In any kind of system, when things change, it's ideal for it to be flexible, to bend and not break and make a fast correction when needed. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the farming industry found out during the pandemic that the U.S. food system, as is, is not terribly flexible and does not react well to changes in food consumption. He recently commented before the House Ag Committee that during the heart of the pandemic, consumption patterns moved from a 50/50 split between restaurant and home food consumption to 60%, or more, of our meals being eaten at home.

"The rigid nature of packing, of the way in which the food processing industry had, basically, gotten comfortable with that ratio, gotten comfortable with the supply chains that fed that ratio; now a bit of disruption."

And so Vilsack told lawmakers.

"We're going to try and provide more stability in our system."

By developing a system of more local and regional food production, processing and marketing, "that compliments that more rigid, national distribution system; a complimentary system is necessary."

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