The COVID-19 pandemic since late 2019 comes along with a variety of multi-faceted global crises with far-reaching detrimental impacts on the food industry across the globe. The global food system has witnessed a major disruption of food supply at local and international levels during the wake of lockdowns which affected the pricing, quality, and availability of healthy food. The pandemic resulted in lower wages and incomes which put healthy food products out of reach for the poorer segments of the society due to the higher food prices which have given rise to hunger and malnourishment. With the increasing risks of changing climate change patterns and population growth, the potential threats of the pandemic are food insecurity and the uncertain conditions in social development and global economy (HLPE, 2020). During the pandemic, the dietary shifts and the increasing demand for staple food in various regions of the world have destabilized the local food supply chains which resulted in local and global food insecurity.
One of the major struggles government of the United States and across the country faced during the trying times of the pandemic was the prevention of contaminated staple food. Therefore, the global food system along with governmental and non-governmental organizations focuses mainly on keeping away the staple food from pesticide residues, heavy metal ions, and mycotoxins. Farmers because of inadequate resources to bring the food staple to markets including the facility of cold storage could not sell what they have cultivated which led to a sharp decline in the availability of the food staple such as potatoes, fresh fruits, and dairy products globally. Food security is also plagued by the shortage of foodstuffs due to the policies of self-isolation imposed during the pandemic lockdowns as farmers were unable to cultivate and trade the foodstuffs because they might be infected or restricted to travel across countries. (HLPE, 2020)
In the nutshell, it is evident that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed serious threats to the global food system in terms of the availability and quality of food. However, the combined global forces should come hand in hand at the forefront to combat the serious negative challenges of the pandemic regarding global food insecurity.
HLPE. (2020). Impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition: developing effective policy responses to address the hunger and malnutrition pandemic. Policy Brief, 24.