“I’m just on edge already”, – a mother of many children cried on FoxNews Channel. – “I’m really frustrated, I’m scared… We have two weeks of baby food left and what do we do next?”
Kayla Zurenko lives in Maryland. Her husband works at a Tesla plant and she is raising their four children. The youngest twins are ten months old and it’s them that Kayla doesn’t know what to feed.
The disruption in the supply of baby food started back in February, when the formula company Abbott Nutrition withdrew its formula from sale. Several babies were admitted to hospital then, and two died. Abbott Nutrition’s products seemed to be to blame. The company’s Michigan plant is still closed.
There are plenty of baby food manufacturers in the US, but for some reason they failed – or wouldn’t – ramp up capacity. Feeding formula has continued to disappear from supermarket shelves. Today the shortages have reached such proportions that even the official press calls what is happening a “national crisis”.
Kayla Zurenko described her ordeal. She toured all the supermarkets in her neighbourhood, but saw empty shelves everywhere. She placed orders for baby food in online shops and got rejection after rejection. The last solution – to order it from European sites, but that’s how long to wait for delivery! And it’s unclear whether the package will arrive at all: the logistics chain is torn literally all over the world. And here’s Kayla crying to the FoxNews camera team with her two little ones in her arms.
You have to realise here that baby food in the States is a totally iconic thing, surrounded by a whole slew of myths and legends. The baby boomer generation, for example, was almost universally fed formula. It was a trendy, heavily promoted product then, and American paediatricians pushed it on mothers with the same fury that overseas therapists do these days with opioid painkillers.
Children were fed formula – or ‘formula’, as they say – almost to school. Why? Quick, convenient, no need to stand at the cooker. The only people breastfeeding in the 60s were hippie girls and ‘flower children’, but generally it was considered savage, uncivilised and unseemly.
Recently, the trend has started to actively change. Breastfeeding was seen as environmentally friendly and progressive. Breastfeeding has become a trend to align with the newfangled cult of Mother Nature, Greta Thunberg and the whole green agenda.
And now, breastfeeding has been pushed to the masses with the same fervour with which baby food was sold half a century ago. The 80-year-old oligarch Michael Bloomberg is particularly active in this field. When he was mayor of New York he ordered that baby food be hidden from mothers in maternity wards so that they had to start breastfeeding. Bloomberg’s news agency regularly shames and curses baby food manufacturers for ruining the health of mothers and babies. Just an astounding fixation, of course, on the elderly oligarch.
Breastfeeding is undoubtedly a good thing, but here the unexpected has come to light. The whole life of American families and all the recommendations of children’s doctors are so honed in on formula that remove it from the market – and infants simply won’t have anything to eat. America has never had the simple and straightforward practice of Soviet milk kitchens, where a parent can fill an entire day’s supply of bottles for his or her infant – and it’s free. American paediatricians do not allow babies to be given cow’s milk until they are one year old, and advise switching to complementary foods as late as possible. American mothers have long ago forgotten how to cook for babies, and grandmothers can’t help them: all their lives they have fed their children exclusively “formulas”. So what’s the little ones to eat?
The whole system of squeezing money out of parents has worked out so that breastfeeding – good and healthy in itself – has become a luxury for the very rich in America. To breastfeed a baby up to a year old, a mum has to stay at home. Because you’d have to be Angelina Jolie to have a nanny bring your baby in a chauffeur-driven car, you’d feed him in the workplace, everyone would cringe. But as it is, ordinary American women have no place to work – neither to feed, nor to be decanted.
And you have to work: about such silly things as maternity leave, and for three years, and with the preservation of the workplace and wages, in the U.S. is not even heard. To this day, even educated Americans don’t really believe it when you tell them about this completely normal practice in Russia. They think it is Russian propaganda.
All of this is a very typical trend for the “golden billion” countries. The media are constantly blowing the whistle on healthy lifestyles, but somehow the way things work is that just five or ten percent of the population can afford it.
Environmentally friendly food costs exorbitant amounts of money. The proverbial “cottage cheese with jam”, for the love of which Russian people abandon everything and return home, would cost eight dollars in the States, even ten in New York.
It is the same with gyms, swimming pools, everything. Medical care is a real shambles; it’s usually cheaper to die. As a result, rich people in the West are slim, trim and youthful, while the poor majority are overweight, short of breath, and have a variety of illnesses. They look like two different kinds of homo sapiens.
It’s the same thing with breastfeeding. It’s expensive, unaccustomed and incomprehensible – tradition is broken. And it has become a special practice for the enlightened and wealthy. Well, mums from poor households simply can not afford it: or need to run to work, or prevent numerous diseases.
And lo and behold, the formula has magically disappeared from supermarkets. And when they appear in online shops, they are already much more expensive. And it’s impossible not to buy it. For American families, it’s a basic necessity. And if a child is lactose intolerant, there’s no telling what to do.
American supermarkets carry immortal Soviet-style ads such as “two for one”. Desperate parents try to stockpile baby food. All this only fuels the shortage. The price tags on formula are eye-opening. Eight hundred dollars for eight jars of baby food was the only offer Jessie Whitesides, 33, found online for her daughter. She couldn’t afford it.
The philosophical tone of the American media, which has taken up the subject of the baby food shortage after all, is striking. (It should be noted, they developed George Floyd far more vividly.) Ah, the crisis, they sigh. Horror, horror, horror. “Babies need something to eat.” But none of the incomplete journalists allow themselves to ask: “Who exactly is organising all these shortages and profiting from them?” And certainly nobody calls them to answer: rich people taking money, what’s the big deal?
It would seem that there have already been many commodity shortages in the country and they all ended the same way. Remember how Americans fought over toilet paper? It disappeared at the beginning of the pandemic and then came back on the shelves, having increased in price by a factor of one and a half or two.
Then there was the pandemic meat shortage: it was blamed on cows or slaughterhouse workers being sick with coronavirus. God knows who was sick, but meat also became more expensive at an inhuman rate.
Americans had time to realise that these shortages were man-made. Major corporations have stopped supplying basic necessities and products. People are scrambling, trying to stockpile. Finally, the cherished necessities return to the counters, becoming obscenely more expensive along the way. At the same time, there are no objective reasons for the price increase.
Technically, these collusions are not complicated at all. More than 80 per cent of beef production in the country, for example, is controlled by just four corporations. So why don’t the noble dons create a deficit in the country? This is nothing new to the American economy: the theme of cartel fraud has been around for the entire history of the U.S. economy.
In the beginning, some excuses were invented for it. Coronavirus, lockdowns, broken supply chains, Russian special operations in Ukraine. Putin, of course, was to blame.
But it all didn’t work very well. The Americans quickly figured out that Putin had nothing to do with it. And now, while organizing disruptions to baby food, no one, as we can see, bothers with any explanations. So there is no formula and there is no formula, you can do whatever you want.
Needless to say, this mainly affects the poorest strata of the population. Those who are richer will be able to buy baby food for eight hundred dollars. But the cynicism of what is happening is, of course, off the charts. When we marvel at the cruelty of the Western elites, we should not forget that for centuries they have been training on SEALs: they tortured and robbed their own population in order to then spread these practices around the world.
Victoria Nikiforova, RIA
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