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GGR107 Notes.doc

Course Code
Charles Z Levkoe

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Lecture 1:
History of Food System
WW2 lead to increased food availabilty- conquest for healthy strong bodies
Industrialization, centralization: technology replacing animal and human work.
tanks => tractors. farms => factories. war chemicals => agricultural chemicals
fertilizers replace manure
-Result: decreased amount of household income spent on food
-Negative externality of increased health care costs
Impacts of Modern Food System
Social Justice: social and material in equality
-1/6 in the world are malnourished and overweight
-Food bank reliance doubled in Canada
Environment: Human and ecological systems and biodiversity
-60% greenhouse gases due to industrial farms
Community Health: eco and social conditions that shape individual and commu-
nity health
Democracy: Public Participation and decision making
-80% of retail market of food controlled by 4 companties
-big companies taking all farmer’s profits
-deforestation, loss of small farms
Carolyn Steele ‘How Food Shapes our Cities’’ Video
The expansion of cites is drawing us and the way food is produced farther from
nature. Food is wasted or made into an unsustainable diet. We must reconnect
with the natural world!
-world is shaped by food : Roman colonization
discovery of grain to support perm. settlements

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-food distribution centres
-water transport
-big cities physically shaped by food- food routes are maintained
-food can affect world organization
-citopia-when everything is urbanized- relocation- relocation of food
-we eat more meat, more natural land gets built up
NOW: food no longer social, now anonymous, food no longer valued or trusted
What are we going to do about it?
-Thomas Moore - everyone farming out of backyard
-Garden Cities - cities joined by railway- cities look after countryside
-food should relate to familes and be social
-reconnect to nature
Turning the Tables Article-Should Canada have a National Food Policy?
-Diet related chronic disease has caused an increase in health care costs (2/3 of total
health care costs in Canada)
-We pay for food 3x: 1. subsidize farms 2. the retailer 3. healthcare
People’s Food Policy Project :Current Agriculture System is squeezing nutrition
out of food and profits out of farmers
-want environmentally sustainable food
-want to create a food policy at local levels relocalizing the food system , local
-less exports and imports
-need to improve public rates of obesity and health (current economic policies
that create our food system has led to obesity and a diabetes epidemic in almost
every age group)
-we subsidize soy and corn and not vegetables (highly caloric)
-Farm Subsidies= food processing industry subsidies
-Loss of small farmers to industrial farmers: will lead to even more industrialized,
imported food
Improve Public Good by:

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-improving health, sustain environment, strengthen communities, returns a fair
wage to food producers, supports cultural traditions
Lecture 3: King Corn
‘Killer Kernel’ Article
-More than 1/4 of items contain corn.
-health care system doesn’t care about food vice versa(subsidized corn has neg-
ative health impacts)
Argument: Holds profits over health: corn grown for industrial food system, bad
for human health
- kids lifespan projected to be lower than parents
-ministry of health acknowledging problem but ministry of agriculture ignoring
-cheaper to influence a person’s diet than activities
-OECD proposed fat tax/thin subsidy model (fat tax would hurt the poor. thin sub-
sidy would give money to farmers not growing corn)
-Most encourage Canadian farmers to support sustainable farming and healthy
Ian Cheneyand Curtis Ellis (directed by Aaron Woolf) as they move from Boston
to Greene, Iowa to grow and farm an acre of corn. In the process, Cheney and
Ellis examine the role that the increasing production of corn has had for American
society, spotlighting the role of government subsidies in encouraging the huge
amount of corn grown.
The film shows how the perception of industrialization in corn has all but eliminat-
ed the image of the family farm, which is being replaced by larger industrial
farms. Cheney and Ellis suggest that this trend reflects a larger industrialization
of the North American food system. As was outlined in the film, decisions relating
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