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
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
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:
• 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 Famers