Ending Hunger is Possible – Institutional Change Matters
Jahi Chappell continuously begs the question: “Who benefits?” He shares his thoughts about hunger and our food systems in his book Beginning to End Hunger: Food and the Environment in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Beyond. In six chapters, he outlines his analytical background and tells the story about an extraordinary effort to end hunger in the city of Belo Horizonte and its surrounding villages.
The book is preceded by a foreword by Frances Moore Lappé, who encourages us to rethink common assumptions as part of the solution. In the introduction (chapter 1), Chappell introduces institutions and epistemology, and coins the terms Minority World (for instance, wealthier areas such as the U.S. and the E.U.—where relatively few people live) and Majority World (where the majority of the world’s population lives, in economies such as Brazil’s). He reminds us to be careful when adopting food security indicators: do not take information out of context, but account for the multifaceted and intertwined nature of the subject. Then he shares a list of eight basic propositions about global food systems (although he unfortunately does not reveal how he arrived at these). The major message is: there is enough food in most places at most times, and perceived scarcity and unhealthy patterns are often a question of profitability and the institutions (the rules, norms and values) that govern societal behavior....
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