WINEKE: Our Food Supply is Safe – Until it Isn’t

Food you’re tossing too early
iStock/Jim Mills
Stores typically follow what their competitors are doing when it comes to determining the use-by date on fresh meat, so going by labels only can be misleading. If frozen, deli meat can last for up to two months, and beef stew meat can be used after nine months in the freezer. Keeping your fridge at between 32 degrees and 34 degrees also gives meat a 50 percent longer shelf life.

A couple of weeks ago Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue stood beside President Trump to assure us that the nation’s food supply is “strong, resilient and safe.”

So I wasn’t surprised earlier this week when the president issued an executive order specifying meat packing plants as essential industries and denying states the right to close those plants for health reasons.

In the meantime, have you looked at the meat sections of your local supermarket?

You have to wonder if anything this administration tells us is even remotely true. In fact, you don’t have to wonder that. You can just assume it isn’t true.

Vice President Mike Pence assured us seven weeks ago that the government was sending out four-million kits to test for the Covid-19 virus that very week. By now we should have tens of millions of test kits available. But we don’t.

Why not? Well, it seems there was a misunderstanding on the part of the press of what the vice president had actually promised.

“There’s a difference between having a test and the ability to actually process the test,” Pence explained.

I guess I was part of the misunderstanding. When the president and vice president talked so confidently of how we were leading the world in the number of tests available I stupidly thought they actually meant our medical teams could actually test people and get results.

It’s no wonder they call it “fake news.” If the press reports what they say you can be pretty sure that it isn’t true.

This week brought reports that more than a million Americans have come down with the Covid-19 virus and more than 60,000 have died.

That, apparently, inspired Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and go-to expert for virtually everything, to say “I think we’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed, so the government, the federal government, rose to the challenge and this is a great success story.”

He also predicted that by July, the economy will be “rocking” once again, which should come as very good news to the 30 million Americans now seeking unemployment insurance.

What is happening in this country is not a “great success story.” I’m not sure there can even be a great success story about an illness that is threatening the lives of millions and destroying economies around the globe.

If the president and his administration even feigned a bit of humility my guess is the American people would cut them a little slack.

But they don’t. They keep making ridiculous promises and then patting themselves on the back for achievements that never occur.