Grab some tin foil because robots may be coming to a meat processing facility near you…
(by Half Dollar) Just as the supply chain for toilet paper has been disrupted, so to has the supply chain for fresh meat, and that supply chain is becoming more and more disrupted by the day.
So much so, that President Trump even signed an Executive Order last week which, when read in its entirety and taking the cross references into account, amounts to what can only be called nationalization of the food supply:
Of course, at best, government only makes things much more expensive than they need be (see healthcare, education), so I’m not exactly sure how adding government-induced problems on top of natural supply and demand problems will help, but then again, I also feel the best thing for the government to do is nothing, and let the free market sort it out, but that’s not the type of government we have, so for now, we’ll see if the meat crisis gets better or worse next week.
Honest Question: If there does end up being more severe disruptions in the nation’s meat supply, when we “open up America again”, how exactly are restaurants going to stay in business in this new reality of forced social distancing requirements along with the added costs for increased cleaning, sanitizing and PPE, all the while half to three-fourths of the menu items are unavailable because the restaurant can’t get the meat in any sufficient quantity?
Who exactly is going to eat out in that environment again?
Somebody will say, “but there are two supply chains, so your honest question is moot”, and to that, I’d say that I’m about to blow that argument out of the water in a later article about toilet paper, my prior experience in dealing directly with the USDA, and the supply chain, so be on the look-out for that article later today or tomorrow.
Regardless, I ask that honest question because McDonald’s is putting their restaurants on rationing.
From MSN (only two days ago):
McDonald’s is temporarily changing how restaurants get their supply of beef and pork, as the U.S. faces potential meat shortages due to slaughterhouse closures.
McDonald’s has put items including burger patties, bacon, and sausage on controlled allocation. That means the company’s supply chain will send restaurants meat shipments based on calculated demand across the system, as opposed to the usual practice of management ordering the amount believed will be needed.
And it’s not just the commercial chain restaurants that are rationing meat either.
Anybody who shops online and has groceries delivered will likely have seen purchase limits.
And even when the items say they’re in stock, when the time comes to fill your order, well, there’s no such luck:
That’s with “substitution” allowed too, meaning, if Walmart doesn’t have the particular package of ground beef I added to my cart (the 2.25 pound, 80% meat, 20% fat), then they will substitute that package of ground beef for whatever package(s) of ground beef is/are available (because I’ll take anything).
And in my experience, Walmart is very generous when it comes to substitution as one time I ordered fresh beef chorizo and they sent me fresh pork chorizo instead.
So to not be able to substitute my ground beef for any ground beef?
OK, “Hey Half Dollar, you idiot, this is anectdotal evidence and your one-off bad luck isn’t reprentative of the nation as a whole!”.
You mean kinda how there was, and is, no N-95 mask shortage?
Anyway, from what I see, read and hear, I’d say my experience is commonplace.
Which brings me to my next point: A lot of the problems with the meat supply chain are stemming from the fact that there have been several outbreaks at several meat processing facilities throughout the country.
The problems have been steady, and they’ve been persistent.
Here’s an example, reported on in the middle of April:
Suffice to say, this supply chain disruption has been brewing for some time.
Which brings us to what’s being reported in the MSM about the problems in the meat processing plants, and more importantly, how the solutions are likely to be implemented:
That article, among other things, showcases robotic meat production.
One of the interesting things about the video in that article is that it was made three years ago:
Suffice to say robotics has advanced in the last three years.
Which brings me to the tin foil I asked you to bring along.
No, it’s not for sneaking out some ribeye in your pants.
It’s for wearing, because I just have to ask, in a dystopian world, would people be cool with working in human slaughterhouses?
I don’t think so, but I bet a robot would have no qualms.
They said micro-chipping dogs was for your convenience.
And now, how convenient that robots will be processing our meat.
Which brings to mind a “hamburger” I once ate at around 3:00 a.m. on a street near the Angel de la Independencia.
You know, the one on the Mexican Libertad.
To this day, I have no idea what it was that I actually ate.
But I do know this: It wasn’t no dang hamburger!
Finally, if it’s true that America’s turning Venezuela, then this is what we will have to look forward to before it’s all over:
Either way, be it Soylent Green or Venezuela, you might want to stock up on some strong spices while they’re still available.
The stronger, the better.
Editor’s Note: A classic: