When this is all said and done - and who knows when that will be - what lessons will we have learned?
For instance, what will we have learned about food security?
What do the empty grocery store shelves tell us?
When it was just toilet paper, we all chuckled a bit at the absurdity of it (at the same time as we were buying up as many rolls as we could find).
But then came shortages in things that were more existential - like meat.
Last week, my daughter texted me from New Haven to "send meat" to her and her boyfriend. “There’s no meat here!” she wrote.
We saw it in a spike in our business. New customers from places as far away as Ohio and as close as Dover-Foxcroft went online and ordered off our website. I got calls from folks as far away as California describing the empty meat counters in their local stores.
Just yesterday (Sunday, March 29) we had our biggest sales in one day ever. We had as many orders in one day as we had in all of January.
What does all of this tell us?
When we rely on factory farms which are operated by huge corporations (many of which are not American), our food supply is at risk. We’ve seen it with our own eyes in the past two weeks.
This is where local farms can contribute to needed change.
This morning I read an article in The American Conservative, titled Our Monoculture Food Supply Is A Potential Coronavirus Calamity.
In the article, writer Gracy Olmstead says:
“If we could relieve some of that pressure and uncertainty by bolstering local markets and farm sales, it would both increase Americans’ peace of mind and help build resiliency into our food system.”
Read the article here.
Changing the food supply infrastructure doesn’t require big government studies and new policies.
The way to change it is one family at a time - making choices about how each of us sources the food we feed our families.
I hope when this is all said and done, that everyone won’t just flock back to the big grocery chains for all of their food. Maybe folks will have discovered the local farm alternative - and it will become a way of life.
As to toilet paper, I don’t see a “local toilet paper” thing happening anytime soon. The big stores will still have that.
Be healthy and safe.
- DAN KAPLAN