This is a speech given in 2008 by Vandana Shiva, one of the world’s most prominent environmental activists who has specialised on issues of food and water security. Here, she argues that the commodification of food and industrial food production have contributed to increasing poverty, malnutrition and outright famine in the third world. By dumping cheap, subsidised agricultural produce into the third world countries and by stealing their traditional crop varieties using intellectual property rights, Western corporations have practically destroyed whole subsistence economies in many parts of the world.
This commodification is of course not just a problem of the third world. Also here in the West, our food system has become inherently diseased with obesity and various food-related illnesses running rampant while millions of animals are tortured horribly in the food factories on a daily basis. When it comes to food, the “free market” is literally an engine of death.
Shiva has gone as far as to say that the only way we can actually survive as a species is by switching to a system of local, organic agriculture globally. Clearly, if we want to create sustainable communities, food production is one of the first things we need to take back from the corporate machine. So, support your local small-time farmers, or if you have a big enough yard, grow your food yourself! For a healthier culture and a healthier body!