clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why American farmers are throwing out tons of milk

The coronavirus supply chain problem, explained through milk.

Ranjani Chakraborty is a lead video producer on the Vox video team and the creator behind Vox’s history series, Missing Chapter.

As the coronavirus continues to alter nearly every aspect of American life, on US farms it’s led to the widespread destruction of fresh food. This is happening at a time when millions of Americans are dealing with a growing hunger crisis. It’s all because of a massive breakdown in the food supply chain.

Take milk, for example. Since so many schools and businesses have closed due to lockdowns, dairy farmers across the country who make products for the food service industry have nowhere to send their milk. That means crates of school milk cartons with nowhere to go and 40-pound blocks of cheese with no restaurants that need them. The surplus product has led to dairy farmers dumping millions of gallons of milk.

In the video above, US dairy farmers help explain why it’s not easy to redirect supply that was going to schools and businesses to grocery stores or food banks instead. And whether it’s milk, onions, or eggs, we explore why the coronavirus supply chain problem won’t be an easy fix.

You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. If you’re interested in supporting our video journalism, you can become a member of the Vox Video Lab on YouTube.