All kidding was pushed aside tonight for one segment of the Daily Social Distancing Show, as Trevor Noah conducted a serious interview with Oklahoma Farmers Union President Scott Blubaugh. He was asked to summarize the state of America’s farming industry and how coronavirus is affecting the food supply.
Blubaugh said that rumors of food and meat shortages have “a complex story,” and related how the distribution system was initially disrupted by excess demand from panicked shoppers, then by institutional buyers like schools and restaurants shuttering.
The final blow was when workers at the meat processing plants began to get sick, owing to their close quarters. “The large corporate centers, those workers work elbow to elbow,” Blubaugh said. “And so when the virus gets in there, it spreads like crazy.”
Blubaugh said that the farmers of America have plenty of livestock and commodities on hand. “The problem is getting it processed.”
He went on to note that alarms have been raised for some time about the fragility of the food distribution system, owing partially to consolidation in the industry through mergers and acquisitions. .
“So it’s just in time delivery,” Blubaugh said. “So when one segment of the food system is broke down – in this case it’s the workers that are getting sick – the whole system is down. Many have expressed concerns about this for a long time.”
Watch the rest of the interview above.
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