The Monocultural Food Industry: Why aren't we eating food?

Written by Soledad Barruti
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Today's monoculture generates monocultures. Those monocultures, in turn, can only be produced by the agro-business. This is how businesses are linked in an industry that works in an integrated manner, that is very large and that does not produce thinking about feeding the people, but selling products to them.

When you walk through the fields in Mexico, for example, and go to the milpas (corn fields), you see a perfect food system. But that is also what food is: the translation of a territory into food, for people. That's why the food of one place is different from that of another. Because the territory is different. That's why we have corn in thousands of colors and shapes in Mexico. But all of that is interrupted by one single type of corn, which is the corn that brands can sell, the corn that serves to produce all these inedible foods, which also, not by chance, is the corn that feeds animals in the meat market, and which ends up monopolizing the table.

And, of course there are other links with the neoliberal culture: we are facing epidemics of obesity and yet the person responsible for being fat or not is each individual.

That is terrible because it is individualism taken to the extreme and it is also very relevant for the functionality of the business. If no one is to blame, if people are to blame, if the fault for something not working is inside a house, well, you fix it. The industry puts a lot of money into repeating that speech.

Two years ago, McDonalds was handing out little running bracelets to kids, so they could finish eating and go for a run. Putting the responsibility on the individual is perfect for business. And this is basically solved by regulation. The WHO calls for regulation. States have to take these recommendations on board. Otherwise it's very unfair. Otherwise it is pure liberalism, those who can educate themselves and those who cannot, bad luck.

If there are no regulations, you are leaving the people in a no-holds-barred situation. In countries where there are no regulations, it is the popular sectors that are the most ill from food. In the villages the children are all with serious overweight problems, which nobody is taking care of.

However, there are emblematic cases where it is shown that change is possible.Brazil, for example, four years ago, managed to change the school canteens in Brazil. How did they manage to change the diet of millions of children? They changed the law of purchase of the State. The food in the canteens was no longer granted in concession and the State bought directly from family production. At least 30% of the State's purchases had to come from family production, with a preponderance of agro-ecological and organic production.

In very poor cities, children consume organic products. That money invested in direct purchases from producers is a benefit that makes those producing families better and better, cooperatives were created and thus more productive spaces were developed.

Taken from: Interview with Soledad Barruti, taken from: http://www.nodalcultura.am/

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