Giving Compass' Take:

• There has been an increase in food waste on farms since coronavirus has caused wholesale markets to dry up. 

• The author suggests that help needs to come from both the top and bottom, indicating that governments can intervene to curb food waste and local communities can be more intentional when buying food products. 

• Read more about the impact of COVID-19 on seasonal farmworkers. 

Markets have shrivelled, storage is full, and redistribution networks are lacking, putting farmers in an awful predicament.

For many Americans, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on food security are immediately visible in grocery store aisles, where it's now impossible to find a bag of flour or a package of yeast, and there are limits on the number of canned tomatoes and boxes of pasta you can take home. But that is only the tip of the iceberg; a much bigger food crisis is brewing out of sight, beyond the supermarkets, in the fields and barns where farmers raise crops and animals that normally feed America.

In a heartbreaking turn of events, many farmers are having to destroy the crops they've worked hard to grow because wholesale markets have dried up completely. Countless schools, airlines, restaurants, and hotels are no longer operating, which means orders for fresh produce have been cancelled. Crops that have already been grown according to contracts are being plowed back into the ground to rot, while new ones are being planted simultaneously in hopes that the economy will have restarted by the time they're ready to harvest.

Help needs to come both from the top and the bottom. A governmental strategy to purchase these unsellable crops and redistribute to those in need, perhaps with the aid of the military, which is specialized in logistics, and in a format similar to a CSA box, would be a beneficial situation for everyone involved. Meanwhile, a grassroots, bottom-up response could go a long way, with community members asking themselves which foods are grown or raised locally, reaching out to those providers to buy ingredients, and spreading the word.

Read the full article about food waste due to coronavirus by Katherine Martinko at TreeHugger.