This paper explores how recent Mexican food policies have spurred the growth of three large transnational food corporations while at the same time leaving more than 20 million Mexicans in nutritional poverty with little access to their traditional staples and ways of life. The paper sets this seemingly paradoxical situation within the broader context of Mexican food policies and neoliberal restructuring over the past few decades to underscore the contradictory nature of neoliberal capitalist development, the widening inequality that it encourages, and the efforts to erase the historic cultures of México Profundo. In the struggles for food sovereignty and food justice, the growth of corporate power and inequality must be underscored and workers all along the food chain need to be brought into the discussion.
Enrique C. Ochoa is Professor of Latin American Studies and History at California State University, Los Angeles. His publications include Agricultura y estado en México: Antecedentes e implicaciones de las reformas salinistas (co-editor,1994), Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food Since 1910 (2000), Latina/o Los Angeles: Migrations, Communities, and Political Activism (co-editor, 2005), Water: History, Power, Crisis, a special issue of Radical History Review (co-editor, 2013), “The Political History of Food,” in The Oxford Handbook of Food History (2012), and “Food History” in Oxford University Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies (2011).
Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.