retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Mark Bittman has an intriguing piece in the New York Times about Olivier de Schutter, a human rights lawyer who for the past six years has served as the United Nations "special rapporteur on the right to food."

"With increasing depth," Bittman writes, "De Schutter has analyzed a food crisis that is international and systemic, with common threads in countries rich and poor. He’s revealed how we can change things, how the will of the citizens and countries of the world can be powerful tools in making a new food system, one that is smart and sustainable and fair."

Bittman writes that de Schutter's analysis is "damning": “'Poor countries should be supported not by dumping food on their local markets but by helping them reinvest in their own local food systems, by investing in their helping them feed themselves.' This is especially true of poor farmers who may be driven off the land by an inability to compete with food sold at international commodity prices, people who subsequently cannot afford that commoditized food. Think, please, about the horrible irony of that situation, and of what food justice actually means."

And, he says: “Many of us have arrived at the conviction that junk food and sugary drinks are like tobacco and deserve to be treated in the same way.”

Fascinating piece. Worth reading in its entirety here.
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