GEOG_130 (6/11)

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GEOG 130
Nicole C.List

GEOG 130 (6/11) Food, Inc. Chicken/Meat ● Spinning of pastoral fantasy ● No seasons, no bones ● Veil between producers/consumers ● Factory system, conformity, cheapness ● Uniformity = mechanized ● Debt of growers (initial, upgrades), if resist, loss of contract Corn ● Illusion of diversity (company, kinds of foods) ● Clever rearrangements of corn ● Government pays for corn to be sold above cost of production (false) ● Farm Bills (Food Bill) ○ Encourage overproduction ○ Subsidize farmers ● Cheap corn = drive down price of meat ● Cafo: animal feeding operation ● Can’t keep lots clean = sicknesses from factory runoffs Unintended Consequences ● Government officials that are supposed to be scrutinizing companies worked for them ● USDA has no authority to shut down plants that have repeatedly failed tests (inability of government to protect its citizens) ● All about keeping the status quo and not actually “fixing” the problem (find high-tech cure) The Dollar Menu ● Don’t have time to cook - would rather fill kids up rather than “one item” at supermarket (expensive to eat healthy) ● Processed foods subsidized = cheaper to buy unhealthy foods (commodity produce) ● Biggest obesity factor = economic In the Grass ● Can keep workers because they need the work ● Don’t care about health of workers/animals because they are temporary Hidden Costs ● Cheapest price is not actually cheapest and comes at environmental, societal, and health costs ● Environmental, societal, health costs costs much more than growing traditionally Rise of Industrial Agriculture Review 1. Patel a. Hunger and obesity symptoms of same underlying problem i. Affordability 1. Either eat unhealthy foods or starve 2. Most usually, people in lower income classes have less accessibility to good food ii. Regulation 1. By producers iii. Manipulation 1. By corporations b. Julie Guthman’s explanation i. Environmental toxins turn on genes that instigate obesity ii. Bad food can act as environmental toxin to start obesity iii. Epigenetics, not amount of food is to blame c. Consumer/producer choice i. Limited choices 1. Farmers: agribusiness a. Environmental b. Debt c. Company choice (commodity crops) → access to markets. How are such markets produced? (access to middleman) 2. Leads to obesity in low income families d. Bottleneck i. Many producers → few companies → large amount of consumers e. Energy Balance Model i. Concentration into areas = affect choices in area = repetitive cycle that keeps low income families eating badly 2. Marx a. Metabolic Rift i. Need for people to return resources back to the environment (soil fertility) ii. Separation of humans vs. animals/plants due to capitalism iii. As people move to cities, nothing put back into the soil (byproducts separated from soil) iv. Sunlight, water, adequate temperature needed 1. Legumes fixed nitrogen to soil → synthetic nitrogen for soil fertility v. Intensification of Metabolic Rift 1. Not only humans, but animal wastes not going back into field! 2. Synthetic nitrogen inc. environmental degradation a. Increased nitrogen inputs (farmers did not know amount that they should be putting in, creating diseases and environmental degradation) 3. Wood a. Capitalism started in the countryside i. Use of market to sell surplus goods ii. Hired labour b. Key processes: i. New farming techniques ii. Primitive accumulation (market dependence), enclosure acts iii. Not owning means of prod
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