Hall 1 Jamie Hall CRD 20 Final Exam,Question #1 December 6, 2010

"Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture; to protect and regulate domestic agricultural production and trade in order to achieve sustainable development objectives; to determine the extent to which they want to be self reliant; to restrict the dumping of products in their markets; and to provide local fisheries-based communities the priority in managing the use of and the rights to aquatic resources. Food sovereignty does not negate trade, but rather, it promotes the formulation of trade policies and practices that serve the rights of peoples to safe, healthy and ecologically sustainable production." -"Statement on Peoples' Food Sovereignty" by Via Campesina, et al.

The term ³sustainability´ has many definitions but this paper will seek to demonstrate that sustainability in the food system is a learning process rather than a goal or perfected ³end state´. To participate in sustainable cycles and processes we must learn a way of existing in the world that facilitates the harmonious balance between social, environmental, and economic issues while pursuing values and ideals that help to sustain that state of being. Two large-scaleproposals aimed at increasing sustainability in the food system are food sovereignty and decentralization. Both of these proposals would begin to solve the complicated global issues surrounding agricultural pollution, power inequalities, meat consumption, genetic engineering and energetic inefficiencies in the food system. Food sovereignty would accomplish this by defining sets of values that govern structural change while decentralization would readjust governing bodies to local levels allowing for specific and relevant policies to be made on the community level. In order for these large-scale proposals to work, societal structure will have to change fundamentally. Although these proposals cannot perfect the world we live in, they can change the relationships we have to our bodies, environments, governments and communities for the better, thereby facilitating a hopeful setting to rebalancewhat has been destroyedby our industrialized, profit-seeking, capitalistic societies.

autonomous movement that rose in response to the WTO and FTAA. including their own markets. oppression and marginalization against indigenous peoples. Food sovereignty . ³The economic environment in which farmers work is increasingly established by agribusiness retailers. this movement will sustainably conserve land. La Via Campesina translates to ³The peasant way´. herbicides and fungicides. food sovereignty seeks to protect natural resources. This means that decentralization will become key. not by farmers´ (Levins)By removing control from the top and allowing for a bottom-to-top flow of decision-making. seed and bio-diversity. the problem of monopolized power structures in concentration must be addressed. ethnic minorities or small farmers. (Galt) (Saragih) In order to attain freedom from restrictive markets and other embedded norms involved in regulation. Also. value based regulations withless influence from political and market driven forces. ³Food sovereignty is about an end to all forms of violence against women´ (Patel 2010:124) As well as an end of all forms of violence. poor people. more importantly that food is a basic human right. water. Rosset)(Galt) As a pluralistic. and the philosophy of the movement includes ³the right of nations and peoples to control their own food systems.Hall 2 The term ³food sovereignty´ was coined through ´La Via Campesina´ movement. (Galt)Through Agrarian reform policies. This can be accomplished through achieving freedom from restrictive markets and laws that perpetuate harmful practices. The food sovereignty movement can directly address power inequalities in society through the understanding that the social control of markets must change. production modes. food cultures and environments´ (Martinez-Torres. By valuing healthy soils and the reduced use of pesticides. communities can form governing bodies that uphold specific.

This can be problematic. Food Sovereignty movement wouldn¶t allow for the industrialized . accurate information and open and democratic decision-making. open and hidden subsidies that enforce low prices and overproduction. will local foods really be more free? (Dupuis) Food Sovereignty also directly addresses the problems involved in the consumption of meat. effectively regulate overproduction in the large agro-export countries. Decentralization can accomplish this. because of unforeseen structural issues. By reconstructing systems of authority and redistributing control to the level of the community. while also handing power back to the people. wastes energy. water and land. Communities may have their own difficulties in power inequalities. and eliminate the kinds of direct and in-direct. large corporations can no longer control food.Hall 3 seeks to empower people with access to food that is healthy and nourishing while giving people fundamental land ownership and growing rights free of all forms of discrimination. The question that remains is. and therefore that we need to effectively ban dumping. however.³They believe that low prices are the worst force that farmers face everywhere in the world. It is a system that exploits its workers.´ (Saragih) These quotes exemplify the understanding that restructuring society will be key. Rosset)³Everyone has the right to honest.By focusing on protecting natural resources. however the power structures that define what we eat will be removed and our freedom to choose where our food comes from will be enforced. apply anti-monopoly rules nationally and globally. distribution and disposal. it¶s production. tortures animals in horrible conditions.´ (Martinez-Torres. The industrialized meat industry is a system that is majorly responsible for global warming. damages and pollutes our bodies and environments because of its reliance on large amounts of petroleum.

