The past few weeks, we have heard a lot about social distancing and avoiding unnecessary human touch to help flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. It’s good to know the food itself is very safe due to the high standards Canada implements in our food system. Many of the foods in the grocery store actually had very little to no human contact.
Let’s start with a loaf of bread:
The wheat is harvested with a combine where the machine separates the seeds from the rest of the plant. From here it is loaded into a wagon pulled by a tractor or loaded into a truck. The wheat is then hauled long distances to a grain elevator where it will be unloaded into augers and conveyors to be stored in large grain bins. Small tests are taken to ensure the wheat is up to food quality standards and these can even be done by machines!
Once the wheat seeds are in the grain elevators and have been dried or sold, they are again loaded onto a truck to be taken to either an Ontario flour mill or loaded onto a train or ship to be exported around the world.
For the Ontario destined wheat, it will be delivered to a flour mill where augers and conveyors will take it into the mill, where machines will clean and mill the wheat into flour. Then the ready flour is again loaded onto a truck using augers/conveyors before the flour is delivered to the bread-making factories, where the flour will be made into a loaf of bread. Packaged and sealed into the wrappings, the bread will then be taken to a grocery store- where you and I will buy that loaf of bread to take home to our families.
Not many places for the human touch in this process right?
I feel like people have either embraced modern technology when it comes to growing and producing our food, or they have rejected the concepts preferring “natural” and basic concepts. But, in times like today where we are told to stay away from one other for the better health and safety of our society, its assuring to know that not only is our food in good supply, but that the process itself is very safe. A lot of these moving parts is tested and regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure the food my family grows in the fields, meets the food quality standards I, (and many others) demand in the grocery stores.