As a British child of the 1980s, my diet largely consisted of oven chips, fish fingers, cheese on toast and slices of cucumber.

Fruit was apples, plums and berries in the summer. There was no sign of pineapples or mangos unless they were tinned. And not even in a tin would you find the likes of such Millennial staples as almond milk and avocados.

Food was simpler, seasonal, far less varied and way more localized.

In the same vein, most people rarely traveled farther than their car or a train would take them. Planes were the remit of the wealthy and I didn't leave the UK until I was 14 years old, and then it was on a a ferry to the closest possible western coast of France.

The explosion of the budget airline industry changed all that. Suddenly people could afford to travel to foreign climes and sample foreign food. And with that came a huge increase in hold space on passenger flights and almost overnight, the supply and demand cycle for imported food was born.

The shift quite literally opened up a whole new world for food producers, creating new markets where customers were more eager and prices were better.

It no longer mattered that everyone in your local town was fed up with your kiwis. There was a fresh frontier to be conquered.

Today, particularly in the West, most people's meals come from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, as cheap mass production in developing world countries economizes the supply chain.

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This has not only done huge damage to the environment, but it has also made the very same supply chains fragile and tempermental, and hugely susceptible to disruption from global events such as politics and pandemics.

While road transport of a lorryload of apples may be delayed in a lockdown scenario, it will make it intact to supermarkets within a certain radius. A containerful of fresh fish reliant on airfrieght, on the other hand, is a very different story.

While there are certainly ways around the problem, as many of the world's seafood exporters have found, they come with additional costs and present pressing questions over the long-term economic viability of long-distance food transport.

If anything is becoming apparent in this shocking new world we have entered, it is that the effects of this global disaster will last way beyond lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Aside from killing huge amounts of people and bringing economies and industries to their knees, this virus heralds a huge and uncomfortable question mark that hangs ominously over the runaway train of mass consumerism that has enveloped the world.

With such unwieldy reliance on export markets, disruption in any form -- political, logistical, biological -- creates a major problem. Just ask Indian shrimp farmers who are now desperately trying to conjour up a domestic market for their product as they watch the US foodservice industry collapse. Or Chinese tilapia farmers, Vietnamese pangasius producers, Canadian lobster catchers. They have all seen the export markets they built an empire on disappear overnight and have been left gazing into an abyss of growing biomass and stacked cold storage.

Globalization has been a hoot. It has created vast opportunity for experiences, trade and progress, but an animal-borne virus has ripped away its veil of excitement and revealed a dark underbelly of vulnerability and chaos.

We were an animal designed to progress and internationalize and I am certainly not of the mind that we should retreat to the dark ages and build walls, but what we do need to do is take a sizable step back and examine every part of how our consumer environment operates and why.

For seafood, and all food production, I have no doubt that means finding markets closer to home, to stabilize and secure supply chains and protect the environment we have so wantonly been destroying.

There is still a place for exports, of course, but they should be in addition to local supply, not instead of, and costs should be factored in for offsetting carbon footprint. The days of cheap imported food must end to be replaced with a more conscientious view towards responsible nutrition of communities and environment.

And far from being a backwards step, now is the time new technologies can truly shine, enabling production of food close to markets with traceability, biosecurity and opportunities for a colorful and varied diet produced on our doorsteps.

The coronavirus may have narrowed our playing field, but have no doubt that the playing field we are left with is full of wealth and opportunity.

Have an opinion? Please let me know!