Is Food A Commodity Or A Human Right?

Josephine PollardPhotography by Josephine Pollard Words by Frank Think

According to UN reports an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide are undernourished even though last year enough food was produced to feed nearly double the current world population.

Food security, scarcity, production and sustainability are high on the agenda for many global policy makers who primarily focus on food as a commodity and not as a basic human right necessary for dignified human life. The over commoditization of the global food supply is primarily dominated by powerful multinational corporations based in wealthy countries where food waste, not scarcity, is an issue. In recent years there been an increase in food commodity markets speculation and a slow down in regulating these markets. Financial speculators and retailers focus on higher profits driving food costs higher as evidenced by the large profits. Global financial markets and speculation are necessary for markets to perform efficiently however greater appreciation is needed for equitable, sustainable production and consumer protection.

To consider food as a human right places duties on countries to ensure people have access to basic foods necessary for dignified life. In theory this is admirable but unworkable given the costs involved. As with many human rights the spirit of the right precedes manifestation and it is up to the financial markets to lead the way.

Oh dear, looks like we will have to tighten our belts and hope another financial interest grabs their attention before our next meal.

Related posts: