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Stuffed and Starved

Did you know that there are more than 800 million people starving in the world while there are also more than 1 billion people overweight?

by: Food24: Lee-Shay Collison | 12 Aug 2008

This is what Raj Patel exposes in his book Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System.

Patel launched a comprehensive investigation into the global food network. It took him from the colossal supermarkets of California to India's wrecked paddy-fields and Africa's bankrupt coffee farms. Along the way he ate genetically engineered soybeans and dodged flying objects on the protestor-packed streets of South Korea.

"We are victims," he says.

"If we are choosing between Coke or Pepsi, Burger King or McDonald's, that's not choice. We should stop feeling guilty about that. We should start feeling angry."

Born in London in 1972, Patel received a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, from Oxford, a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics and gained his PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University in 2002.

Along the way, he became involved with the anti-globalisation movement.

Later he began delving more deeply into the subject of trade, food policy and agricultural resistance as an analyst at Food First, where an idea for the book emerged.

Much of the broad argument in Stuffed and Starved focuses on globalisation and how heavily subsidised American and European agricultural products are taking away from local farmers in the developing world.

It discusses the relentless pressure to have food prices driven down over the last 30 years which has seen rich ecosystems replaced by farming practices that are harmful to the environment in order to increase production. And how international corporations and supermarkets that control the flow of technologies and food have been coining it, much to our expense.

Yet he also found cause for hope as international social movements work to create a more democratic and sustainable food system. Patel also gives advice on how we can reclaim our global food economy from seed to store to plate by stopping the exploitation of both farmers and consumers, and rebalancing global sustenance.

If you want to read more about this global crisis, then buy the book at

(sources:,,, )

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