Friday, April 27, 2012

Hunger-Corporate Corruption?-Journal on Famine (Tuesday, April 24th, 2012)

Hunger-Corporate Corruption?

Through time, countries in the more developed part of the world have been confused to be prosperous in every way because of their economic status and development which might be better than other countries. Nations such as Canada and America continue to increase in population as individuals migrate from other countries in pursuit of a more prestigious future for themselves and their families; however, certain amenities which seem to be easily attainable in these countries are actually illusions cast by governments and corporations.

Famine is defined by Wikipedia as a widespread scarcity of food; however, this word is not limited to only developing countries in which numerous individuals do not have access to food, it refers to regions world wide in which people may not have food. Despite the great economic status of Western countries, people in many cities cannot access food due to their restricted incomes. Produce and food supplies which are sold at local supermarkets seem to display a great deal of diversity as many individuals believe they are from different companies; however, in reality, there are only a few corporations behind all brands in modern Western supermarkets. Food Inc. is a movie in which corruption among corporations involved in food production in the United States of America is portrayed. The movie shows that the supermarket is a place that consists of illusions of various companies, when there are only a few providing all the food to consumers. According to the movie, we are in fact limited to our purchases and what we consume because we can't chose the root provider for our food. Consumers in America who have smaller incomes have to resort to fast food restaurants to attain food because fresh produce is beyond what their budget can afford; therefore, are at a higher risk of obesity and attaining other diseases. As consumers, we are only allowed to purchase our food without having little or no information about its history and where it came from; therefore, we are at a greater risk of getting diseases as we grow more vulnerable. 

As human beings, we don't have control over where what we eat comes from; however, we do have control over what we eat. Despite countries in Africa and other parts of the world which suffer from famine rates, local communities in Western nations such as Canada and the United States have similar problems. Since corporations decide what is best for the consumer and put a heavy price tag on food items which would be healthier for consumption, individuals in developed countries who cannot afford fresh and healthy produce have no choice but to conform to fast food restaurants or food banks. We might witness a family driving around in a BMW; however, we may not be aware of the fact that they may not even have enough money to buy a loaf of bread and eggs from No Frills.

Urbanization in Western countries has in fact benefited various people; however as more corporations start coming into play, a web of illusions is forming around us making us mere puppets. We may  have a great quality of life and access to basic necessities; however, we will never truly gain control of where those necessities come from. 

The movie portrays cattle farms in which cattle are given corn to eat so that they grow faster for slaughter; however, cows are supposed to consume grass, not corn. Companies for their own profit will take the easy way out, but in doing so, they put clueless consumers' lives at risk. 

People in our own country are hungry everyday, the only difference is, many of them can access the food bank. Where does the problem lie? Corporations.

Since corporations are in charge of produce and what price to sell it at, many people cannot afford food and would rather pay their mortgage or debt and resort to easier food options aka their local McDonald's. What is this doing? Increasing obesity risks and consumer vulnerability. Here we all are ready to donate food to countries around the world; however, we are completely disregarding the people in our own communities who are victimized by corporate corruption.

I truly believe that as individuals we should try to help local communities before taking a step in the global direction because as people locally become aware, they will not hesitate to help global issues. The same corporations which control our meals are part of an economic web which probably affects those in developing countries as well; therefore, taking sustainable local action will undoubtedly make us secure enough to take global action.

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