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14 - Food, Society, and Human Capabilities

from Part IV - Development Crises

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 June 2021

Toyin Falola
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Austin
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Summary

“Food, Society and Human Capabilities” examines the way in which the food crisis limits human capabilities on a societal level. It explores this relationship through the philosophy of food, the nature of the global food system and related food crisis, and the sociology of food and nutrition. National policy is difficult and slow to change. Nations in Africa are challenged with a heterogeneity of ethnicity, religion, and class, which cause conflict when combined with inequality. It is tempting for nations to focus on export crops to make more money immediately. But dependency on exports leaves an economy vulnerable to global fluctuations, which has grave consequences. In Africa, poverty leaves individuals unable to purchase imported food, and all the local food has been exported for profit. Food is vital to human life, and it has significant cultural value. Throughout history, eating has been a major source of community and social interactions. Many religions center their rituals around harvests and times that celebrate the continuation of life. Food’s importance and the religious, spiritual conversations around it have been with us since the Stone Age. However, this study offers a layered model for understanding the nature of food crisis as well as a few possible interventions.

Type
Chapter
Information
Understanding Modern Nigeria
Ethnicity, Democracy, and Development
, pp. 336 - 357
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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