Locating Nation, State, and Identity in the Global Food Debate


  • Nadra Hashim Hunger Reduction International




Food Security, Food Sovereignty


First paragraphs:

The advocates of food security, food sovereignty, and indigenous sovereignty discuss the relative merits of each movement in Globalization and Food Sovereignty, a volume edited by Peter Andrée, Jeffrey Ayres, Michael J. Bosia, and Marie-Josée Massicotte. Like all rich academic discussion, the increasingly complex debate about food may be best understood where the philosophical and the practical converge. A good place to begin a discussion of the food debate may be in chapter four, located in the first third of the book. Professor Martha McMahon, sociologist by profession and farmer by vocation, has written a delightful and comprehensive analysis of one of the most interesting aspects of the food challenge. She describes, among other things, the specter of creeping government oversight and what for some is the equally frightening sensation of anarchical communalism.

So far, government oversight prevails, as McMahon describes what could be an Orwellian vignette emerging in western Canada. Canada's governing authorities have developed a system to monitor farm animals. In this instance, the subject is the rare Cotswold breed of sheep, which now must wear birth-to-death electronic tracking devices. McMahon suggests that the effort to "follow the sheep" is rooted in the neoliberal global food pro¬gram of keeping food "plentiful and safe" (p. 117). According to McMahon, the extremes taken to keep food and farm produce abundant and safe highlight where food security advocates may be unwilling, or unable, to check excesses of corporate and government control; they also appear ambivalent about the need to promote "equitable social change" (p. 113)....


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Author Biography

Nadra Hashim, Hunger Reduction International

Nadra Hashim works as grant writer for Hunger Reduction International, an East African food security NGO, and is working on a manuscript concerning the cultivation of wild grains in North Africa. Recently Dr. Hashim was appointed founding assistant dean and associate professor at Jindal Global University School of International Affairs in Sonipat, India. Since returning from India in 2012, Ms. Hashim has published research concerning trends in U.S. urban farming in Local Environment and is author of a forthcoming publication in the Journal of African Business discussing East African biofuel production. Nadra Hashim was an inaugural Ford Fellow at Amherst College in 2001 and received her PhD from the University of Virginia in 2006.
Cover of Globalization and Food Sovereignty



How to Cite

Hashim, N. (2014). Locating Nation, State, and Identity in the Global Food Debate. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 4(4), 213–217. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2014.044.019