Food (In)security: Are Farms The Next Terrorist Target?
via Modern Farmer.
I’m about an hour away from the Kansas State University where the Biosecurity Research Institute is located. The facility performs research on both plant and animal pathogens. We’ve heard a lot about bioterrorism, the building of the BRI was a hot topic here.
Who really wants to have a biological research facility in their backyard? Just one little leak, one little bug gets loose… what happens?
I’ve lived most of my life in Kansas. I’ve seen where our corn, wheat, soybeans, potatoes, beef, chicken and pork all come from. I’ve seen cows grazing and cows being fed in feedlots. Train track run along side most of the grain elevators, semi-truck coming and going all day and night during harvest season.
Our family has raised our own meat. I’ve watched food go from field to freezer and from freezer to table. I’m not one of those people who thinks food just comes from the grocery store. I know where it comes from – Farmers.
Even without reading the article I knew what it was likely to say. Our food supply isn’t safe, there is very little security in the food chain. It may sound crazy, but it is true. It wouldn’t take poisoning our food supply or creating some bio-hazard to cause problems. Just interrupt this supply chain. How long will the food supply in your grocery store last without restocking? 30 days? 20 days? 10, 5? Perhaps only 3 days.
When gas prices rise, food prices rise. Supply and demand. What would happen if a grain elevator is damage, destroyed or just breaks down? What about storage facilities for milk? This past week I paid nearly $4 for a gallon of milk and $2.779 for gas. What would happen if the supply chain for either is interrupted? Cost will go up. Interrupt the corn supply – both milk and gas cost will go up.
Supply and demand.
Everyday I see where our food comes from, I can walk down the road past cows, corn and wheat. I can reach out and touch the plants. No big protective fences, no security check points – just fields of food. Cows walk just a few yards from the road. Life goes on…
Don’t think that our food supply is in danger, then think about the past problems we’ve seen with salad and cantaloupes. Machines that didn’t get cleaned, water run off, sewage contaminating the fields. Poor oversight and bad management caused these problems.
For me it isn’t a matter of farms being the next terrorist target… it is when.