Fresh Produce and Milk Go to Waste Even as People Need Food Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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Tollgate farm employee Dave Schillawski milks cows at Tollgate farm on January 17, 2020 in Ancramdale, New York.  (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Even as food banks are seeing more demand than ever, some California farmers are dumping milk and letting produce rot. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted how we eat and in turn, how food is distributed. The closure of many restaurants, venues, and schools is leaving many food suppliers with excess perishables. Meanwhile, retailers and food banks are scrambling to keep food in stock. We talk with experts about how California’s food supply chain has been disrupted, how it’s adapting, and what to expect in the months to come.


Susie Cagle, west coast climate and environment reporter, Guardian US

Dan Sumner, professor of agricultural and resource economics, UC Davis

Marcus Bendetti, Chairman and CEO, Clover Sonoma

Elizabeth Balkan, director of food waste, Natural Resources Defense Council