Saturday, August 21, 2010

Food, Hunger, and Globalized Corporate Agriculture (1)

New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 34 -- August 21, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #129, August 24 & 28:

Food, Hunger, and Globalized
Corporate Agriculture (1)

In brief

The price of food spiked in 2007-2008, greatly increasing hunger--and triggering food riots--worldwide. The riots drew attention to the bizarre system now in place, in which a handful of huge, vertically integrated corporations control food production and distribution globally. They are aided by corrupt transnational institutions such as the World Bank and corrupt national governments.

And financial speculators know that food bubbles can be just as profitable as high-tech bubbles and housing bubbles--even if they involve starving a few dozen million additional people.

This installment features a lively discussion of such matters by food-and-agriculture experts Katarina Wahlberg and Raj Patel (recorded in 2008) and a reading of Paul Craig Roberts' recent essay, "Chelsea's Wedding: Let Them Eat Cake."

Top: Church soup kitchen in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
Bottom: Somewhere in Africa. Most photos: Click to enlarge.

Notes, credits, & links

This installment on agriculture is the first of a series. We'll have the next installment (insh'allah) in three weeks.

Thanks to the weekly radio program "Building Bridges," and to producers Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg, for the Wahlberg-Patel dialogue.

I have condensed Paul Craig Roberts' essay. The original is printed here. Thanks to Roberts and to .

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "What, me worry?") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

Feedback to kdowst at hotmail period com.
Free weekly NWN email newsletter on request.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. New World Notes' main audio archive is at Installments beginning with #90 are archived also at The Internet Archive, in a variety of file formats. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Bottom: In the background stands the Kansas National Guard Agribusiness
Development Team, shortly before being packed off to Afghanistan. What
the heck?? By now you know I'm not clever enough to make stuff like
this up. Check out the Official Story.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • August 31 -- The U.S. War Against Iran, featuring Phil Wilayto.
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