Stuffed and starved book review
GM Watch Reviews "Stuffed and Starved" by Raj PatelUnless you are a corporate food executive, the food system isn't working for you. If you are one of the world's rural poor dependent on agriculture for your livelihood - and roughly half the global population of 6 billion fall into this category - you are likely to be one of the starved. If you are an urban consumer, whether an affluent metropolitan or slum-dwelling industrial labourer, you are likely to be one of the stuffed, suffering from obesity or other diet-related ills. Raj Patel's fascinating first book examines this apparent paradox. His thesis is that the simultaneous existence of nearly 1 billion who are malnourished and nearly 1 billion who are overweight is in fact the inevitable corollary of a system in which a handful of corporations have been allowed to capture the value of the food chain. Moreover, government policies through history have been designed to control our food.
Stuffed and Starved Book Trailer
Stuffed and starved
In both cases, Unilever wins. In other words, it pays Unilever to make you fat. In other words, we've lost control over what we eat. And it is - in its sense of urgency, breadth of its subject matter, level of detail and delivery. The book traverses the globe in a bid to challenge the veneer of choice presented by the modern food system as in, Pepsi or Coke?
It is a book that must be read by all people who defend the rights of farmers and food sovereignty in Africa and around the globe. Farming has, from time immemorial, been a battlefield. However, in recent decades the battle has escalated. Raj Patel - policy analyst, journalist, and former employee of the World Bank, WTO and the United Nations - carried out a comprehensive investigation of the global food system,documented in this book. The findings are shocking, and expose major players of the food system, their victims, the profit generated by the food industry, contradictions in the food system, and even outlines the alternative paradigm that can be pursued, to extricate the food system from the grip of global corporations. The book looks at the ways the food system is shaped by farming communities, corporations, governments, consumers, activists and movements. These are stories and facts about choices made in the fields, forced through by the choices made at our plates.
To find out how we got to this point and what we can do about it, Raj Patel launched a comprehensive investigation into the global food network. What he found was shocking, from the false choices given us by supermarkets to a global epidemic of farmer suicides, and real reasons for famine in Asia and Africa. Yet he also found great cause for hope—in international resistance movements working to create a more democratic, sustainable and joyful food system. Going beyond ethical consumerism, Patel explains, from seed to store to plate, the steps to regain control of the global food economy, stop the exploitation of both farmers and consumers, and rebalance global sustenance. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving….
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Share: Share on Facebook. Add to Cart. To find out how we got to this point and what we can do about it, Raj Patel launched a comprehensive investigation into the global food network. What he found was shocking, from the false choices given us by supermarkets to a global epidemic of farmer suicides, and real reasons for famine in Asia and Africa. Yet he also found great cause for hope. Patel explains, from seed to store to plate, the steps to regain control of the global food economy, stop the exploitation of both farmers and consumers, and rebalance global sustenance.
How is it that the overweight outnumber the underfed? Answer: Because the food system suffers from a waistline problem. This waistline is not like the robust and growing one of the developed world, but is akin to the cinched, famine-stricken waistline of the Third World. He also lays out the astonishing repercussions of this bottleneck—cheap soy and corn as inputs for highly processed concoctions, suicidal farmers from the Midwest to India, degradation of land and despicable treatment of animals and workers, starvation for hundreds of millions of people, and degenerative diseases for even more. We are Wal-Mart. Patel makes these connections crystal clear.
This book analyses the paradox contained in its title. Huge numbers of people in one part of the world suffer from starvation, while in other areas there is an obesity epidemic. Starvation is not new in human history, but what is relatively new is that people are starving even though enough food is produced to feed everyone. Having one billion people on the planet overweight, the majority of them poor, is also a historical first. Raj Patel argues that there is a common root to both problems - a global food production system guided by the profit motive, dominated and organised by a tiny number of transnational corporations.