This new reality for coastal communities across the Global South, was revealed by a study into micronutrients led by Kenyan/British Professor Christina Hicks from Lancaster University that showed how fish that used to enrich the soups of the poorest people was being re-routed elsewhere. A revealing indictment of some of the far-reaching inequalities in our global food system, the paper begged urgent questions that sparked the idea for this Food Justice series: who gets to eat – who doesn’t – and how do we fix it?
It’s a question that has never seemed so urgent. The Covid-19 pandemic – the outbreak and the economic aftershocks – has sent shockwaves through our global food system. The World Food Programme has predicted an 82 per cent increase in hunger by the end of the year, which Oxfam translates to mean 12,000 deaths per day. The media warns we have never faced a hunger emergency like this one.
At the same time, the way we feed ourselves has never been so up for debate. How did so many millions of people get tipped into hunger so fast? Governments, producers and consumers are re-thinking supply chains; major retailers, Big Data and agriculture transnationals are positioning themselves as best-placed to respond. At this moment, it’s more important than ever that the interests of the least-nourished are the ones being served by the food policy set in place today.