So, you want to start a revolution…

against the industrial food complex?

Good luck.

Click to make it bigger!

You’ve probably seen this infographic before (on this occasion, I’ve taken the image from Geekologie).  It’s a bit alarming really…

What I actually find more surreal though, is that:

  • Just four companies – Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and (Louis) Dreyfus, account for between 75% and 90% of the global grain trade
  • They’re generally fairly shadowy companies and it’s hard to get any information on them at all.  BungeCargill, and ADM don’t exactly have squeaky clean environmental records.  ADM also gained the dubious honour of making it onto Newsweek/ The Daily Beast’s Least Green Companies in America list.
  • ADM is closely allied with Monsanto, Cargill with Syngenta.  Monsanto also made it onto the Least Green Companies list.
  • 80% of corn planted in the US is from Monsanto seed stock.  And God help you if you ever try to fight Monsanto (also, if you haven’t seen FoodInc. yet, then tonight you’re going to go home via your local videostore, rent it out, sit on the couch and have the pants scared off you).
  • Nine companies control the global corn industry

Unless you’re growing and grinding your own flour, chances are you’re implicated in a system you want no part of, just by buying a bag of bread or a biscuit.

Recommended reading:

Kneen, B 1999, Restructuring food for corporate profit: The corporate genetics of Cargill and Monsanto,  Agriculture and Human Values, 16: 161–167

Lang T 1999, The complexities of globalization: The UK as a case study of tensions within the food system and the challenge to food policy, Agriculture and Human Values, 16:169–185

Patel R 207, Stuffed and Starved: From Farm to Fork, the Hidden Battle for the World Food System, Portobello Books, London.

Pollan M 2006, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The search for a perfect meal in a fast-food world, Bloomsbury, London.


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