Stop Yanking My Food Chain

In Sam Kinison’s most famous bit, the late comedian joked that people starving in certain regions around the world need to “move to where the food is.” During the pandemic, the biggest challenge for farmers and meat puppet masters is to move the food where the people are. “A series of shocks has exposed weak links in our food chain that threaten to leave grocery shelves as patchy and unpredictable as those in the former Soviet bloc. The very system that made possible the bounty of the American supermarket—its vaunted efficiency and ability to ‘pile it high and sell it cheap’—suddenly seems questionable, if not misguided. But the problems the novel coronavirus has revealed are not limited to the way we produce and distribute food. They also show up on our plates, since the diet on offer at the end of the industrial food chain is linked to precisely the types of chronic disease that render us more vulnerable to Covid-19.” In The New York Review of Books, Michael Pollan spoon-feeds you the facts about the American food chain’s fork in the road: The Sickness in Our Food Supply. “The food system we have is not the result of the free market. (There hasn’t been a free market in food since at least the Great Depression.) No, our food system is the product of agricultural and antitrust policies—political choices—that, as has suddenly become plain, stand in urgent need of reform.”

+ WaPo: April saw the sharpest increase in grocery store prices in nearly 50 years.

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