In a world where we can't count on the traditional news outlets to keep us informed, we turn instead to social media. If something is shared enough then we think there must be some validity to it.
That's why I couldn't ignore all the stories about American food processing plants mysteriously catching fire--taking on serious damage. There are several such events for this year alone, including
Taylor Farms food (1) processing plant in Salinas, California w (2), the factory makes salad mixed, and reports say a spark from somebody welding launched a spark that led to a over 2000 workers evacuated because there was a lot of ammonia on site. In a public statement the company says it plans to rebuild the site and reopen by Spring, of next year. The site prepared bags of salads for schools and similar bulk client orders.
Similar destruction occured in Oregon at Azure Standard Food (3) processors as well as Shearers Food Processors, at one site over 200 employees laid off after a mysterious fire of unknown origins destroyed the headquarters. The company released a statement saying they will re-open next year. Interestingly, the focus of this company was and is being a "premier" dealer of organic and healthy foods. As of this reading the cause is under investigation. Both separate companies had sites destroyed by fires. One in the month of February and the other this month.
Moving on, a product we all recognize, Nestle-owned Hot Pockets.(4) Well, turns out last month a fire closed one of their Hot Pocket Factores in Jonesboro Arkansas.
A few days ago New York Post reports a plant crashed into a Georgia General Mills plant, and what followed was a fire. I wasn't able to find if any damage occurred to the plant. (5)
There are several more incidents of fires at large food processing facilities that took place last year in 20-21 as well.
So what does this all mean? My first instinct was to ask just how many food processing facilities there are in this country. According to the USDA, there are over 36 thousand food processing sites.
I don't want to speculate because this is such a serious topic I would rather let the events do the talking.
Take Mr. Biden seriously when his administration warns that there are going to be food shortages. (7)
Anyway, when possible I always try to keep these talks Humboldt focused. While we dont exactly know what is going on with the nations food supply, maybe it is more fragile than we think. Maybe its time for Humboldt entreprenuers to try their hand at making premium foods and veggies. Of course we already have some great food producers already, but more, now would be a really good idea, especially if the stories of food processing fires are going to continue this year.