Thanks to the Food System

Somehow, we have made our way to Thanksgiving 2020. A week that ushers in the holiday season, sets forth many family traditions and brings awareness to everyone to give thanks for the many blessings that life has bestowed upon them. Although it may look a little different for your family this year, I hope the chaos of 2020 does not over shadow the goodness in your life. I know this year I am grateful for many things but I hope everyone will remember to give thanks to our farmers and our food system, for filling our tables and bellies each and every day.

I can smell the holiday meals cooking, roasted turkey, spiraled ham, shucky beans, creamed corn and oh my, the sweets! Big meals are a tradition in my family and it seems like each person has their signature side for Thanksgiving and Christmas. As we gather this year, socially distanced, virtually or in person, we thank each other for the food that makes the meal. I hope we can also thank the folks behind the recipe; the farmers, the producers and the supply chain. This year has been hard on us all but its been especially hard for our food system.

Earlier in the year, as Covid-19 reared its ugly head, we saw a major breakdown in our food system. It became apparent how integral each and every part is to keep this system functioning as a whole. Cruise lines shut down, vegetable producers through-out the south plowed crops under as their market had closed, packing houses shut down due to government mandates and left market ready livestock with nowhere to go, grocery store shelves emptied, meat was rationed and it became clear that for our food system to work, each and every part has to function in unison. In a normally volatile market, this made things even more uncertain for producers, many suffered great loses but still persevered to put food on your table this holiday season.

So, as you enjoy your delicious holiday meals, thank aunt Susie for her deviled eggs and uncle Mark for that tremendous rib roast but also please give thanks to the farmer, the processor, the warehouse worker, the truck drivers, and all the folks behind the scenes It’s these folks that work hand and hand to keep us fed, keep our refrigerators full, and our grocery stores stocked. Happy Holidays Y’all!!!