Saturday, February 25, 2012

The food rebels

Of the 40,000 food items in a typical U.S. grocery store, over 20,000 are supplied by just 10 corporations.

Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of all U.S. beef, Tyson, Cargill and JBS.

More than 90 percent of soybean seeds and 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold by just one company: Monsanto.

Four companies are responsible for up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain.

And one in four dollars spent on food is at a Walmart.

Raj Patel, activist, academic and author of The Value of Nothing, reflects: "It's hard for us to imagine life without food corporations because they've made our world theirs. Although we think food companies make food for us, in almost every way that matters, we - and our planet - are being transformed to suit food companies. From their marketing to children and exploitation of workers to environmental destruction in search of profit, the food industry represents one of the most profound threats to sustainability we face today."

Vandana Shiva, Indian physicist and internationally renowned activist, adds: "Our food system has been hijacked by corporate giants from the Seed to the table. Seeds controlled by Monsanto, agribusiness trade controlled by Cargill, processing controlled by Pepsi and Philip Morris, retail controlled by Walmart - is a recipe for Food Dictatorship. We must Occupy the Food system to create Food Democracy."


Anonymous said...

What is food democracy according to those people? Are you aware that those activists refuse science and improvements through technology, spreading false rumours using networks that are alien to any kind of project of emancipation?

Tony Careirra

ajohnstone said...

I think you are right to highlight certain failings of the "food movement" and it is probable that freed from the vested interests of commercial companies that GM and other means of intensifying food production will continue inside socialism.

But let us not forget that the real food problem is not a technological one and that new ways of producing food is not necessarily required to feed the world, but the proper application of rational distribution of resources.