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It all started, for me, with The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973.
It was a genuine panic, with shoppers wiping the shelves clean of TP (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) and even driving to the next town in search of more. We didn’t learn until later that it started with a Johnny Carson joke on the Tonight Show. Even though Carson apologized and the Scott Paper Co. ran ads showing its factories in full production, the panic continued; it took manufacturers three weeks to restock shelves.
Ever since, I’ve wondered about the food supply chain. If one joke could upend the system, imagine what energy shortages, transportation problems and terrorist attacks or war could do. And it doesn’t make sense that we buy meat or produce transported here from other states or other countries, when New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers are trying to survive.
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