ADM, Cargill, and Bunge to Overhaul Our Food System?
Only three companies control 90 percent of the world's grain: Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and Bunge. One corporation, Monsanto, owns the patents to many of the world's food crops. In the past 50 years, we have witnessed the consolidation of our most precious food sources into a few hands, which has resulted in massive world hunger and environmental degradation.
This radical consolidation has resulted in fewer and fewer farmers feeding more and more people. Our government subsidizes cheap corn and soy to the point where no other farmers in the world can compete with our prices. As a result, small farms are put out of business and food security is destabilized across the planet.
In a recent New York Times editorial, Alice Waters, a famous chef and local foods advocate, and Katrina Heron point out that for every meal our public schools serve, they get money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which "pays good money for what are essentially leftovers from big American food producers." The duo admits that it would cost "about $5 per child" to feed 30 million schoolchildren organic, locally grown meals, but the long-term benefits, they say, would be worth it.
Those benefits include improving children's dietary habits, tracking food safety more easily, and improving children's attention spans. Probably the greatest benefit would be that the money diverted from big food processors would go instead to local farmers, thus improving the economies of the schools' communities.
ADM, Cargill, and Bunge are be lobbied by many to lead the charge on overhauling our food system as part of the stimulus package. Shifting from a global food system to local food systems would solve many problems at once.
Accoding to Alice Walters, "People would have access to fresh, varied local produce, and communities would benefit from the economic stimulus generated by keeping food money in their local economies. "
Source: AP, Reuters, Iowa Mountain Express