It is important to remember, firstly, that a food crisis is not a situation-dependent phenomenon. The problem of access to decent and healthy food for everyone is, sadly, very widespread. The food crisis is the hunger that is striking many peoples, even though we use the same words to refer to a situation at a particular time, such as now, when food prices are spiralling. Since capitalist globalization became established over the past three decades and agricultural and food policies were consequently dismantled, hardship has been of a structural nature (GRAIN 2008a). Furthermore, it is inherent in the world food system, whose bases were written by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. That is why movements such as Vía Campesina are campaigning to rewrite the script of this story.
When explaining the rise in food prices, people usually mention factors of different kinds. Some of the factors most commonly cited are the claimed scarcity of food and the reduction of world reserves – which, as we shall see, is not only a fallacy but is also the carrot used to drive the upward movement in prices which those who speculate with foodstuffs wish to bring about.
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