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Food Chain 3-Pack

Program #HOLE002-SHIV021-TAUG001.

Eric Holt-Gimenez - Pushing Back the Corporate Food Regime

Food is the basis of life. We need it to live. It is as simple as that. The UN declares, “the right to adequate food is a long-standing international human right.” But the aim of 21st century capitalism is not primarily to promote our well-being and health, it is to control markets and maximize profits. The production of food is a gigantic global enterprise dominated by a handful of mega-corporations: General Mills, Pepsi, Nestle, Unilever and Coca-Cola. While they do well, hunger and food insecurity effects billions of people around the world including tens of millions in the U.S. Communities are pushing back the corporate food regime by establishing coops. Environmental and food activist Vandana Shiva of India says, “Food has been transformed into a commodity, destroying farmers’ livelihoods, destroying the health of the planet and the health of people.” She calls on us “to become the change we want to see in the food system, so it nourishes the Earth and all beings.”

Vandana Shiva - We Are All Seeds

Seeds, those little things we kind of take for granted, are the essence of life. Increasingly, corporations have taken over agriculture and in their insatiable quest for profits have injected GMOs, genetically modified organisms, into the food chain. As the joke goes, GMO stands for “God Move Over.” The four largest GMO crops, corn, soy, sugar beets and canola constitute 70 percent of all products. Should the government require mandatory labeling on foods containing genetically engineered ingredients? A lot of people think so. Large agribusiness and biotech companies have spent hundreds of millions fighting labeling. With control of seeds through patents and so-called intellectual property rights in the hands of a few corporations, biodiversity disappears, and is replaced by GMO monocultures. Seeds in traditional cultures were regarded as sacred. It’s time we stopped soiling the soil.

Gary Taubes - Sugar: How Sweet It Isn't

Sugar is the tobacco of the new millennium: backed by powerful lobbies, entrenched in our lives, and making some people very sick. There is growing evidence that sugar triggers chronic diseases such as diabetes that are likely to kill us, or at least hasten our deaths. In the U.S. and Canada about 30% of the population has diabetes; obesity is at epidemic proportions; heart disease is rising; nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. And sugar is a leading cause of these problems. It has permeated our diet: such as its uses as a preservative, as an additive in cigarettes, and the pervasiveness of high-fructose corn syrup. Long held assumptions about sugar are being reexamined. Some communities from Oakland to Boulder are now taxing sugary drinks. In terms of health sugar can be very bitter.

Speaker(s):

Eric Holt-Gimenez

Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy, known as Food First, a "people's think tank" dedicated to ending the injustices that cause hunger. For over two decades, he has worked with peasant movements in Mexico and Central America. He is the author of Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement and A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism.

Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva is an internationally renowned voice for sustainable development and social justice. She's a physicist, scholar, social activist and feminist. She is Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi. She's the recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize and of the Right Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Prize. She is the author of many books, including Water Wars, Earth Democracy, Soil Not Oil and Making Peace with the Earth. She is the editor of the book Seed Sovereignty, Food Security.

Gary Taubes

Gary Taubes is co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative. An investigative science journalist, his articles appear in The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine and Esquire. He is the author of Why We Get Fat and The Case Against Sugar.

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