Cities are home to a majority of the human race for the first time in history. But finding a place for them in the U.N.’s sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years has proven surprisingly controversial.
“The cumulative impact of coal mining in Mpumalanga in South Africa on water, land and air is seriously affecting the country’s food security, says Bench Marks Foundations in a research report released in Johannesburg today.”
“Hunger is the result of a broken food system. One in which private sector actors enjoy large profit margins and very little regulation and state programmes are fragmented with opaque objectives, budgets and monitoring systems.”
"Poverty is forcing people to have dangerously poor diets and is leading to the return of rickets and gout – diseases of the Victorian age that affect bones and joints – according the UK Faculty of Public Health.
The public health professionals’ body will call for a national food policy, including a sugar tax, as concerns rise over malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies in British children. It will also appeal for all political parties to back a living wage to help combat the illnesses.
Doctors and hospitals are seeing a rise in children suffering from ailments caused by poor diet and the faculty has linked the trend to people’s inability to afford quality food. Latest figures show there has been a 19% increase in people hospitalised in England and Wales for malnutrition over the past 12 months but experts say this is only the extreme end.”
SA products minimally feature in Shoprite’s African expansion
“"One of the reasons we have to put warehouses down is because a lot of the stuff comes from Argentina, Brazil, Angola and the Far East, bypassing the South African authorities," Basson said.
When Shoprite opened in Angola 11 years ago, it had 6,400 stock-keeping units coming out of South Africa. “We are now down to a third of that. It worries me — their base problem is that the effort you have to put into it is just massive and the losses you could make and do make are substantial.
"The okes at Tiger (Brands) are trying — they probably know they are going to lose money. People are so scared of investors … that their share price is going to drop … We at Shoprite are fortunate in that we have a chairman who supports us and we do make mistakes … but for the rest of the guys they’re worried that they’ll lose money."
While demand for modern goods is growing in African countries, brand awareness is key.
"South African manufacturers have come to the realisation that when they go into West Africa or even parts of East Africa nobody knows their brands, so they don’t want to bother. With the exception of Tiger Brands, they are not prepared to put up facilities and deep down they are not prepared to give Shoprite sufficient marketing allowance to allow it to develop their products," independent analyst Syd Vianello said.
"They’re all scared of short-term performance being affected by putting a huge amount of money into West Africa, which is wrong because they’re stifling growth. Whitey’s answer is simple, if they want everything for free and they’re not prepared to commit money, he’ll go to Europe," Vianello said."
Just a comment on the ongoing push for more mall developments in places like Philippi as a means of economic development:
“The squatters were removed after the developer got a court order but when the Cape Argus visited the informal settlement on Monday, the whole area had been re-occupied.
The residents refused to vacate the land, saying the developer would have to find another site for the mall.
Thando Matiwane, a resident, said: “I do not understand this mall thing. How do you evict people and pull down their homes just for the sake of building a mall? Who is going to buy from that mall?”
Matiwane moved from his backyard home in Lower Crossroads to Marikana two weeks ago.He said he could not afford the R400 rent.
Another resident, Lisa Qomoyi, a mother of two who runs a business selling chicken feet, said the developer should forget about the mall.
“We are not moving from here. So many malls have been built around this area yet none are functioning well. This area has grown to become my business; there is no way I am moving.”
Qomoyi lived in Nyanga before moving to Philippi. She said since coming to Cape Town from the Transkei in 1984, she had not been given a house nor secured a proper job.
“Parts of Gugulethu, KTC and Nyanga all started as informal settlements. Residents fought for their homes and look, now they are still there. Why can we not fight for our own homes?”
The residents said they did not care whether the mall would create employment for them.
Mawethu Mfazwe said: “So many malls have been built in this area. Look at Philippi Plaza or the Gugulethu Square, but none of the employees are from those areas. These companies bring workers of their own. This mall would be useless. How do we shop when we have no shelter?”
In the United States, 40 percent of the food produced annually goes to waste. Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, wants to do something about it. He’s opening a restaurant that will transform produce past its sell date into healthful take-out food.
what do we all think about this?
This article about asylum seekers in Ireland reminds me of a project one of my honours students did last year about food security and post-disaster recovery in Cape Town. The lack of choice was identified as a significant problem by the participants.
Here’s a section from the Guardian article
"Food was discussed as being one part of a broken system that needs to be changed. Under the DP system, residents are served food three times daily, but they are not allowed to cook their own food. No chapattis for the family from Pakistan. No pounded yam for the Nigerians. No breakfast of tea and canjeero for the Somalis. Instead of these staple foods that people love and crave, the system gives them chicken nuggets, ketchup and lots of chips.
Why should they be granted the right to cook? Well, to put it quite simply, humans are a cooking animal. No other species in our world cooks food. Cooking is what separates us from every other form of life. Cooking defines homo sapiens. Transforming the raw into the cooked lies at the centre of our development as a species. We are who we are, because we cook.
Cooking the food we love to eat comforts us and reassures us. We have all had that moment in our lives when we are down and distressed, and then someone hands us a bowl of something we love to eat. In an instant, we are made whole: the fabric of our being is stitched together once more. Even better, if we have suffered distress, having access to a kitchen, and to the ingredients that we know and love, is how we re-make our lives after they have been torn apart: the home begins again at the hearth.
Perhaps more importantly, it is cooking that shapes our health. The effects of the so-called western diet on people who are used to traditional diets has been studied for the past century and, as Michael Pollan has written, “wherever in the world people gave up their traditional way of eating and adopted the western diet, there soon followed a predictable series of western diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer”.”
University of Cape Town