Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on Food
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- She's Planting the Seeds of Indigenous Food Sovereignty (December 7, 2018)
A look at the efforts of Jessie Housty, an Indigenous woman from British Columbia, who is helping to change the diet of her community that is overwhelmingly dominated by industrial food products.
- Why the food movement needs to understand capitalism (July 11, 2018)
To fully appreciate the challenges we face in transforming our food system we need to explore the economic and political context in which food is grown, sold and consumed in the world today.
- Via Campesina Declaration of the Forum on Food Sovereignty, Territories of Peace for a Dignified Life 2017 (2017)
The participants of the Forum on Food Sovereignty held in the city of Buenos Aires on December 12th and 13th  want to express our agreements regarding the construction of territories of peace for the people: the peasants of the world and every community struggling to remain in our ancestral territories and to continue feeding humanity, as we have done for the last ten thousand years, while at the same time fighting for a worthy life in the cities with healthy, locally produced food.
- Marx as a Food Theorist (December 1, 2016)
Marx developed a detailed and sophisticated critique of the industrial food system in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, in the period that historians have called "the Second Agricultural Revolution." Not only did he study the production, distribution, and consumption of food; he was the first to conceive of these as constituting a problem of changing food "regimes" -- an idea that has since become central to discussions of the capitalist food system.
- Hunger in Venezuela? A Look Beyond the Spin (July 11, 2016)
Venezuala has food shortages when it comes to specific foods, but there have been grassroots and governmental responses.
- A Food Renaissance (January 28, 2016)
Colin Tudge reports on The College of Real Farming and Food Culture; a project designed to tackle the current issues in global food production. The current system is not fit for purpose but through a holistic approach and an overhaul of current mainstream agriculture, achieving a balance between feeding the world and conserving the environment is within grasp.
- Abundance for everybody (2016)
A group of Bolivian activists engage in 'conscious eating' while resisting capitalism and climate change and valuing everyone's work.
- The GMO Dark Act Cannot Survive the Light (December 11, 2015)
An ardent attempt is afoot on Capitol Hill to prevent states from requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods made especially urgent by the fact that Vermonts labeling bill is set to take effect July 1st.
- Advancing Food Sovereignty to Transform Economies (December 3, 2015)
Food sovereignty can transform local, national, and regional markets to support countries domestic economies and allow us to create wealth, both in production and knowledge.
- Top 5 Reasons Eaters should be Worried about Obama's New Trade Deal (October 6, 2015)
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a wide-ranging deal that would expand corporate rights across member states to the detriment of worker rights, the environment, and public health.
- Foodies and farmworkers: Allies or enemies? (August 4, 2015)
Fred Magdoff reviews Labor and the Locavore. Can the 'buy local food' movement support both sustainable farming and justice for farmworkers?
- How the Great Food War Will Be Won (January 12, 2015)
Thus the necessary shift in perception is to see that, as in most wars, the crucial struggle in the food war is the one inside people's heads. And that the great food war will be won by the side that understands that and uses it best.
- The political economy of hunger (November 17, 2014)
The fact there's enough food to feed everyone has slowly been acknowledged amongst the ruling institutions. The intuitive answer to this question is that there must be a lack of food. This explanation comes in two flavours. Chronic hunger is typically explained by the Malthusian argument that population growth perennially outstrips food production. Acute hunger, such as famines, is typically explained in terms of Food Availability Decline, such as crop failures due to drought.
- Florida's sugar barons grow fat on subsidies, diabetes and Everglades destruction (September 1, 2014)
Big Sugar is the new Big Tobacco, writes Alan Farago - lethal to human health, wreaking environmental devastation, gouging huge public subsidies, and with the political clout to stop First Lady Michelle Obama from breathing a word against it. Only an alliance of green, health and taxpayer campaigners can kill the beast.
- Obama food aid ravages Third World farmers (July 27, 2014)
The US taxpayers who finance foreign food aid surely believe they are feeding starving people. But the truth is the reverse - it is undermining indigenous agriculture in recipient countries - creating famine and chronic malnutrition, while sabotaging self-sufficiency.
- Forget The Propaganda From Big Agritech, The Key To Reducing Poverty And Ensuring Food Security Lies With Small Farmers (May 30, 2014)
A new review carried out by the organization GRAIN reveals that small farms produce most of the worlds food. However, they are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the worlds farmland. The world is fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of the rich and powerful. If we do nothing to reverse this trend, the world will lose its capacity to feed itself.
