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Chapter 10

SOC2080 Chapter 10: SOC 2080 - FOOD STUDIES CHAPTER 10


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2080
Professor
Anthony Winson
Chapter
10

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Saturday, January 31, 2015
SOC 2080
Chapter 10: Crisis in the Food System
Introduction
-impressions are reinforced by any food product advertising that links food to it’s
sources, hence, a rustic, serene, and healthy. Wholesome food, claimed to come
from grandpa’s and grandmas family farm. they are honest, hearty and hard
working.
-the prevalent advertising for farm products such as chemical pesticides, herbicides,
fungicides and farm machinery is overly focused on their power and efficacy for
wiping out the enemy (pests or weeds)
-chemical names include: avenge, achieve, fulfill, fortress, leader, liberty, pumacle,
sharpshooter and touchdown. it promises farmers power and profit according to the
chemical companies.
-the food system has change more fundamentally than the other sectors in our society.
they have been driven by technology, trading, urbanization and politics of agriculture
wanting to cooperate the agri business along with international markets.
Redesigning Canadian Farming: External Forces
-the trend began in the decades after the first war and rapid changes that happened
right away after the second war. they replaced animal power with engines to have
increased speed, power and output of farm operations. due to this factor, they were
less person hours required, and made larger farms possible.
-tractor fuel had negative effects on the farm. what was once solar power, increasing
green houses, the oil now makes food production vulnerable as they are non
renewable resources. the tractors are design and build in industrial plants and the oil
is run by their companies. the cost of these sources made larger farms necessary as
farmers lost self reliance and became more dependent on this sector for key inputs.
Changes
-the widespread introduction of hybrid seeds and chemical fertilizers changed the
farming and food production.
for ex: planting farm saved seed or seed acquired through purchase or exchange within
farming communities had always been the norm. now it is increasingly purchased from
seed companies who own gov. rights to the new varieties. in 1990, they had the right to
sell seeds to each other and gave powerful profit tools to seed dev. companies. they
extinguish the farmers to save and reuse their seeds.
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Saturday, January 31, 2015
-hybridization for breeding corn is now canola and other crops must purchase new
hybrid seed each year because the other generations of the seed loose the hybrid
vigour.
-> Genetically Modified Seeds: round up ready canola in 1996 has eliminated the option
to save/trade seeds altogether for farmers who use this specific seed.
-the industrial production demands standardization. BUT. food comes from living
organisms, with unique biological diversity can be forced into with a control and
manipulation. on the other hand, small scale farmers work on the more natural
contexts and enhance the diversity of the food they produce.
-the promise of greater control and more productivity along with no care for the long
term impact for biological diversity, the non one’s have won the day. (soils, water). the
-canadian farms now rely heavily on chemical interventions to control diseases in their
livestock and crops of every variety along with herbicides, fungicides and insecticides
are now a part of every day farming. the sprayer is now an essential for crop and
horticulture operations as seeding and harvesting.
Stats: using 36% more today, 3 megatons per year and now many farmers cannot
operate without them because they have become so reliant.
-the key objective for redesigning food production is to increase the efficiency and
maximize production with max profit. the productivity had risen but the number of
farms and farmers had declined: 24 (grain), 28 (beef) money (38.5 billion)
-hence, instead of producing a variety of pants/animals efficiency/productivity say that
only the products that can be produced with the highest yeild/fastest grain should be
grown in any operation. (too much money, and cannot invest in new technologies for
these endeavours)
-^ thus, this is the end of mixed farms and we see a large scale operation with
monocultures. the range of skills and knowledge required for a variety of crops and
animals is no longer needed. however, we need persons to operate the equipment
and general knowledge with accounting, gov programs and computers along with
chemicals.
*IT IS ALL A COMPETITIVE PROCESS!
Politics Changes: Trade Driven Agriculture
-much of western canada was settled with the express purpose of dev agriculture for
export out of the region (across the ocean). however, the more recent shift to growing
food primarily for export while importing food from other countries to meed our own
needs has changed the focus of the agri policy.
-agreement on tariffs and trade negotiations in the 1980’s moved was welcoming by
the food exporting companies such as canada and the US. the farmers protested the
extreme dangers in liberalization of agri trade for local markets, rural live and
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