Hungry Planet

      No Comments on Hungry Planet

While reviewing Peter Menzel’s photographic essay “Hungry Planet”, I was struck by the dramatic differences in food culture between developing and affluent countries.  For my paper, I wanted to find two countries that unparalleled each other.  One of the countries I chose for my paper was Chad, a country that is extremely under developed and is facing a food crisis that is becoming way too common around the world.  Most of these photos from Chad really encapsulate their dire situation, such as the family’s weekly spread of food that mostly consisted of grains.  These families have to dig for their water in wells, slaughter their goats for immediate sustenance and rely on affluent countries to deliver their food every single day.  Most of the food shown in the photos wasn’t even a product of their local farms, but as aid from the United States.  As we’ve learned in this course, food aid can have negative impacts toward their local farmers, as people turn to the donated goods instead of buying from their own farmers.

The other country I chose was the United States, where the tables were full of large amounts of processed and packaged food from all over the world on their kitchen tables for the week.  When thinking about how and why this is happening around the world, we have to consider the implications regarding globalization and free trade.  These government policies are leaving countries like Chad in a precarious situation where they have been a victim of poor structural programs by organizations such as the WTO and the World Bank.  These structural programs have greatly helped affluent countries by promoting lower food prices and cheap labor.  These factors directly benefit to our well-being as Americans, but while observing the ways of life for those in Chad, we have to understand that there is another side to this tale.

Leave a Reply