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Eating NAFTA

Melanie Wong | Sep 29, 201805:59 PM

" . . . NAFTA’s health impacts include a rise in caloric intake in Canada, but its effects have been especially significant in Mexico. Even in renegotiations today, big food companies are lobbying to ban health warning labels through the force of the free trade agreement. Gálvez also makes the case that NAFTA has weakened the power we have over our own day-to-day eating. Free trade might sound like it increases our gustatory freedom. In reality, we are likely left with less.

'There’s this illusion of choice in terms of product diversity, [in having] aisle after aisle of yogurts or snacks,' she said, as we wrapped up our meal at La Morada. 'But it’s about what we aren’t getting. There’s less variety. It’s more homogeneous, we’re eating more like each other around the world. It’s choice as defined in a really corporate, market-centric way. It helps us think that we’re not being impoverished by this but we are.'

The less we question the food options available to us, the more uniform our diets become. And that makes it easier for big food corporations to scale up their operations, at the expense of our biodiversity. If we continue on the track we’ve laid through NAFTA, according to Gálvez, then we’re headed for 'possibly apocalyptic scenarios'. . . ”

From diabetes to displacement How NAFTA disrupted Mexican agriculture, food, and health

Alyshia Gálvez, author of Eating NAFTA, took us to La Morada in the Bronx—using the ingredients in a traditional Oaxacan meal to demonstrate how a free...
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