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Recent Global Food Crisis & Obesity Epidemic - Essay Example

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The Recent Global Food Crisis and Obesity Epidemic Name Institution The Recent Global Food Crisis and Obesity Epidemic It is evident that populations around the world are starkly staring at a food crisis that has picked momentum especially since 2008. This recent global food crisis has placed staple grains, the main sustenance for populations around the world, out of reach of the hundreds of millions of people in need of them…
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Recent Global Food Crisis & Obesity Epidemic
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Download file to see previous pages The thesis of this study is that the explanations behind the recent food crisis revolve around commercial (corporate-dependent) model of the global food system which makes food items vulnerable to market dynamics and hence out of reach for many individuals. This is relevant to the issue of food crisis since it attaches an economics perspective to the crisis which is especially significant given the recent global economic meltdown. Theoretical Perspective A closer and detailed look at the recent food crisis reveals a number of patterns and insights that can be supported by theoretical perspectives to show that it is a consequence of the established food policy. First of all, the food crisis does not necessarily stem from low production since the advent of chemical and biological technology in food production makes the processes more optimized. Instead, it is due to shifting economic and political power throughout the stages of food production and distribution. Emphasis is being placed on food production and distribution in terms of where maximum profitability will be achieved. This can be seen in situations where bumper harvests have been accompanied by hunger, and the fact that subsistence food producers have not at all benefitted from sky-rocketing food prices. Several authors have laid the ground on this theoretical perspective. To begin with, Magdoff (2008: 1) points out that lack of production is not the reason for the recent food crisis as evidenced by the case of the USA where hunger is common even when the country enjoys surplus production besides the wastage and misallocation of food supplies in developing countries in the midst of a food crisis. He argues that the underlying cause to the food crisis is poverty among the populations in a global economy that celebrates production for profit hence food items are just like other market commodities. The capitalist system has ensured that although few people die from hunger, most survive in malnourishment. Most of the food crisis causes that Magdoff (2008: 3-5) provides point to the capitalist system in which profitability is the goal; rise in petroleum prices hence diversion of grains to biofuel purposes without considering their position as staple foods; use of grains to feed and fatten animals to cash into the rising demand for meat; and finally, speculation and hoarding in the food market. Lang (2010: 87-97) weighs in the issue of the recent food crisis, arguing that the emphasis on increased food production to counter food crises has always been unsuccessful since there are other dimensions to the food issues. This includes market distortions and access. Lang observes that economic power on food has shifted from the land to the retailers whose consequence has been mass production and the accompanied marketing of food items in a similar fashion to all other market items. Lang’s theoretical framework is centered upon the evolution of a strong retailer in food issues, effectively delinking producers from consumers, shaping consumer tastes, deciding distribution and technology for production and flexible specialization in food production. Koc (2009: 323-335) contributes his perspective on the food crisis issue concurring that economics plays an pivotal role as it is the backbone of current global food system. Establishment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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