REVIEW ↠ Stuffed and Starved: Markets Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System

READ Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System

REVIEW ↠ Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System ✓ How can starving people also be obeseWhy does everything have soy in itHow do petrochemicals and biofuels control the price of foodIt's a perverse fact of modern life There are starving peoplNd real reasons for famine in Asia and AfricaYet he also found great cause for hope in international resistance movements working to create a 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 sustenanc. FIRST REVIEW It only seems fitting that my first review for Goodreads is on a book given to me by my friend who not only introduced me to Goodreads she has inspired me to seriously step up my reading gameStuffed Starved has information that is vital to understanding the complexities contradictions and injustices of our world’s food system Raj Patel has the credentials and has done the research to provide a compelling story that covers 1 how the system is controlled and “shaped by farming communities corporations governments consumers activists and movements” and the subseuent contradictory imbalance of scarcity and obesity; 2 connection of unfair trade practices with farmer suicide rates; 3 trade agreements; 4 evolution of the global food system following World War II to the present and how the world’s poorest people have been left out; 5 the system’s big winners including agribusiness corporations such as Monsanto; 6 hypocrisy of the so called “green revolution” and the dire effect of GMOs pesticides and other methods intended to increase crop yields and profit margins; 7 the emergence and dominance of the soybean industry; 8 rise of the “supermarket” and its nefarious role in the system; 9 how the system shapes and constrains popular tastes and food choices or lack thereofDespite the importance and inherent uality of the material I found a few problems with the book For example Mr Patel’s approach often comes across like a doctoral thesis and not as accessible as it could be The prospective reader like myself has to really care about the topic and be motivated to read cover to cover There are writers whom are able to raise social awareness while injecting humor and wit into their writing Jonathan Safran Foer Michael Pollan Amy Goodman and Annie Leonard come to mind On the other hand Chapter 7 Glycine Rex begins with a uotation from Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and Chapter 10 Conclusion has some lines from “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” – let’s have of thatOn a positive note Mr Patel just doesn’t report the facts and paint a hopeless picture In his conclusion he offers solutions in the form of a 10 point action plan with suggestions to 1 “transform our tastes” 2 “eat locally and seasonally” 4 “support locally owned business” 7 support “living wages for all” “accessibility to good food decent working conditions and dignified work” 8 “support for a sustainable architecture of food”But even the list is a tad overwhelming Mr Patel has presented sufficient evidence that a dramatic shift toward a better system for all people could be realized if a sizeable number of consumers committed to even a small subset of the items on the listekw


The global food network It took him from the colossal supermarkets of California to India's wrecked paddy–fields and Africa's bankrupt coffee farms while along the way he ate genetically engineered soy beans and dodged flying objects in the protestor–packed streets of South KoreaWhat he found was shocking from the false choices given us by supermarkets to a global epidemic of farmer suicides a. I’ve been aware of and fascinated by a modern paradox for a while For the first time in human history a growing number of people are obese and suffering a form of malnutrition By eating a diet composed mostly of empty calories people will gain weight but still practically starve Raj Patel explores this phenomenon in Stuffed and Starved Patel is a British Indian educated at the London School of Economics and as his blurb put it has been tear gassed on four continents There are people who are starving than ever before; there are also people who are overweight than at any time in history While the problem is evident throughout North America Patel offers evidence that it is a world wide phenomenon Obesity is growing in impoverished communities even in places like India and Brazil where hunger and obesity make a dangerous combination Farm failures and the related suicides coincide with a food system that denies both producers and consumers At heart is the commoditization of food Patel identifies the bottlenecks that are controlled by monopolies A handful of processors strip food of its nutrients and a small number of retailers deliver those products Patel goes beyond Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food to explain why the decline in food uality and nutrient density is a global phenomenon and is not limited to rich countriesPatel inscribed my copy ‘to a fellow professional exile’ He is a very intelligent witty and well informed writer who can be very entertaining His breathless manic speaking style does not hold up as well on the printed page The book is definitely worth a read even if it drags in spots A number of familiar stories and uotes are recycled that could be better handled as footnotes The graphs are not as well annotated and could be better presented In some cases the newest data do not seem that recent Patel identifies ten points needed to regain control over the food system also known as food sovereignty There are as many ideas of what constitutes food sovereignty as commenters but Patel offers one of the clearest explanations of both what it is and why it is needed in his conclusion Agree or disagree with his analysis of organic food fair trade and food sovereignty he offers a clear program and a solid case why it needs to be carried out for our health and the health of the world

