Hunger in Africa; Obesity in America. Are there any connections?
The politics of food is changing fast. In rich countries, obesity is now a more serious problem than hunger. Consumers once satisfied with cheap and convenient food now want food that is also safe, nutritious, fresh, and grown by local farmers using fewer chemicals. Heavily subsidized and underregulated commercial farmers are facing stronger push back from environmentalists and consumer activists, and food companies are under the microscope. Meanwhile, agricultural success in Asia has spurred income growth and dietary enrichment, but agricultural failure in Africa has left one-third of all citizens undernourished – and the international markets that link these diverse regions together are subject to sudden disruption.
Boston International was pleased to host an event on May 18, 2011 featuring Professor Robert Paarlberg, who speak about this subject (also covered by his most recent book, “Food Politics: What Everyone Needs To Know”) and allow us to reflect on this contested terrain, challenging myths and critiquing more than a few of today’s fashionable beliefs about farming and food.
About the Speaker
Robert Paarlberg is the Betty Freyhof Johnson Class of 1944 Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. Several of Rob Paarlberg’s courses in the political science department draw upon his current research and consulting interests, which are in the area of international food, agriculture, and science policy. Since 1999 he has published four university press books, one on the reform of U.S. agricultural policy, another on policies toward genetically modified crops and foods in developing countries, a third on agricultural technology policies in Africa, and a fourth on “food politics.”
His recent projects also include consulting work on biofortified foods for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and on U.S. agricultural development assistance policy for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Professor Robert Paarlberg maintains ongoing consulting relationships with the National Research Council, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
In 2008 and 2009 he was a Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard University, teaching a course on American Foreign Policy. Professor Paarlberg received his B. A. from Carleton College and his Ph. D. from Harvard University.
About our Host
Burns & Levinson LLP is an international law firm. Its core areas of practice are Business/Corporate, Real Estate, Business Litigation, Intellectual Property and Private Client legal services, which include all related services from general corporate, intellectual property (including patents), employment, finance, securities, private equity, venture capital, real estate to tax, mediation, litigation, divorce, family law, trusts and estate planning and administration.
The event took place on May 18, 2011 at 7:00 PM
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