that's one area government funding could be used: subsidize those new systems, and just accept that a lot of them will end up as "wasted money" a year from now. That's the sort of emergency deficit financing that governments are supposed to do.

Of course, most of the people currently in charge are ideologically incapable of spending money they don't have to spend, so that's not going to happen.
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Old 28th April 2020, 04:28 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
For once I agree with you.

I lived in a nation of mostly vegetarians. The emphasis on meat here in the states seems silly to me. Those companies treat their workers like crap, it is a dangerous job to begin with - and our government seems to think that beef is manna from heaven and we'll all die without steak.
The president could shoot someone and not take a hit in the polls.

If the president tries to convince Americans to turn away from beet, then we will see peak Trump for sure.
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Old 28th April 2020, 05:57 PM   #36
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
Yeah, *you* can't eat money. But the cows we drink our milk from still have to eat, farmers still have to buy grain. Dairy farmers aren't getting money to buy grain because demand for milk is way down. The store talker blamed schools not being in session, but that happens every summer---I doubt the dairy farmer reduces his herd every summer. The shipping industry is still going. It's very easy to socially distance when you're alone in a truck for 18 hrs a day. Money can definitely be 'eaten' if it's strategically sent to the right points, which isn't you and while I'd like to have some income right now, it's not me.
What I meant was that right now, animals are being killed, or milk being tossed, and some people say that the obvious solution is to give money to the people who owned the animals as compensation.

Which is all well and good, but it doesn't produce food.

Solutions which result in food being produced, I like.
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Old 28th April 2020, 05:58 PM   #37
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Of course, most of the people currently in charge are ideologically incapable of spending money they don't have to spend, so that's not going to happen.
They'll give it away, but they won't spend it.
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Old 28th April 2020, 06:00 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
The president could shoot someone and not take a hit in the polls.

If the president tries to convince Americans to turn away from beet, then we will see peak Trump for sure.
Not a problem, Americans don't like beet anyway. Or even beetroot. Well, normal Americans.
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Old 28th April 2020, 07:27 PM   #39
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"Great Granddaddy liked beets."
Said to me by my father many times in my childhood.
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Old 29th April 2020, 03:46 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
The situation here is that every year in harvest season many many people from the poorer parts of Europe come for a couple of weeks to do the "dirty" work. This time they had to be flown in.

Today it is raining cats and dogs for the first time since the "lock down" started. Thank heavens!

That’s the case pretty much throughout Europe. It is in fact a very old practice, my grandmother would talk about going down to Kent for a few months to get the crops in so that would be around 1910 onwards.
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