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Foodopoly - How a few Companies Dominate US Food Production

Date: Monday, April 28, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Presented by: Jersey Shore Group
Leader:
Location: Warner Student Life Center, Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Middletown
Directions: To get to Brookdale's Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC) and parking lot 7, where the meeting will be in the SLC Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6.
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How 80 per cent of America’s food production has become dominated by a few corporate food processors will be explored by Patty Lovera, Deputy Director of Food & Water Watch (F&WW), at Brookdale Community College on April 28. Lovera will be discussing the findings of a recent book, Foodopoly, written by F&WW Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, who was originally scheduled to speak but had a conflicting event.

In addition to leading the nationwide F&WW environmental organization, Hauter owns an organic farm, which is part of the growing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. Yet she believes that this movement isn’t enough to solve America’s food crisis and the public health debacle it has created, where 35 percent of all U.S. children and adults are obese.

In Foodopoly, Hauter takes aim at the culprit: the control of food production by a handful of large corporations—backed by political clout—that prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices people can make in the supermarket. Foodopoly explores the businesses behind the food that most Americans eat every day, including some of our favorite and most respected brands.

Hauter also reveals how agricultural policy puts the interests of giant food processors — such as Cargill, Tyson, Kraft and ConAgra — above the needs of independent farmers. She argues that solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift—a change that is about politics, not just personal choice.

As one reviewer put it, "… extreme concentration of power in the hands of a few huge companies has enormous negative impact on the way we produce and consume food, at great cost to society, especially when we account for hidden costs in public health and environmental impacts."

Lovera’s presentation on behalf of Hauter is hosted by Brookdale’s Environmental Club to encourage students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental protections. At the Lincroft meeting, a pizza and subs buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.