January 24: Our Dinner Tables, Our Health: Transnational Agribusiness
I)Food Production and Health
-obesity not the only issue surrounding food consumption that needs to be examined.
How is food produced? Sold?
-growth of Agrobusiness and transnational co.
-better food, better health
II)Transformations in Farming
•Mono-crop farming - large fields of single type crops year after year instead of
rotating grops. (Rotations would prevent rapid depletion of the soil and reduce
need for fertilizers, etc.)
•no rotation or segmentation of crops.animals started post WWII bc/ growing
population and urbanizations. At the same time growing demands for fast-
food industry and growth of chemical industries post WWII pesticides
fertilizers. Food is made cheaper.
•GMO - like antibiotics for food.
•Agro-Industrial Complex (AIC) and Transnational Corporations (TNC)
•AIC refers to the rise and dominance of Transnational Corporations in
•horizontal integration - buying up small companies and making a
•vertical integration - buying related industries e.g. buying trucking,
fertilizer industry -- so control many aspects of food sector from
growth to selling.
•INTENSIFICATION AND INTERNATIONALIZATION
•Battery farms - thousands of chicken in small building
•Agrobusiness seeing intensification of farming production using more
herbicides, growth hormones, GMOS, etc. to speed up farming and
increase yields. e.g. 20 years ago took 84 days to raise a broiler chicken.
Now only 42 days.
•greater importing and exporting of food products
•6%--> 22% in 2000 US import of fruits. Less produced and more
•Late 20th C and early 21st C started to put controls on type of
•Farming in developing nations
•to capitalize on cheap wage labour grow in developing countries