Food is something we consume daily to give us the energy and nutrients of the day. Food is meant to be our duels, and without it, we aren’t able to be productive throughout the day, and that will greatly affect our work and studies. However, did you know that there is such a thing as food politics? Apparently the varieties of food that we take also have its own policies, and it has even been brought up as a debate to make sure if the food can be distributed to the public or not.
Little did we know, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of the food we consume like food at fast food restaurants, groceries items like cereals, oat nut butter, milk, rice, and other types of food as well – especially with imported goods, since imported goods are taken from other countries. Therefore, thorough inspection has to be done to ensure if the food can be distributed and sold in our country or not. With that being said, let’s take a deeper look at what food politics is all about.
Food politics? What is that?
When discussing the production, control, regulation, inspection, distribution, and consumption of commercially grown and, at times, home grown food, the phrase “food politics” is used to incorporate not just food policy and law but all of these other topics as well. Ethical, cultural, and health issues, as well as environmental worries regarding farming and agricultural techniques and retailing methods, all have an impact on the business side of food production.
Biofuels, genetically modified crops, pesticides, the global food market, food aid, food security, food sovereignty, obesity, unfair labour practises, exploitation of migrant workers, water scarcity, animal cruelty, and global warming are all included under one umbrella phrase.
How does food become part of politics?
As mentioned above, it is not just the food policy that is discussed when it comes to food politics. It is also the ethical, cultural, health issues and environmental worries surrounding the topic of food. Here are some sections of how food is linked to politics:
Aid in Time of Crisis
If a natural disaster strikes, it may have a severe effect on the food supply chain. Distributors face difficulties transporting food to and from areas hit by climate-related disasters due to disruptions in transportation networks. As a result of natural catastrophes, many people in impacted areas go hungry for days.
This then makes food relief programmes all the more important. Natural catastrophes have a disproportionate impact on low-income communities. They have a harder time obtaining food during times of supply chain disruption and have less access to evacuation preparations, financial stability, and health insurance.
The Role of Government in Education
The youth of today, armed with knowledge of agriculture, nutrition, and cookery, have the potential to revitalise the health of a whole generation and reinvent the future of food production. Garden-to-table education initiatives have been shown to enhance children’s eating habits and instill in young people a better awareness of their food source.
This is essential so that children and youths are able to understand more about the food they consume, and so that they will have the initiative to make a change or contribute to others who are struggling to survive with low food sources. Other than that, these children and youths will then grow up to contribute and suggest better alternative to make food “safe” and acknowledging the history and cultural element of certain food that has been adapted in their community.
Despite being well-established in the scientific community, concerns about climate change have become politicised. Agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, however this fact is consistently disregarded. Industrial meat production is a major contributor to climate change, since livestock is responsible for an estimated 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Soil deterioration is a major problem, and conventional agriculture is a major contributor since it removes soil nutrients while releasing carbon into the atmosphere.
In addition, there are several waste streams in the food chain that cannot be maintained. One-third of all municipal and industrial waste, much of which is not handled and releases harmful gasses, comes from the food animal business. Forty percent of the world’s food supply goes uneaten, either to landfills or unharvested fields.
So, in what ways do we need to change our food policy?
Traditional consumer protection strategies have focused on increasing the authority of government organisations responsible for food policy in order to shield consumers from the worst excesses of the food business. Some have advocated for stricter food safety regulations, while others have sought to enhance financing for programs that teach people how to make good food choices. While such reform tactics are necessary and valuable, supporters must look beyond the status quo of piecemeal legislative solutions.
Our profit-driven global food economy prioritises the bottom lines of multinational agribusinesses and fast food chains over the health and safety of consumers throughout the world, hence creating a plethora of food-related problems. To make this system more equitable, sustainable, and compassionate, fundamental reforms must be made, not simply minor adjustments.
Why food politics are important
The political issues that are currently dominating the news have the potential to have far-reaching effects not only on the systems that are involved in producing and delivering our food, but also on individuals, ranging from rural immigrant farmworkers to city diners. These effects could have far-reaching implications. This is one manner in which food and politics at the national level are related. When addressing existing and future policy, food security must constantly be kept in the forefront.
Hence why food is important in all aspects, and not just the fact that food is fuels for humans and animals alike. It is important to be aware of the process of how food is made, the history and cultural background of the food, as well as the ethical preparation in processing certain food. Without food policies and politics, a crisis will arise and everyone will struggle to get the food that they need daily.