According to a recent New York Times article, 80% of beef consumed in the US is slaughtered by four companies, 75% of the precut salads are processed by two companies, and 30% of the milk is processed by one company.
The article points out that because the food processing and livestock industries in America are so centralized, it would be super-easy to attack (and completely disrupt) the food distribution chain.
What would happen if it actually was targeted? Increased imports of chilean oranges and costa rican bananas does not sound as if it would fill the holes in the food chain or in our stomachs. Foreign fruit does not a sustainable food supply make.
Sadly, neither do locally produced foods - for the moment, anyway.
Imagine if we all suddenly had to live according to the rules of J.B. Mackinnon and Alisa Smith (they of the 100 mile diet that was so ably pointed out to me by both Jordan and Simone). This is the couple who decided to eat only foods from within 100 miles of their home in BC for a whole year. They discovered that they couldn't use sugar or most grains in their cooking. They also had trouble buying meat from locally-raised livestock, since the feed was usually brought in from miles away.
Now imagine that it's not our deliberate choice choice to do this kind of thing and we're all forced to try and figure it out all at once because we actually can't truck in most of the foods we usually do as the result of a massive disruption in the food supply chain.
We'd be completely screwed.
...add one more point to the "eating locally" scoreboard, if you please...
Thanks Simone, for the link!