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Food for Thought.docx

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Social Science
SOSC 2110
Megan Davies

Food for Thought Local Action with Global Ambition Introduction • What did you eat today? • Where did it come from? • Most people don’t know where it came from and who is responsible for it • Food is uniquely powerful because it is embedded in our daily lives • Many complex layers (Social, economic, political) • Young Mother pregnant with second child- Key Concepts: Food Security • A condition in which all people at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutrious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life • 1.7 Million Canadians households experienced food insecurity- didn’t include homeless or first nation groups living on reserves (Underestimate the problem) • Range from severe food insecurity(2.6) the lowest to food secure the highest(87.4%) • It’s not a have or have not condition- modify the qualify or not a balanced meal • Often mothers would skip meals in order to better feed her children (This is dangerous if the mother is pregnant) • First map shows growing poverty the second map shows diabetes rate • Areas that are showing increasing levels of poverty show higher diabetes rate • Diabetes is linked to poverty and lack of nutriscious food Who lives with food insecurity in Canada • 1 in 6 children suffer from food insecurity • 16.1% of people who live in food insecure household are on social assistance Key Concept- Neo Liberalism • A political economic system in which the market is seen as the best way to distribute resources in a society e.g. goods and services should be provided by private corporations, not government • Corportatoins compete with each other and this leads to low prices • Focuses on capitalism and free trade • Governments should not “interfere” • Emphasizes individualism, freedom of choice Effects of Neoliberalism • Fewer social programs • Lower-paying, flexible jobs • Widening gap between rich and poor • People held responsible for choices NeoLiberalism & Food 1. Free trade of food products- local econimies vs. Corporation 2. Abandonment of government responsibilities for social welfare 3. Changing ideas about Food- market logic internalized/ food seen as commodity, people as consumers, and society as marketplace Effects • Increasing distance/disconnect between people & food • Reliance on emergency food system (Lower paying jobs) • Greater use of packaged prepared food How have we tried to address these issues? Social Assistance and Food Banks • Both prevent overt starvation • Social assistance rates cut • Number of people using food banks increased by over 30% from 2008-2012 • 38% of food bank users are children • The major problem is that food banks don’t address why people don’t have food or try to change the situation (Only a temporary solution) Community Garderns & Kitchens • Mostly positive but has its limits • Challenge idea of food as commodity and people as consumers • Greater sense of autonomy and control • Reduce Social isolation
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