The food supply system in America is under jeopardy.
It is critical that no one else controls our food supply in order to maintain it consistent and affordable for all families. When another country has power over your food, it has authority over you. Our leaders recognized this concern and implemented risk management techniques and initiatives to ensure that no American goes hungry as a result of foreign interference.
Foreign governments, on the other hand, have been investing in our food supply chain for years, buying up the chemical and fertilizer industries that enable American agriculture. They have brought vulnerability into the food supply systems that Americans rely on by purchasing processing plants. China is currently purchasing millions of acres of property across the United States, following the same strategy it has employed in other nations for years.
While Americans have become aware of China’s military expansion and global grab for crucial resources, we have failed to recognize our country’s strategic weakness when it comes to food security.
The meat sector is a good illustration of this. The beef processing business has concentrated over time into four mega-packers that currently control 85 percent of the beef supply in the United States.
This is detrimental for competition and results in increased grocery store pricing. Consider that two of these firms are headquartered in Brazil, one of which being JBS Foods. When JBS was hacked in May of last year, 20 percent of America’s beef supply fell offline in an instant. That is a strategic flaw that should not exist.
At a time when basic necessities like petroleum, semiconductors, and even baby formula are in limited supply, the American people have every right to be cautious and seek explanations regarding the occurrences that have forced food factories to close. Americans want to know that their leaders are concerned about food system disruptions, from foreign involvement to fires to shortages.
South Dakota invested in local manufacturing facilities. At the national level, we need more of these common-sense protective measures.
People are far closer to major food shortages in America than we realize. Our next problem will be food security, and it may already be here.