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Social Sci LibreTexts

16: Feeding the World

  • Page ID
    11201
  • How should we think about global food politics? It is tempting to start with big moments on the world stage such as the United Nations discussing famine in Ethiopia or Syria. But this approach can be alienating. It locates global politics far away from daily life and sees food as just another issue that international leaders address on our behalf. So rather than this top-down approach, this chapter offers a bottom-up approach, beginning with everyday people like you and me. Through this perspective we can better appreciate the meaning of ‘big’ statistics like the estimate of the United Nations that 795 million people in the world are undernourished. What kind of lives do these individuals lead, and what is it like to go without food? We can also see that it is not just problems of hunger that food politics concerns itself with, but those relating to food safety, nutrition and livelihoods as well. Being attentive to everyday voices shows that these issues affect people in developed countries just as much as those in developing countries. Who in the world gets fed, with what, and by whom are fundamental questions that concern us all.