Research Paper: Political Ecology: The World Food

Pages: 4 (1359 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Al, 2011). Also, the preparation of food has various techniques. Considering the type of food eaten, it is obvious that use of normal gas stove to microwave ovens alone with bar-b-q grills, is rather common for Melanders. Whereas, Natomos cook their food by burning wood which is very common in Mali?

By having a simple glance at the two pictures, one can easily observe that starting from procurement till final consumption, the eating habits of both the families who reflection of the areas they live in, are completely opposite to each other.

Also, it is quite easy to observe how there exist two global cultures; one which is a result of industrialization of food industry and the other is a consequence of simple poverty. The industrialization of food industry started back in 1970s where the main emphasis was on consumption of healthy food components only (of course, by those who could afford it). Markets were flooded with food having only carbohydrates and least fat. Time proved that this notion was wrong and leads the world to obesity. Resultant is the today's world of consuming processed food only, which is refined but lacks nutritional value (Pollan, 2008).

One cannot ignore the role of international monetary bodies in this food disparity all across the globe. It's the policies of organizations like IMF and World Bank, who have made the affluent countries more rich and the poor ones drained out of their resources. 1980s was the era when the African states decided to rely on their internal production and curtailing imports. As Africa is one of the most populated regions of the world, reduction in importance could have had a drastic impact on GNP of developed countries. But due to the policies of World Bank, this plan of sovereignty collapsed completely, burring African nations in debt, and causing their future mortgaged to the commodities with declining value (Patel, 2009).

Also, IMF is an equal culprit in this global inequality. We can take example of Malawi here, a country destroyed by IMF policies where hundreds starved to death. Due to erroneous data presented by IMF, Malawian government reduced its grain storage by 3/4th. The intention was to reduce the storage cost; however the result was hundreds of people dying of famine. Malawi government had to take loan from IMF which further indebted the country and worsened its state (Rowan, 2002). Although IMF claimed in its fact sheet that this disaster was the result of government policies (IMF, 2002). A 2009 report by the International Food Policy Research Institute estimated that, in the absence of resolute government action, daily food availability in sub-Saharan Africa will average 500 calories less per person in 2050 (Godoy, 2009).

Food disparity is an evil depriving millions of their basic right: food. Our eating habits reflect who we are and where we belong to. It also explains our social status and culture. There have been various studies conducted on this topic and they successfully managed to explain the difference between the nourishment intakes in between citizens of developed as well as developing countries. Where the affluent ones have all the luxuries at their disposal, those living in developing part of the world are trying hard to make the ends meet. Organizations such as IMF and World Bank have also played their role in enhancing this global inequality and if their current policies prevail, the situation might get worse globally.


Figure 1: Foods Available for Consumption (kcal/cap/day)

Source: FAO: 2007

Figure 2:

Figure 3:

Work Cited

Food and Agriculture Organization. World Food Insecurity and Malnutrition: Scope, Trends, Causes and Consequences. 2009

International Monetary Fund. Malawi -- The Food Crises, the Strategic Grain Reserve, and the IMF. 2002

Godoy, Julio. Climate Change Worsening Farming's Trade-Related Woes. 2009

Menzel, Peter. Hungary Plant: What the world eats. 2005

Patel, Raj. Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World's Food System. Melville House: 2009.

Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food. Penguin: 2008.

Rowan, David. Famine in Malawi as IMF policies… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Political Ecology: The World Food.  (2012, May 1).  Retrieved September 21, 2019, from

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"Political Ecology: The World Food."  May 1, 2012.  Accessed September 21, 2019.