His-storically, rural people have been quite poor, based on the Eurocentric definition of poverty. Yet, despite this poverty, poor farmers could grow enough food to feed themselves. However, industrial agriculture and widespread industrialization have moved large chunks of the human population into cities, promising more wealth. But rising food and energy prices have left people unable to feed their families. It doesn’t help either that the elites, following in the time tested path of taking the land, mae more people landless and unable to practice Sankofa.
Multinational food companies who are part of the land grab in order to rape the soil for their Franken foods, have also worked their way into the food budgets of the poor. A good book is Diet for a new America which was inspired by an earlier book called Diet for a small planet. Each described how unhealthy choices and unhealthy distribution of land can and does contribute to an unstable planet and eco system. Around the world, industrial agriculture corporations have consolidated land ownership into the hands of the smaller and wealthier elite populations. Wealthy nations often dumped cheap subsidized grain on poorer nations. The time honoured traditions of local self-sufficiency is destroyed. And as the price of food has risen dramatically, these created dependencies on cheap imports, which don’t exist anymore, mean that millions are in danger of starvation.
Real alleviation of poverty and hunger means reallocating the resources of our world into the hands of people who need them most. This is not only ethically the right thing to do, it is necessary. In America Inc, the stolen African farm lands are meant be parcelled out to Corporations, to build parking lots and condos and dinosaurs like shopping malls. Never mind the fact that other ethnic groups benefit from the stolen African farm land. This is a temporary ruse to impress upon you that these groups have any say in the final decision by the government, whose true allegiance is to the elite and not the voters.
Most of the world’s poorest people are urban slum dwellers (often displaced farmers) or land-poor farmers. Both groups are increasing, in large degree because of economic policies that favour food for export and allow large quantities of land to be held in the hands of the richest. In America inc’s case, the over subsidizing of chosen farmers, allows them to destroy excess food or grow less diversified foods, but in the end to flood the nations of outside of the Western countries with none traditional, none ethnic and none nutritional foods.
With the expansion of agricultural production for export, that which controlled by corporations who owns the best lands, the poor continually gets displaces to ever more marginal areas in their nations. They are forced to try to eke out a living in arid desert conditions or in rainforests. As they fall deeper into poverty and desperate they are often accused of contributing to mounting environmental and ecological crisis.
In this system, poor people who depend on the land, and who best understand the urgency of preserving it, are forced by desperation and the need to survive, to degrade and destroy the land. They in turn are held responsible by the sanctimonious hypocrites in the Western nations and their lackeys in the government of these poorer nations. But big Agra will continue to work in conjunction with big Pharma in producing death at the table, because we refuse to take responsibility for what and the way we eat.