5 ways Corona is disrupting the food industry

I heard on the radio some farms in France have asked unemployed locals to come and pick fruits or harvest produce. In Germany they have made an exception and let eastern Europeans into the country to do this job.

So far no big problems obtaining fresh produce and fruits where I am. Just a shame about all that beer in the pub’s basement I’m not able to drink.

  1. Milk down the drain
  2. Crops go to waste
  3. Not enough workers
  4. Changing our shopping habits
  5. Stock is sitting unused
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As a non-alcohol drinker, genuine question – you can’t just leave beer to sit around for a few months? It’s not like wine where it might age and get better?

We’ve been fairly lucky here in New England/US for fresh produce too. What’s hard to find are frozen veggies because people are hoarding and stocking up. I was not a big user of frozen vegetable or fruit fan anyway, so it hasn’t impacted me. I do see that dairy prices have gone up, but I haven’t heard why. Is it just opportunistic, or have they been hit by other delivery chain issues (cow feed?). Gas/petrol here is at historic lows, because so few are driving.

One of the biggest national meat processors just announced they will have to shut down temporarily because a number of workers at a site have come down COVID-19. This will likely impact the availability of some of the meat products in the future.

There are many types of beer and some need to be consumed as fresh as possible. Even in bottle, IPA has shelf life of maximum 3 months.

The beers mentioned in the article are the type served on tap and can’t be kept fresh for long.

There’s a shortage of flour everywhere apparently. Many people take up baking in lockdown.

The Counter (formerly The Food Economy):

Covid-19 has closed major meat plants across the U.S. What happens to farmers, livestock, prices, and supply? Your questions, answered.

excerpt from about the middle of the page:

We’ve bred farm animals to grow really, really fast. Eight or ten years ago, a 300-pound pig was a big pig—big enough that it was hard to slaughter, Franke says. Now, 300 pounds is a normal pig size, but if a pig that size is left on a farm for a month, it’ll swell to 400 pounds. At that point, it may be too heavy for the slaughterhouse lines. To make matters worse, most of the added weight is back fat, which is not a marketable cut of meat, and typically gets thrown out. Keeping an animal around is a costly proposition for a farmer, and the extra time does not equate to extra profit.


I’m not sure it’s hoarding. I think it represents all the people who don’t know how to cook.

Late to the party… there are some beers that can improve with bottle age, but mostly they slowly decline after bottling (just as overwhelming majority of wines do, for that matter), though a few “months” usually won’t have a noticeable impact on bottled beer as long as it’s kept cool-ish and especially away from light… (Of course, some beer drinkers/connoisseurs/geeks would argue that bottling  most beer at all compromises its flavor from the outset, but that’s a rabbit-hole unto itself…)

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