Myths of Hunger and Free Trade
(note for those who haven't recently studied Sociology "States" are countries, don't ask me why I just write like they tell me to)
Our world produces enough food to provide everyone the ability to consume 2500 to 3000 calories a day, consumption like that would have everyone overweight.
A myth of hunger is that we do not produce enough food to feed everyone. Another myth of hunger is overpopulation of the world and specific States or areas within States is a cause of hunger. There are very heavily populated States that eat very well such as Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong. The last myth about hunger is that Free Trade can end hunger. Farmers who stop growing crops to feed their families and start growing cash crops to support the State’s exports find that the surplus of crops sent to market lower the prices and they do not earn enough to purchase the food needed for survival. Food that they grew themselves in years past.
Farmers who use the small-scale organic methods of growing crops to support themselves and those near them work to sustain the land. They grow more crops and animal varieties in a smaller space but produce more edible food than large cash crop farms. Small-scale farms care about the soil fertility and work hard to rotate the crops to not use up, or deplete the nutrients, but instead to build them up for the next year. Small farmers also save seeds and through a process of selecting only the best seeds from the best crops have cultivated over centuries the plants we have today.
Sadly our neoliberal economic policies are putting the small farmers out of business by encouraging farmers to “go big or get out” the big cash crop farms produce enough to drive the market price down for everyone making it impossible to sell a crop for more than it cost to produce it. The core zone countries have very large Agribusiness companies that create GMO (genetically modified seeds) that must be purchased to go with their chemicals, they also sell the fertilizers and process the foodstuff. The companies set the prices to purchase the seeds and the amount paid for the end result plus all the middle processes. The large companies that buy meat also force the large farmer who wants to produce meat to raise the animals in “factory” like arrangement where there are many animals forced into small spaces or cages. This makes diseases run quickly through the animals and forces the farmers to buy and use antibiotics to keep the animals healthy to reach adulthood.
The core zone corporations are winning because of the “stockholder” mentality where the bottom line or almighty dollar is more important than the land, animal or people involved in creating it. While the peripheral and semi-peripheral zone farmers are losing their livelihood, land and some are even taking their lives out of desperation and despair.