Food Security, Inequality and the Neoliberal Diet in Emerging Economies

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Otero, Gerardo, Gabriela Pechlaner, Giselle Liberman and Efe Can Gürcan, Food Security, Inequality and the Neoliberal Diet in Emerging Economies, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 42/2015, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, March 2015.

 

Date created: 
2015
Identifier: 
ISSN 1922-5725
Keywords: 
inequality
neoliberal food regime
food sovereignty
obesity epidemic
BRICs
Abstract: 

How have growing food-import dependency and intra-state inequalities impacted class diets under the neoliberal food regime? This study shows a deepening inequality between low-to-middle-income working classes, whose diet has become increasingly compromised nutritionally, and higher-income classes, who have gained increased access to healthful or “luxury” foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. We develop an index that measures the risk of exposure to what we call the “neoliberal diet” for low-to-middle-income working classes. Using this index, we compare the US and Canada with a group of countries including the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) plus South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey. We conclude that food security for most people in these so-called emerging nations can hardly be achieved under the “comparative advantage” logic of the neoliberal food regime and its nutritionally compromised diet. A more promising, and democratic, alternative is a food-sovereignty program of agrarian reforms to promote peasant production and social empowerment, as well as rural–urban alliances.

 

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Other
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Rights remain with the author.
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