How has globalization changed the way we eat?

Marion Nestle: Well from the standpoint of food producers and food companies in the United States, the most important issue is price, or has been price.  Keep the price as low as possible.  So that has led to a consolidation of food production in a way that has driven out small farmers, so that through economies of scale food prices are kept low.  It also has allowed food corporations to outsource the production of food.  I once heard an official at the Department of Agriculture say that he didn’t think we should be growing food in America at all.  We should be outsourcing all of it and using our land for recreation and housing.  I thought that was really interesting.  So much for Homeland Security.  So we live in a . . . we live in a global world.  We get an enormous amount of our food and food ingredients from countries like China that don’t have the same kind of safety standards that we do.  We need to work on that, and we are working on that.

We need to make sure that we're not importing sub-par food.

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  • While concern and anger are valid reactions to these inequalities, UCLA professor Ramesh Srinivasan also sees it as an opportunity to take action.
  • Srinivasan says that the digital economy can be reshaped to benefit the 99 percent if we protect laborers in the gig economy, get independent journalists involved with the design of algorithmic news systems, support small businesses, and find ways that groups that have been historically discriminated against can be a part of these solutions.
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