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SOC349 - Reading on "The Oil We Eat" Lecture on Farm Crisis .docx

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Michelle Szabo

SOC349 – Reading – January 25 The Oil We Eat Manning says that we consume so much of earth’s primary productivity (40%) that we have stolen the food (predominantly the rich amongst us anyways). When we starve the ground from energy, we simply move on to a location that is soil rich, until we deplete it and move on (in cases we tear down rain forests to create farm land because the soil is rich) The world has a limited stock of temperate grass lands (where Wheat and beef is) which are located in the first world…the developed world, also home to Caucasians/Europeans. Manning says that the green revolution was the worst thing that has happened; one thing it caused was a population boom (because now there was a security of food) SOC349 – Lecture – Jan 25 Farm Crisis – Farmers have a negative income, essentially they are losing money (because of debt due to expensive equipment/pesticides/herbicide expenses) the reason why they are able to continue is because famers are subsidized by the Canadian government and or farmers have an extra income (i.e. a spouse has a different job that is able to support the family/farming endeavor). Fact: 15% of $1 (15 cents/dollar) actually goes to farmers; the remaining larger percentage of revenue goes to the agro chemical companies, manufacturers (i.e. buying the raw material), processing food, distribution, retailers and etc. What has caused the change from income in the 1950s to no income in the 2000s? Answer:The Green Revolution – (Coined in the 1960’s), began when there was an increase in agro- research that produced greater yields, researchers realized that the new varieties of crop could yield more crops with the aid of chemicals. People thought that with more crop yield, hunger could be avoided – but, it’s not the case, since the problem is not supply of food but who holds the distribution power of food. Consequence of the Green Revolution:  Carcinogen  CO 2  Water/Soil pollution  Loss of traditional farming techniques  Mass farmer suicides (West influenced governments with agro-food, which in turn caused pressure for local farmers to produce agro-food. Farmers in poorer countries used chemicals, but the farmers went into debt, sometimes the crops failed and they struggled to make a living and hence there were mass farmer suicides) Free Trade & Economic Globalization “WTO Kills Fam
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