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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, May 08, 2020

The United States faces a major meat shortage due to virus infections at processing plants. It means millions of pigs could be put down without ever making it to table. This is what the predicament looks like on a Minnesota farm. ... According to the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, an estimated 10,000 pigs are being euthanised every day in the state. ... [Farmer Mike Boerboom:] "On the same day that we're euthanising pigs - and it's a horrible day - is the same day that a grocery store 10 miles away may not get a shipment of pork. It's just that the supply chain is broken at this point."

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Around the US, 170 meat and poultry processing facilities reported coronavirus cases. According to the CDC, nearly 5,000 workers have fallen ill. At least 45 have died.

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First off it's an issue with corporate mismanagement.

Second, stop killing the livestock until the order is placed. Even if that's how it usual worked, we're not in usual times and we need to stop acting like it is.

#1 | Posted by jpw at 2020-05-08 07:52 PM | Reply

Second, stop killing the livestock until the order is placed.

Unfortunately, its not that easy. These animals need to be fed, and that isn't cheap.

#2 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-05-08 08:19 PM | Reply

This is another covid hoax.

I bought meat today so how can there be a shortage.

Denial is bliss.

#3 | Posted by bored at 2020-05-08 08:45 PM | Reply

"nearly 5,000 workers have fallen ill. At least 45 have died."

Trump likes meatpacking plant workers who don't get sick, okay? The ones who die are great Covid warriors, however! We'll remember them fondly during the upcoming festivities marking the end of social distancing and the invisible enemy's dastardly run!

#4 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-05-08 08:58 PM | Reply

The breaking of the supply chain isn't that surprising, considering the oligopoly of our meat processing industry. Hopefully, we can rebuild a a more diverse and thus resilient food chain when this is all over. And as JPW alluded to, more responsible as well. The realist in me thinks that the government will just bail out Tyson et al. (with zero accountability for sickness and death) and we'll go back to the status quo. But the return of the local butcher is a nice thought!

#5 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-05-08 09:27 PM | Reply

This is all the result of the dismantling of the anti-trust laws when the R's took over the government in 1981. The advantage of recessions and other economic catastrophes is that assets become cheap for people with $billions to vacuum up. As long as the people who run the government (regardless of party) view capital as superior to labor this will not change.

#6 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2020-05-08 11:15 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Unfortunately, its not that easy. These animals need to be fed, and that isn't cheap.

#2 | POSTED BY HORSTNGRABEN

Sure.

How long ago, though, was a slowdown on the horizon and at what age are these animals slaughtered?

Also, like everything else it seems the industry is unprepared for any sort of abnormal condition.

#7 | Posted by jpw at 2020-05-08 11:53 PM | Reply

Also, like everything else it seems the industry is unprepared for any sort of abnormal condition.

#7 | POSTED BY JPW

Because "just-in-time" is so much more efficient and profitable...until it's not.

Long-term planning (i.e., years/decades in the future) is not a feature of capitalism.

#8 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2020-05-09 11:55 AM | Reply

Also, like everything else it seems the industry is unprepared for any sort of abnormal condition.
#7 | Posted by jpw

Absolutely. The food chain in the US is a great application of Network theory, where we have very little complexity so the network breaks due to a disturbance such as COVID.

#9 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-05-09 03:13 PM | Reply

Just a chute from farm to market. No layers of depth. Any disruption and the whole system fails. Holding pens? That's so 19th century.
Feed lots for animals until the orders catch up? Not efficient enough.
Resilience is not built in to our nation's infrastructure. Maybe next time.

#10 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-05-09 10:27 PM | Reply

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