Nothing but corn in Iowa. So I did some serious weeding and hoeing of corn this weekend……..Of white corn. Not the regular uneatable corn which goes into feed fodder, energy production or corn sweetener. These immense fields are round-up ready anyway. The corn grown in the community garden in Marshall town (see blog) can be eaten, it will be used to make corn flour tortillas.
Our global agro-food industry has not been able to reduce hunger as it privileges capital accumulation for already wealthy elites while externalizing environmental and social costs to societies. The consolidation of power in the food chain, the world food crisis and environmental degradation have instigated a variety of movements towards self reliance and community focus, towards returning to a scale which can be influenced. It can be seen as a re-appropriation of a sense of self determination and autonomy to increase resilience of livelihoods and to reduce dependence on situations with high levels of power asymmetries.
While we do not accept anything less than democracy to rule our societies we are nearly being ruled by autocracy in the food chain, hidden behind the myth of ‘consumer choice’. The diversity of food and farming initiatives emerging, points to a process of democratizing food, the people’s right to
“healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems” (Food First)