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Interesting Facts About Our Food Supply

What's for dinner?

Many preppers are well aware of the precarious nature of the supply chain that supports our food industry. Recently I found some interesting, if not sad and scary, facts about where our food comes from and how it gets to our table.

  • As of 2005, four companies controlled the processing of over 80% of the country’s beef and three of these same four companies (along with an additional fourth) process over 60% of the country’s pork. 1
  • The four major companies in broiler chicken processing provide over half of the country’s chicken supply. 2
  • Federal health authorities have estimated that foodborne diseases sicken 76 million people, cause 325,000 hospitalizations, and kill 5,000 Americans every year.3
  • Nearly 100 percent of the turkey consumed in America on Thanksgiving Day has been artificially inseminated. 4
  • In 2010, the USDA estimated that 70 percent of U.S. corn acreage was planted with herbicide-tolerant corn and 63 percent had been planted with insect-resistant seeds. 5
  • It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate. 6
  • According to the National Corn Growers Association, about eighty percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production. The crop is fed as ground grain, silage, high-moisture, and high-oil corn. About 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends up in foods that are either consumed directly (e.g. corn chips) or indirectly (e.g. high fructose corn syrup). 7
  • In 2000, United States based farms accounted for over 50% of the world’s soybean production. 8
  • In 1996, for instance, Britain imported more than 114,000 metric tons of milk. Was this because British dairy farmers did not produce enough milk for the nation’s consumers? No, since the UK exported almost the same amount of milk that year, 119,000 tons.” 9
  • The average head of lettuce travels over 2000 miles from farm to market. 10

I wish I could have filed this post under Survival Myths, but unfortunately this one is appears to be true.

Footnotes

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7 Comments on “Interesting Facts About Our Food Supply”

  1. Luke Lichterman Says:

    The food supply chain is fragile, delicately balanced and obsolescent. 1500 miles is a long way for a head of lettuce to travel. Would it be difficult to interrupt the journey?

    Reply

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