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  • There’s a quote that’s been attributed to political scientist Henry Kissinger. It

  • goes, “Who controls the food supply controls the people”. Now, whether or not Kissinger

  • actually said that doesn’t take away from the fact that food, like water, can be a powerful

  • bargaining tool for people and governments alike, despite being considered a human right

  • by the UN. So, just how powerful is food?

  • The biggest agricultural exporters in the world are the EU and the US, which together

  • account for roughly 300 billion dollars a year. Each nearly doubles Brazil's exports,

  • and triples China’s. The EU’s high ranking, however, is almost entirely due to the Netherlands,

  • who are the second largest food exporter in the world, after the US. Additionally, many

  • staple foods are overwhelmingly produced by a single country. For example, as much as

  • 40% of the world’s corn is grown in the United States, and just over a quarter of

  • the world’s rice is grown in China. With only a few players controlling the world’s

  • food, they end up wielding a great deal of international power .

  • In 1976, the US Secretary of Agriculture said, “Food is a weapon”, alluding to the use

  • of food as in promoting US goals, and as a tool against difficult countries,  For example,

  • in 2012 the US offered North Korea some much needed food aid in exchange for suspending

  • their nuclear program. Then, after North Korea attempted to launch a long range rocket later

  • that year, the US rescinded their aid offer. However, attempts at food embargoes since

  • the 1960s have mostly fallen flat, as the global economy has made it possible to maintain

  • supply, and international pressure has criticized the ethics of restricting food. On the flip

  • side, Russia’s recent ban on food imports in response to EU sanctions has had a strong

  • effect on food producers. In Germany, pig farmers, who alone supply a quarter of Russia’s

  • pork, are expected to lose out on 40,000 euros per farm this year.

  • The status and control of food on an international level cannot be understated. But using food

  • as a political tool has been met with mixed results, and restricting access to food has

  • regularly been frowned on and legislated against.  So how powerful is food? Powerful, but not

  • always for the right reasons.   

  • Changing climates are threatening a number of important crops across the world, and chocolate

  • is an interesting example. To learn more about how the industry is being threatened, check

  • out this video from AJ+. Thanks for watching TestTube, please remember to subscribe!

There’s a quote that’s been attributed to political scientist Henry Kissinger. It

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食物はいかにして政治的な武器として使われるか (How Food Can Be Used As A Political Weapon)

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    劉宜佳 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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