You might have heard about the deadly E. coli outbreak in Europe over the past month or so. It hasn’t affected the UK much yet, so I haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention. However, I just stumbled across an outstanding article about it. The story isn’t the disease: it’s our food system.
The seeds took a tortuous path. That initial shipment — which was immense, 15,000 kg (33,000 lbs) — was containerized at the port of Damietta in Egypt, shipped by boat to Antwerp in Belgium, went by barge to Rotterdam in the Netherlands where it passed customs, and then was trucked to Germany. There, an importer broke up the shipment:
If you have 5 minutes, read the article. I promise it’s worth it. It’ll give you an appreciation of the sheer scale of our food supply system. This is for fenugreek; there are similar supply chains for thousands of other products. Staggering. Immense. Complex.