Supply Chain

Grocery Store

This will be difficult to articulate, because it’s another of those things that folks tend to take completely for granted.

It’s also difficult to put the appreciation into words without coming across as arrogant or condescending. My intent, of course, is neither.

Unless you get your groceries from a grower at a farmer’s market — or directly from the farm, for that matter — it’s easy to overlook the miracle your grocery store represents. Getting food from its origin, sometimes half way around the planet, to a shelf from which you can purchase it, is an amazing and intricate machine of commerce and interdependence.

Farmers, farm workers, canners and packagers, shippers, inspectors, truck drivers, store workers, clerks … the list is an amazing litany of people who work as part of the long chain that makes it all happen.

Add to that the infrastructure each depends on — from the roads and highway systems the truckers use, as well as the very trucks they drive, to the electrical and technological infrastructure that allows me to visit a well lit and comfortable store and pay with a mere tap of my smartphone — well, you can see, it’s an amazingly complex, yet generally extremely efficient and well functioning system.

And that’s just food! Consider that there are so many other areas of life¬†we take for granted. Things our ancestors would simply marvel at. Electricity, entertainment options, transportation, telephones, running water, even indoor plumbing all represent an amazing evolution of infrastructure, cooperation, and advancement that just boggles the mind.

Well, it at least boggles my mind when I take the time to appreciate it all.

I’m grateful not just for the results, but for the people behind all the things that make modern life what it is, often without getting the credit they really deserve.