Home Institution

Loyola University Chicago

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy

Abstract

We are currently experiencing a significant shift in our world’s food systems and dietary patterns. Access, availability, and the quality of food are changing and the need for proper nutrition and food security has come to the forefront of the global health agenda. While globalization has fostered greater variety and access to food in many places; access to healthy, affordable food is not universal, leaving many populations buying cheaper food that has poor nutritional value. My purpose for this paper is to determine how the forces of globalization, the business practices of transnational food companies, and the prevalence of processed foods contribute to these shifts in food security and nutrition.

I have found that urbanization and foreign direct investment lead to greater availability, affordability, and consumption of processed westernized foods due to an increased presence of transnational food corporations in local markets. This presence highly influences consumer preference and consumption of processed foods due to the advanced advertising, marketing and business strategies of large companies. Additionally, the sheer control that large food corporations have over domestic markets puts small farmers at a disadvantage because they are often unable to compete with the high international standards and market power of such corporations. As a result, food security, food sovereignty, and the presence of healthy food can be diminished. This creates adverse health affects like malnutrition, which can lead to disease and lower economic productivity, among other things. Certain forces of globalization and business practices of transnational food corporations, when they go unmonitored and unaccounted for, can contribute greatly to food insecurity and malnutrition. However, globalization and the private sector can also be a part of the solution in combatting these ills. Overall, the purpose of this paper is to shed light on flaws within the global food system so that we may better approach more equitable, sustainable, and healthy food systems in developing countries.

Disciplines

Economics | Food Security | Growth and Development | Income Distribution | International and Community Nutrition

 

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