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

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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.

Should the government be taking steps to reopen the economy as soon as possible?

“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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