U.S. Food Supply Chains May Be in Jeopardy if Economy Remains Closed for Too Long


Toilet paper shortages may soon be the least of America’s worries.

According to some experts, the ongoing national shutdown may put various links in the food supply chain at risk.

While the American people won’t be facing total food shortages, Andrew Novakovic, a professor of agricultural economics, warned that food selection may be greatly reduced.

“It’s fairly likely we’re going to be eating more canned foods and have less fresh fruits and vegetables available,” he told CNN.

While Americans may not be starving anytime in the near future, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any dire consequences.

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In the many weeks since the nationwide shutdown, some food processors have been forced to close down their facilities.

Over a dozen meatpacking plants have closed across the country, including many of the country’s top food manufacturers.

Smithfield Foods announced in an April 12 news release that its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facility will be closing indefinitely. The facility “is one of the largest pork processing facilities in the U.S., representing four to five percent of U.S. pork production,” according to the release.

On Sunday, Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson put out full-page ads warning of a supply chain breakdown following the shutdown of multiple Tyson plants.

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“The food supply chain is breaking,” Tyson wrote.

“Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation,” he added.

Tyson’s ominous prediction may be coming true. Many farmers are facing dire consequences as a result of the nationwide shutdown.

David Preisler, CEO of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, told the International Business Times that as many as 200,000 pigs were likely to be euthanized in the state.

Additionally, The Des Moines Register reported that Iowa farmers may be forced to destroy thousands of pigs as well as many of their laying hens.

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According to Business Insider, millions of pounds of food are being wasted as farmers are forced to destroy their crops and pour thousands of gallons of milk down the drain.

With the economy still shut down, these food supply chain issues will likely continue to worsen.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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