Corporations in Food

What the presence of globalization and corporations in our food is effecting marginalized communities.

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  1. As our world globalizes, so does our food.  A world and nation global system means that not only are we getting foods from farther away, but the food that we are receiving may not be as nutritious as it used to be. The food we eat is becoming less diverse, as fast food companies replace grocery stores, and grocery stores sell less produce and more packaged and unhealthy food.  An example of the institutionalization of food would be with the multi-billion company Monsanto. Monsanto plants more than 80% of US corn and 90% of the soybeans the US population consumes. 
  2. With United States institutions' role in food increasing drastically, corporations are more easily able to control prices of food and also what is put into them as crops, after harvest, and while packaging. All of these factors can contribute to the unhealthy characteristics of the food Americans eat, along with the serious health effects on low-income communities and communities of color.  According to Policy Link, people of color are four times as likely to live in a ten-mile radius without grocery stores and eighty percent of nonwhite residents do not have access to low-fat milk or high-fiber bread sold in their neighborhoods. 

    July 2013, Colorlines released a report outlining the issues with food deserts and how they effect communities of color, using Los Angeles as a case study. West L.A., which includes the neighborhoods Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Culver City, Santa Monica and Venice had significantly more access to healthy and organic food than South L.A., where predominantly working-class communes are, including Compton, Crenshaw, Lynwood and Paramount. One clear indicator of unequal distribution of healthy food that the article pointed out was the amount of restaurants in the area that were not fast-food chains compared to the ones that were.  While West L.A. only has 41 percent of restaurants being fast-food chains, in South L.A., the number is more than thirty percent more. 




  3. The implications of a study like this are intense: people of color and people from low-income neighborhoods have less access to a healthy diversity of food, or food deserts.  This food deserts, in turn are causing higher rates of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease among other health disparities for communities of color. 

    The food justice project All You Can't Eat highlights the complexities of the current food system and some projects and organizations that are trying to correct the issues at hand.   One important aspect is the disproportionate ways lack of food accessibility affects communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.  Through the articles Food Deserts and The Role of Co-ops in the Food Justice Movement members focus in on the social consequences of organic food scarcity and how the food justice movement can help change this.  
  4. Charts and graphs made by: Luna Olavarría Gallegos
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