COVID-19 lockdown = Auto-genocide? Food shortages likely as US farmers dump food
In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers
are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure
pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge ditches to bury 1 million pounds of
onions. And in South Florida, a region that supplies much of the Eastern
half of the United States with produce, tractors are crisscrossing bean
and cabbage fields, plowing perfectly ripe vegetables back into the
After weeks of concern about shortages in grocery stores and mad scrambles to find the last box of pasta or toilet paper roll, many of the nation's largest farms are struggling with another ghastly effect of the pandemic. They are being forced to destroy tens of millions of pounds of fresh food that they can no longer sell.
The closing of restaurants,
hotels and schools has left some farmers with no buyers for more than
half their crops. And even as retailers see spikes in food sales to
Americans who are now eating nearly every meal at home, the
increases are not enough to absorb all of the perishable food that was
planted weeks ago and intended for schools and businesses.
The amount of waste is staggering. The nation's largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, estimates that farmers
are dumping as many as 3.7 million gallons of milk each day. A single
chicken processor is smashing 750,000 unhatched eggs every week.
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