How could we let this happen? How could we let a handful of greedy corporations take total control of our food supply, and how are we going to stop them? Here are some ideas from Christopher D. Cook.
This is not a problem we can solve by going vegetarian or vegan, or buying organic and fair trade.
It is no longer news that a few powerful corporations have literally occupied the vast majority of human sustenance. The situation is perilous: nearly all of human food production, seeds, food processing and sales, is run by a handful of for-profit firms which, like any capitalist enterprise, function to maximize profit and gain ever-greater market share and control. The question has become: What do we do about this disastrous alignment of pure profit in something so basic and fundamental to human survival?
It is time — now, not next year — to de-occupy Wal-Mart. And Archer Daniels Midland. And Tyson Foods. And Monsanto. And Cargill. And Kraft Foods. And the other large corporations that decide what ends up on our plates. Take all our money out, public and personal, from our shopping dollars to school district lunch contracts to the corporate subsidies that uphold these firms’ grip on our food supply, and invest it in a new system that’s economically diverse and ecologically sustainable. Read more »»»
A few quick facts:
- Four corporations, led by Walmart, control more than half of grocery sales. Walmart alone gets more than one quarter of every grocery dollar spent in the U.S.
- Three companies — Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta — own 47 percent of the world’s seeds. And they own 65 percent of the global proprietary maize market.
- Nearly every major commodity — wheat, corn, soy — is controlled by just four corporations.
- Just four corporations control more than 80 percent of all our meat supply.
- According to USDA statistics, America loses more than 17,000 farmers a year — one every half an hour.