May 30 , 2013
Lecture 6- The Global Industrial Food System Part 2
Part 1: Food and (Unequal/ Uneven) Development
1949- Truman made a speech, talking about the emergence of the concept of
underdevelopment, which was presenting a “handicap and a threat” to other prosperous
areas. There was a need for more scientific tech to fight underdevelopment.
The developed/underdeveloped, first world/third world, global north/south
terminology came from the cold war. There is a binary, a duality between the two- if it is
underdeveloped, then it isn‟t developed. Doesn‟t take into account the progress made.
They assume there‟s a homogeneity between the two groups.
What is development?
Development: “The use of resources to relieve poverty and improve the standard
of living of a nation; the means by which a traditional, low-technology society is changed
into a modern, high-technology society, with a corresponding increase in incomes…
Many geographers believe that true development includes improvements in social
justice” (Oxford University Press Geography Dictionary)
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present
generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
needs“ (Brundtland Commission, 1987)
Uneven development in terms of…
• Distribution of resources- the richest fifth of the world receives 82.7% of the
total world income, whereas the poorest only receive 1.4% of income.
• Consumption of resources- resources are obviously being consumed more in the
• Wages and labour conditions- factories clothes from
• Production capacity (e.g., raw material extraction versus manufacturing (where
do raw materials come from vs. where it‟s manufactured))
• Environmental regulation- more regulated in more „developed‟ countries
• Access to economic or political remedy- when things go wrong, actually dealing
with it. Women who finally have the right to not be targeted based on rape.
Ways of Understanding Development and Dependency- ways to help conceptualize
progress and improvement.
• Modernization Theory (Rostow, 1959)
• Explains the process of modernization within societies
• Assumes that, with assistance, "traditional" countries can be modernized
(like more developed countries) and brought into development in the same
manner of other regions.
• Attempts to identify the social variables that improve development. “there
is a path to improvement, you just haven‟t reached it”.
• The task is to help these countries get out of development. More
technology brought in, systems put in place. • If we can just get these countries to be more like us, they can develop.
Trick-down theory is central to this idea. As they‟re brought into the more
capitalistic country, the benefits will trickle down.
• Dependency Theory (Gunder Frank, 1966)
• Resources flow from a "periphery/satellites" of poor and
underdeveloped states to a "core/metropolis" of wealthy
• The reason there‟s so much poverty is exploitation. There‟s
a relationship of exploitation between the core and the
• It‟s central to development. “Two sides of the same coin”.
There‟s a dependency behind it.
• Underdeveloped nations need to break away from the developed, to break
• Postcolonial Theory (Said, 1993)
• Reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural legacy of colonialism of the
“west” on the non “western” world
• The way that all the things we do (producing media, developing ideas)
become part of the way we maintain