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Luck 4-21 - Katherine Luck 7-8 Postcards from the Global...

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Katherine Luck April 21, 2008 7-8 Postcards from the Global Food System by Zaid Hassan Southern Views of Northern Logic Things are different in the South. Food isn’t the antiseptic business that it’s become in the North. South is slowly brought re-molded. Agricultural policy developed on the basis of northern lessons in changing the face of Southern food system and agriculture Vast arrays of mechanisms have been deployed to ensure that the South does not over-produce and flood Northern markets with cheap food and agricultural produce. Trade barriers and tariff make it so that Southern countries cannot afford to sell in the West. A fifth of the European Union’s total budget goes to farm subsidies North America and Europe have used surplus crops as “food aid”. Markets once open can be used to “dump” surplus. 2002 – Bush Administration pushed for the introduction of the new Farm Bill, which largely kept intact the US system of subsidies The Thinning of Rural Culture The shift from rural to urban, as it’s currently proceeding, signifies a loss of food producing capacity that means more and more people are becoming increasingly dependant on industrial agriculture for their food. Communities as well as global food system are both becoming less resilient to shock and to change. The “thicker” a culture, the more resilient it will be to catastrophe and dramatic change. If a crop fails or some disaster strikes there is always a handful of choices left open to you The “thinner” a culture, the more brittle it will be. If the crop fails or you lose your job there are no other choices left within you culture. So you leave your culture and move to an urban city In Brazil the countryside around the farms are totally devoid of people, it is a a “desert of green”. Their agriculture doesn’t require peasants and farmers but industrial workers. Industrial agriculture is not a system focused on producing food, rather it’s concerned with producing commodities Commodities typically require the intervention of a processor before they can be eaten Non-industrial food system are more concerned with producing food and is doesn’t required an intermediary processor to sit between the farmer and the consumer The measure for determining success within the industrial system is efficiency and not health or nutrition The Case for Southern Leapfrogging Africa is a continent characterized by wide-spread malnutrition, hunger and poverty. The failure of industrial
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