food sovereignty would change these practices by requiring labels on. If we are to be free of buying and growing seeds that are genetically modified. let alone eating genetically modified foods. The conditions of labor forces would change. (Schlosser) The question then is.It would allow for the local control of natural resources involved in the production of meat. By focusing on safe. . This can potentially be safer for the consumer because consuming meat safely in the current industrial conditions is abysmal. It is a fundamental right for us to be able to produce healthy and safe food. Because Genetic Engineering is potentially damaging to our bodies and environments. Decentralization addresses problems in the meat industry as well. humane alternatives the consumption of meat would become a respected luxury. the production and consumption of meat will become a community decision based on specified ideals. This means that some communities will choose to produce meat in ways that will put small farmers in control.Hall 4 production of meat because it is entirely wasteful and is destroying our environment. who will regulate? Biodiversity. revitalizing economic issues on the community level. health and safety are important parts of food sovereignty. we will be growing the healthiest and best foods for our environments and bodies. Decentralization will follow similar patterns by forcing genetic engineering to be labeled and/or banned while lifting the ³veil´off of the genetically modified foods that are currently available on the market. rather than a cheap expectation. By taking power from industrialized meat production companies and giving individuals and communities control over their food consumption choices. and/or banning genetically engineered foods.

Cuba become self-sufficient. the use of fossil fuels will be conserved and monitored. Cuba is shown to have struggled through the crisis of developing methods of living with 80% less oil than normal. Communities can prioritize local food growth. healthier bodies and minds. The purpose of this film is to show that Cuba solved some of the complicated problems involved in restructuring and rethinking the need for fossil fuels. In the film ³The power of community: how Cuba survived peak oil´. individuals can create social movements that will influence policy changes that can help to decentralize the damaging . If we learn from what Cuba already went through. with minimal influence from the top. Through community development. Ideally. This can create healthier soils and environments. transportation and self-sufficiency. by understanding these power structures. organic farming practices and necessary lifestyle changes that were more ecologically sound. the energy crisis can be solved. By allowing communities to self-govern. How can social movements effect billion dollar industries that have a strangle hold on government policies that support and perpetuate damaging practices? How can these paradoxical cycles be interrupted and changed? Individuals must claim agency in defining social and moral values while assigning these values to movements geared toward changing these systems. people must first understanding the power structures involved.Hall 5 By reorganizing food trade through the understanding that food must be practiced through self-sufficiency and local production methods. However. in order for individuals to create movements that change systems. perhaps we will be prepared to deal with the required alternative energies and developing technologies beforehand so that we will not have a massive global crisis. This is important because ³peak oil´ is a problem that the world will face in the next hundred years.

If these food movements have to do with being against the exploitation of people and the environment. This is how we must move forward with such complicated problems. will be our saving grace. then being able to see the grand vision of our ideals. In this way. . community based action working for niche solutions can have the ripple effects large enough to produce a global impact. analytical decision-making. We must ask ourselves what we have in common and how we can come together to solve these huge problems. By having hope. The important thing is to try and understand all the pieces that fit together. of the ideal future and being able to implement analysis necessary to facilitate change. we will change our world. These are complicated problems that cannot be solved by defining extreme binaries and setting the course for oppositional states of existence. effectively changing wasteful practices into more sustainable processes.Hall 6 powerful sectors responsible for these problemsand corporations can be given financial incentives to change. Food Sovereignty and decentralization must be viewed as a process just as sustainability must be viewed as a process. we can begin to solve these problems at a local level. leading and living by example. Through the decentralization of powerful industrial monopolies and uniting people in community-based.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.