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The quiet revolution in staple food value chains

  Author(s): Thomas Reardon, Kevin Chen, Bart Minten, Lourdes Adriano Source: Asian Development Bank | December 2012   Major changes have been occurring almost unnoticed in staple value chains in Asia. The Quiet Revolution in Staple Food Value Chains documents and explains the transformation of value chains moving rice and potatoes between the farm gate and the consumer in Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, and India. The changes noted are the rapid rise of supermarkets, modern cold storage facilities, large rice mills, and commercialized small farmers using input-intensive, mechanized technologies. These changes affect food security in ways that are highly relevant for policymakers across Asia—the rise of supermarkets provides […]

Ignoring the nation’s poor: A political peril in 2012?

In today’s America, one in four Americans live in poverty. Since 2007, number of working families living in poverty or near poverty rose by 25 per cent. The official poverty rate rose to 15.9 per cent this month. This is happening despite the presence of Wal-mart which is supposed to be creating jobs and helps in economic growth. Since 2007, 10.4 million more Americans have had their incomes fall below the official poverty line. I can’t believe this. And we are made to believe that the country must follow the US economic model if it has to grow, to remove poverty and to eliminate hunger. What a fallacy. This analysis […]

Arsenic eyes rice nutrients

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/arsenic-eyes-rice-nutrients Author(s): Biplab Das Date: Aug 15, 2012 The heavy metal can disrupt amino acid synthesis in the grain CIATARSENIC accumulation in rice is something that is largely unexplored. A study has now found that the heavy metal can disrupt amino acid synthesis in the grain, a staple diet for many. This can reduce the levels of essential and non-essential amino acids found mainly in rice which are essential for a healthy life. Essential amino acids like lysine, phenylealanine, histidine and methionine not only improve digestion, stimulate hormonal release and enhance memory, they are also the building blocks of all proteins. Deficiency of glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid, has been linked […]

World In Serious Trouble On Food Front

By Lester Brown 26 July, 2012 Earth Policy Institute In the early spring of 2012, U.S. farmers were on their way to planting some 96 million acres in corn, the most in 75 years. A warm early spring got the crop off to a great start. Analysts were predicting the largest corn harvest on record. The United States is the leading producer and exporter of corn, the world’s feedgrain. At home, corn accounts for four-fifths of the U.S. grain harvest. Internationally, the U.S. corn crop exceeds China’s rice and wheat harvests combined. Among the big three grains – corn, wheat, and rice – corn is now the leader, with production well above […]

A peep into 300 years of food history

M R Venkatesh, Feb 12, 2012 http://www.deccanherald.com/content/226446/a-peep-300-years-food.html “Let them eat cake!” This infamous jibe often attributed to Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France in the 1790s  when peasants had no bread even, may historically conceal more than it reveals. From man’s daily bread to ward off hunger, a basket of agro-horticulture produces, protein-rich metric nutrition with onset of industrialisation, ethnic cuisines, organic food, to highly post-modern personalised food habits when the affluent even fast in style, the “food evolution” has had an encyclopaedic vastness alongside man’s own. Though largely Euro-centric, it impacted the world’s stage at large, as the history and culture of “food” waved through with its paradoxes. […]

Eaters, beware: Walmart is taking over our food system

  http://www.grist.org/food/2011-12-30-eaters-beware-walmart-is-taking-over-our-food-system# Aubretia Edick has worked at a Walmart store in upstate New York for 11 years, but she won’t buy fresh food there. Bagged salads, she claims, are often past their sell-by dates and, in the summer, fruit is sometimes kept on shelves until it rots. “They say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ but they don’t. As a cashier, you hear a lot of people complain,” she said. Edick blames the problems on the store’s chronic understaffing and Walmart’s lack of respect for the skilled labor needed to handle the nation’s food supply. At her store, a former maintenance person was made produce manager. He’s often diverted to other […]

Foods that change your mood

How many times have you found yourself burrowing into the very bottom of a Baskin Robbins tub after a bad breakup? Or caught your gob stuffed with a burger in the middle of a stressful day? Food might not fill that void in your heart, but it can help you perk up enough to pick up the pieces of a shattered heart or the yellings of an erratic employer to start afresh. The bottom line: Good food gives you hope. You just need to eat the right kind.” The key to understanding the connection between the food we eat and our mood and levels of alertness lies in knowing about […]

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