Dom Heder, Brazilian Archbishop, once said ‘When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.’
This award-winning documentary is all about food justice. It was filmed in Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Kenya, Zambia, India, Brazil and many parts of the United States.
The film features thought-provoking interviews with farmers, political intellectuals, activists, and government and corporate officials.
The interviews focus on touchy issues such as hunger, GMOs, suicide rates among farmers, diabetes, and migrant farm workers.
The word ‘globalization’ gets tossed around frequently these days. The big question is what does it have to do with hunger? Why are some people eating and even throwing away food while others have nothing to put on their tables in a world of plenty?
In Haiti, ‘agile’ has become a popular meal option for those who cannot afford bread. It’s made of mud, salt, water, and butter mixed into a batter. It’s illegal because of obvious health concerns, but people who are hungry find it very satisfying.
In the 1990s Haiti had its first democratic election. However the United States disagreed with the reforms proposed by the new president and overthrew his government. After years of militarization and violence, the United States finally agreed to reinstate the president but only after implementing economic rules that sent farmers into bankruptcy.
In Chiapas, Mexico, farmers work themselves almost to death and still can’t put food on their tables because the payment they receive for their crops is extremely low. When Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it repealed Article 27 of the country’s constitution, which gave poor farmers the right to communal land ownership. This forced about 1 million families out of farming.
In Kenya, the land is being used to plant tea, not food. Kenya is the world’s third largest exporter of tea. The amount the farmers are paid per kilogram is not enough to buy food. So poverty and hunger are rampant.
In South Dakota at the Pine Ridge Reservation, 50% of the population over the age of 40 suffers from diabetes. This problem goes all the way back to when the indigenous population was forced off their land. Their main source of food at the time was destroyed and the government forced the natives to eat the processed food they provided.
Hunger is an issue of justice and many people around the world question the current globalization approach to food. The system impoverishes many to improve the standards of living of just a few. The same food can be grown in Africa, packaged in Asia, and eaten in the United States. But because the food is not free and needs to be offered to the consumer at an ‘affordable’ price, the farmers are unable to make a profit. To find out how globalization is actually creating poverty around the world, watch this now.