- Follow the Money, Part 6 - Obesity: A new role for second-hand-smoke-causes-cancer deniers (May 21, 2014)
The tobacco industry has shifted its doubt-manufacturing operations to countries like Russia, Indonesia and China, where the incidence of smoking and cancer continues to rise. But other industries with deep pockets need to manufacture doubt about the health risks of their products.
- The Real Cost of a Hamburger (May 9, 2014)
Do you know what a Big Mac costs? If you say $2.50 or whatever the current price posted at the McDonalds restaurant may be, you are vastly under-estimating the real price. Thats because $2.50 does not reflect the genuine cost of production. Every hamburger price tag should include a calculation of animal suffering, human health costs, economic and ecological subsidies. None of these bona fide costs is included in the price one pays for a hamburger (or other meats eaten by consumers for that matter).
- The Politics of Food and Poverty (May 8, 2014)
The global food crisis is tightly connected to global poverty, climate change, ecological destruction, migrant workers, imperialism, health and the super-exploitation of workers.
- How "Extreme Levels" of Roundup in Food Became the Industry Norm (March 27, 2014)
Surprisingly, almost no data exist in the scientific literature on herbicide residues in herbicide tolerant genetically modified (GM) plants, even after nearly 20 years on the market. The authors' research, however, demonstrates that roundup Ready GM-soy accumulates herbicide ingredient residues and also differs markedly in nutritional composition compared to soybeans from other agricultural practices, while organic soybean samples show a more healthy nutritional profile than both industrial conventional and GM soybeans.
- GMOs show 'substantial non-equivalence' (March 4, 2014)
New studies document substantial differences of GM maize and GM soybean from their non-GM counterparts, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji - exposing a permissive regulatory regime that has failed miserably in protecting public health and safety.
- Golden Rice ignores the risks, the people and the real solutions (December 28, 2013)
'Golden Rice' is being promoted by GM advocates as a solution to malnutrition. But Daniel Ocampo says it is for the 'target populations' in the Philippines and elsewhere to decide whether to accept the technology - and they don't want it!
- In Home Gardens, Income and Food for Urban Poor (December 13, 2013)
A slowly but steadily growing phenomenon in Jordan, urban agriculture has vast potential for reducing poverty and improving food security, and it has the added benefit of greening and cleaning up more rundown sections of cities.
- Monsanto, the TPP and Global Food Dominance (November 26, 2013)
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
- Class Struggle at the Waistline (October 23, 2013)
The obesity rate has soared not because lower income earners lack the knowledge to eat wisely, but because they have lost power over the economic conditions of their lives.
- The Drug Store in American Meat (November 28, 2012)
Food consumers seldom hear about the drugs oestradiol-17, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate and the names are certainly not on meat labels. But those synthetic growth hormones are central to U.S. meat production, especially beef, and the reason Europe has banned a lot of U.S. meat since 1989.
- Corporations profiting out of food crisis (October 21, 2012)
The small group of food multinationals that monopolise the world food market are positioning themselves to take full advantage of the crisis: the latest food price hikes threaten to drive more people back into hunger.
- Deconstructing The Locavore's Dilemma (July 8, 2012)
The book 'The Locavore's Dilemma' constructs a straw man argument while ignoring what the locavore movement really has to say.
- The false solutions of Rio+20 (June 28, 2012)
Food production and people's sovereignty in Africa could be seriously compromised by carbon capture projects and the so-called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) mechanism.
- Without Women, No Food Security (March 1, 2012)
In the countries of the Global South, women are the primary producers of food: the ones in charge of working the earth, maintaining seed stores, harvesting fruit, obtaining water and safeguarding the harvest.
- The food rush (November 1, 2011)
Commodity speculators have moved into food - with dire consequences for the worlds poorest.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Local Harvest for an Urban Landscape (February 11, 2011)
How do you create a locally harvested food system for a city of 100,000?
- Death in a New York Food Sweatshop (February 3, 2011)
For thousands of recent immigrants, the eastern section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is where you go to find work in food processing and distribution factories that service many of New York City's markets and restaurants. If you've ever eaten a meal in New York, you can be assured that you've consumed food that has been produced and distributed through one of these food companies and those in a few adjacent neighborhoods.