Raj Patel ☆ 1 REVIEW

Stuffed and Starved Markets Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food SystemHow can starving people also be obeseWhy does everything have soy in itHow do petrochemicals and biofuels control the price of foodIt's a perverse fact of modern life There are starving people in the world than ever before 800 million while there are also people overweight 1 billionTo find out how we got to this point and what we can do about it Raj Patel launched a comprehensive investigation into. Saying READ THIS BOOK is the most logical place to begin this review Seriously Read it This is an incredibly nuanced look at the global food market He addresses everything from rural poverty failure and farmer suicide in the Global North and Global South to the bottlenecks in our global food chain mostly at the distributor and retailer level where distributors are increasingly the same people as the retailers to supermarkets to worker's rights and movements to obesity to monoculture farming It sounds all pretty routine but the way he addresses them are incredibly nuanced and compelling For instance he addresses the rise of supermarkets and megastores in the Global South On the one hand they spell ruin for local stores and markets But on the other hand in rural South Africa it means convenience for poor women who will no longer have the time consuming and apparently unpleasant task of traditionally preparing corn by hand and instead can buy it Given these two options women opt for the supermarket when they really wish for the means to process mill the corn with machinery available to them Also for instance in addressing obesity his analysis goes beyond what we popularly read about poor food choices and lazy people etc Instead he takes aim at the ways in which the global food system is what reduces individual choice through a global system of low wages forcing people to work two jobs double shifts overtime etc and rely on convenience foods buy the cheapest foods and the fact that supermarkets are less likely to locate in poor neighbourhoods and that when they do the food they stock are likely to be those tied to obesity I can't explain his entire argument here but rest assured this is not a fatphobic analysis In fact he takes aim at bulimia and anorexia and gives a nod to the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance He offers a range of examples for making change but is not blindly supportive of even the positive choices we have He criticizes the organic farming in so far as it's a primarily corporate affair and leads to monoculture conventional industrial low wage farming practices and food still being transporting over long distances He is critical of fair trade practices supporting all of the above and additionally possibly only have the effect of throwing a few extra pennies at fair trade farmers without changing the global food market system and principally only allows farmers to hang on a little longer And he offers limited criticisms of Community Supported Agriculture Programs CSAs the kind that typically deliver a basket of fruits and vegetables coming from local farms to those who subscribe to the service He finds examples of CSAs I think he uses a mostly Californian examples that tragically underpay undocumented workers who have no job security and often unsafe or illegal work conditions such as 12 hour days with minimal breaksHe doesn't argue that we shouldn't support organics Fair Trade practices he often purchases fair trade himself or CSAs he's a huge supporter of CSAs as a model for change throughout his book but instead gives what I think is a fair critiue of all of these things And these things that need to be discussed or else the problems cannot be addressedThe only critiue I have about this book is that while he pays a great deal of attention to gender and women's rightswomen's roles when it comes to production of food and shows some amazing examples of how women can be further empowered through new farming practices and new food market models I think he could stand to pay attention in his discussion of the growing reliance on convenience foods to the fact that women primarily carry the multiple burdens of working buying the food preparing the food in addition to caring for children alone or uite uneually And for there to be a shift to fresh ingredients it will reuire than families a word that he uses freuently without much discussion of what that means in practice wanting to switch It will reuire a shift in gender roles I have a secondary critiue He very briefly addresses industrial meat practices and the way they hurt individuals and the environment never mind the animals and he gives only a small mention and a footnote to the idea that perhaps vegetarianism or greatly reduced consumption of meat might also greatly improve our lot when it comes to global food markets environmental resources and food security But given that he probably wants this book to remain accessible to the great number of people who cannot imagine being vegetarian or don't buy the arguments I can understand but not uite forgive this omissionI'll end the same way I began this review READ IT Buy it Visit the website wwwstuffedandstarvedorg