Coronavirus continues to spread around the world. With over 3,000 deaths by the middle of March, the economic and community effects are significant. Food supply and demand is a global network that relies on expectations now disrupted by coronavirus.

Reporting in the Telegraph has found a connection between disease outbreaks and food insecurity brought on by trade disruptions. Particularly among vulnerable populations, including the elderly and the poor, food security is delicate and can be easily upended by a virus outbreak.

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When Ebola hit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, rice prices in Africa increased by 30%. Food prices in China have remained stable, but scientists are looking at downstream effects that could impact food processing plants and spring planting seasons.

The Yakima Valley of Washington, where hundreds of millions of apples are exported from, is already expecting to see economic impacts from the coronavirus. The industry expects demand for fruit crops to be down due to lower grocery store traffic in the coming weeks, as well as disrupted international marketing trips. Keith Hu, international program director for Northwest Cherry Growers, said of the expected changes, ““Getting products to Asia will be difficult,” he said. “Getting consumers to the store will continue to be difficult if it continues to be like this.”

Kevin Chen, Chair Professor of Zhejiang University, Senior Research Fellow of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) East and Central Asia Office, recommended that policymakers monitor food prices closely, restore operations of regional supply chains in China, increased financial support and corresponding policies, global cooperation over food trade and protection of vulnerable groups and migrant workers.

China saw higher food prices in January 2020 than January 2019, due to the effects of coronavirus quarantine, food purchasing and the spread of infection.

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We all play a part in taking care to reduce the spread of the disease. The CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly often, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, staying inside if you’re not feeling well, and avoiding close contact with others.

Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu. 

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

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Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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