- Organic and Beyond (2011)
Organic is not enough. Organic will be an effective proposal for change only to the extent that it is integrated into the local and global movements that carry on the fight for food sovereignty, climate justice, ecological debt, women's rights and labor organizing; and against enclosures of common goods.
- The FDA and Frankenfoods (September 24, 2010)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent enforcement letters warning food makers that they cannot label their products as free of genetically modified or genetically engineered ingredients.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- Argentina: Disappearing Farmers, Disappearing Food (October 29, 2009)
Food sovereignty as defined by Via Campesina is the peoples' right to define their agricultural and food policy, and the right of farmers and peasants to produce food. Worldwide communities are seeking an alternative to a model controlled by Cargill, Monsanto, General Foods, Nestle and Kraft foods. Starved by industrialization and concentration, citizens are now hungry for traditional production methods and diversity in the food system.
- The Humble Tuna (October 19, 2009)
The humble tuna, "the chicken of the sea", is an unfortunate metaphor for all that is dysfunctional about our contemporary, western, capitalist world. The story of the Tuna is the story of our triumphant world, and provides a unified theory of its runaway excess
- Dwindling Fish Catch Could Leave a Billion Hungry (October 9, 2009)
Fish catches are expected to decline dramatically in the world's tropical regions because of climate change, but may increase in the north, said a new study published Thursday. This mega-shift in ocean productivity from south to north over the next three to four decades will leave those most reliant on fish for both food and income high and dry.
- Feedlots and E. Coli (October 9, 2009)
Improving processing plant inspections is a good idea, but it is only part of the solution. The real solution is minimizing the potential contaminant. Secondly, slow down the processing line so the workers can do their jobs. CDC tells people to wash their hands, their cutting boards and to cook meat thoroughly. Good sound suggestions, but why is the burden of safety inordinately placed on the consumer? Why are the processors allowed to hide behind the 'safe handling instructions' and maximize their profits with impunity?
- Food Among the Ruins (August 1, 2009)
Detroit, the country's most depressed metropolis, has zero produce-carrying grocery chains. It also has open land, fertile soil, ample water, and the ingredients to reinvent itself from Motor City to urban farm.
- Urban Honey (2009)
In the winter of 2003, three Chicago beekeepers joined forces to create a bee farm on the former Sears-Roebuck property right in the heart of our city. We abut an old railroad embankment wall with both prairie remnant and concrete in equal amounts.
- Global Justice, What We Eat, Who We Are (May 1, 2001)
Sara Abraham interviews Harriet Friedmann, who has devoted more than two decades to understanding the international politics of food and agriculture and to building local food systems that can be sustainable, polycultural in all senses, and enhancing of democratic, participatory communities.
- Via Campesina Declaration on Food Sovereignty 1996 (1996)
Food is a basic human right. This right can only be realized in a system where food sovereignty is guaranteed.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
Other Links & Resources
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
- The End of Food
How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Food And - What You Can Do About It
Author: Pawlick, Thomas
Food and the Culture of Biotechnolgy
Author: Kneen, Brewster
Kneen explains how corporations control the distribution of food with little knowledge or care of the health risks of engineered food.
- Fast Food Nation
The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Author: Schlosser, Eric
According to Schlosser, fast food has hastened the malling of the American landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad.
- Food Chains
Author: Rawal, Sanjay
In this exposé, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm labourers in the United States.
- Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity
Author: Lappe, Francis Moore; Collins, Joseph; Fowler, Cary
- The Food Wars
Walden Bello presents an analysis of the various causes of hikes in global food prices and their effects on poverty in the countries of the global South.
- A Foodie's Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat
Author: Gimenez, Eric Holt
Capitalism drives our global food system. Everyone who wants to end hunger, who wants to eat good, clean, healthy food, needs to understand capitalism. This book will help do that.
- From Land to Mouth: Understanding the Food System
Author: Kneen, Brewster
An analysis of the industrial capitalist food system.
- Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives
Author: Steel, Carolyn
Hungry City details the transformation of the food industry and it's not so benevolent impact on humanity. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are the by-products of a system that is characterized by over consumption in one part of the world and starvation in others. Output and the complex international infrastructure that supports are controlled by profit. Steel also documents how production of food is controlled by fewer companies accountable to no one but themselves. Her examples include the following: 90% of milk in the United States comes from one breed of cow; the same proportion of commercial eggs from a single breed of hen; British supermarkets have reduced the 2000 varieties of apples down to two. The food chain becomes vulnerable to disease, contamination or terrorism. As well as a guide to the the history of the food chain from farm to plate to landfill it is also a warning on the waste and destruction of our current food systems.
- The Illustrated Book of Food Plants
A guide to the fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices of the world
Author: Masefield, G.B., Wallis, M., Harrison, S.G., Nicholson, B.E.
- Labor and the Locavore
The Making of a Comprehensive Food Ethic
Author: Gray, Margarita
Gray examines one of the most vibrant local food economies in the country, the Hudson Valley. Based on more than a decade's in-depth interviews with workers, farmers, and others, the author depicts how the currency of agrarian values can serve to mask the labour concerns of an already hidden workforce.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food
Author: Roberts, Wayne
A world tour of foodfrom industrialized production and consumption to community food security.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - January 21, 2018
What are we eating?
Author: Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
What are we eating? A simple question which opens up a labyrinth of devilishly complex issues about production and distribution, access to land, control of water, prices, health and safety, migrant labour, and much else.
For millions of people, the answer is brutally simple: not enough to survive. UNICEF estimates that 300 million children go to bed hungry each night, and that more than 8,000 children under the age of five die of malnutrition every day. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 12% of the world's population is chronically malnourished.
How is this possible in a world where there is an enormous surplus of food, where farmers are paid not to grow food?
A short answer is that food production and distribution are driven by the need to make profits, rather than by human needs.
- Our Daily Bread
Author: Geyrhalter, Nikolaus (director)
Our Daily Bread (original German title: Unser taglich Brot) is a 2005 documentary film, depicted how modern food production companies employ technology to produce food on large scales. It consists mainly of actual working situations without voice-over narration or interviews as the director tries to let viewers form their own opinion on the subject. The names of the companies where the footage was filmed are purposely not shown. The director's goal is to provide a realistic view on the internal workings of multiple food production companies in our modern society.
- Our Daily Bread
Author: Geyrhalter, Nikolaus
While this remarkable documentary will likely engender fascination, awe and even shock amongst viewers, OUR DAILY BREAD simply aims to show the industrial production of food as a reflection of our society's values: plenty of everything, made as quickly and as efficiently as modern technology permits.
by: Icarus Films
- Real Food For A Change
Bringing Nature, Joy and Justice to the Table
Author: Roberts, Wayne; McRae, Rod; and Stahlbrand, Lori
The three authors of this book argue that people need to avoid Industrial food-making. Instead, people in Canada must turn to organic farming to produce their own food. It is good for economy and good for one's health.
- Seeds of Destruction
The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation
Author: Engdahl, William F.
Focuses on how a small American elite seeks to establish its control over the very basis of human survival, the provision of our daily bread. The author reveals a world where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production.
- So Shall We Reap
What's Gone Wrong with the World's Food System -- And How to Fix It
Author: Tudge, Colin
How everyone who is liable to be born in the next ten thousand years could eat very well indeed; and why, in practice, our immediate descendants are likely to be in serious trouble.
An expose on the fallout of the present drive for maximum food production at rock-bottom cost, as health scares spiral, rural workers are driven off the land, and poor nations are forced to export their goods in an unsympathetic marketplace.
- Stolen Harvest
The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply
Author: Shiva, Vandana
The author, an eco-feminist and environmentalist, documents the effects of Globalization and Manufactured Foods on small farmers, the environment, and the food we eat.
- Sugar The sugar trap
New Internationalist December 2003
A look into sugar as a consumer product and its corporate globalization. Discusses trade and business of sugar, its history with slavery as well as its effects on the body.
- The Town That Food Saved
How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
Author: Hewitt, Ben
An account of how cooperative agricultural enterprises are revitalizing the economy of a town in Vermont.
- The Unnatural History of the Sea
Author: Roberts, Callum
A history of the commercial fishery and an update on its precarious and untenable siituation. The age old delusion that the sea is an inexhaustible resource has resulted in a fishing arms race that could spell extinction for some species.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
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Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism Gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism Gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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