My name is Matisse Fields and I am a senior at Moreno Valley High School. To graduate, every senior has to complete a senior project or portfolio. For my senior project I created a series of 15 political cartoons that bring awareness to world hunger and related food issues.
‘Un-fair’ Traded Quinoa
This political cartoon expresses the problem of poor working conditions and inefficient wages. In Bolivia, since there has been a high demand for Quinoa, the workers are working hard for little pay, and the quinoa has become too expensive for the native people to buy because most of it is being exported.
Many chemicals, toxins, and medicines are fed to the livestock animals that people eat. When livestock animals are given chemicals, 20 percent of it is absorbed and transferred to the person who eats it. This has been proven to affect the human body in a variety of ways, from abnormal weight gain to a disease or illness. This cartoon shows how the chemicals are carried through the animal to the human, and from the human into waterways. Once the chemicals or toxins are in the water systems, even people who do not eat meat are affected by it.
People go to restaurants on a regular basis. They order whatever they desire and as much of it as they want. When they are done, they let the restaurant throw away what food they cannot eat. Restaurants purposely sell large food servings so that they get a larger profit, wasting a ton of food in the process. The greed of the restaurants and the control that money has causes others to go hungry. Poverty is the number one cause of hunger, and it affects everybody, regardless of whether they live in Sub-Saharan Africa or in the middle of New York City.
Hunger Caused by Poor Infrastructure
In many developing countries, there are few roads of high quality. The poor road conditions limit transportation, which reduces the amount of food that can reach certain towns. A lack of public funding and maintenance for these roads has caused this issue. Africa has a problem with poorly maintained roads, which makes some towns inaccessible. This delays the movement of goods, and some of the towns are given government commodities to make up for it. However, the government commodities are never that good because they are very processed and are produced out of the lowest quality food.
Big Corporation Cash vs. Small Village Food
In many rural areas, big corporations take over a lot of land in order to grow a large amount of cash crops. The land is covered by crops like coffee, tea, flowers, tobacco, and potatoes, leaving no room for agricultural crops for the villages and towns nearby. This causes those people to go hungry because they cannot grow enough for themselves.
Combating World Hunger with GMO’s
Genetically Modified Organisms have been proven to cause people illness and disease. In India, hungry people were being fed genetically modified foods. This food was the most available since it was cheaper and it gave big chemical companies a higher profit. While it saved many people money and it took the hunger away from people, the GMO food left long-term effects on many people, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Many impoverished areas suffer from a lack of fresh foods. The only food they have access to is highly processed and high calorie food. This cartoon is showing the little access certain towns have to fresh fruits and vegetables. This creates inadequate diets for the people, and hunger becomes common. However, once these people do have some access to fresh foods they do not realize their nutritional importance and do not include them in their diet. The people have grown up without nutritious food so eating unhealthy and processed foods is all they know.
Fast Food Giants Target Poor, Hungry and Uneducated Communities
Worldwide people are manipulated into eating unhealthy foods because of their addicting tastes and affordable prices. While this happens in many developing countries where there is a lot of money and food to be wasted, this has caused huge problems in Latin America, where money is rare. Specifically in Brazil, people used to be very hungry and malnourished. However, in 2014 Brazil was reported as the third country globally to have the most obese people. Fast food giants purposely target poor communities because they are the hungriest and sometimes not as educated. They advertise aggressively because they know the people there are vulnerable and will buy more of the fast food because they do not know any better and are driven by their hunger. They are also driven by the desire to have status. Many people want to live like Americans because they have unlimited access of food and opportunities.
Hidden hunger makes world hunger seem less of a problem than it actually is. Many poor people have limited access to a variety of foods, and so will consume the same foods each day, usually starchy foods such as rice, corn and wheat. Food like this takes a person’s hunger away because of the amount of calories it has, however it lacks the variety of nutrients a person needs. However, poor people are not the only ones suffering from hidden hunger. People’s tradition, access, or lack of education causes people to not eat all that they need to in order to be healthy.
Grocery Stores Waste Food Due to Quality Standards
The food wasted by the U.S. and Europe alone could feed the world three times over. Food is wasted due to constraints in financial, managerial and technical situations, harvesting techniques, and poor storing and cooling facilities. At the consumer level, grocery stores throw out about 40 percent of their food because of quality standards that over-emphasize appearance. People want their food to look perfect, so almost fifty percent of fresh fruits and vegetables are thrown out because of ‘imperfections.’
The Food You Waste Could Feed another Hungry Family
This cartoon shows how food waste is a huge problem. The food wasted by one family could feed a whole other family, sometimes even more. This cartoon expresses how we need to be mindful of the food we buy and how much we can actually eat. We have to think about how each time we throw out food another person may be dying of hunger. Forty percent of all food is wasted at consumer level and twenty percent of the food people buy is never eaten. Ninety percent of people throw away their food too soon because they think it is not good anymore.
What Causes Greenhouse Emissions
Livestock contributes more to climate change than people realize. While they give off carbon dioxide like cars, livestock animals emit more methane, another greenhouse gas that is twenty five times more efficient at trapping heat in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Animals also emit nitrous oxide, which is three hundred times worse than carbon dioxide. The animals known to emit the most are lamb and cows. Most people think transportation is the main contributor to climate change; however, between fourteen and eighteen percent of greenhouse emissions come from animal agriculture, while only thirteen point five percent come from transportation.
False Food Advertisement
Companies falsely advertise their food in order to trick people to buy more of their products. People will believe that what they are getting is healthier than it actually is because of false labels such as ‘sugar free’ or ‘fat free.’ In fact, something that says sugar free will not have sugar in it, however it will have added fat or chemically made sweeteners that are just as unhealthy. Likewise, a food product labeled with ‘fat free’ does not have fat in it but will have added sugar to make up for it.
Food modernization Causes World Hunger
India, it was discovered that older generations were stronger than the younger ones because they ate organic foods grown from indigenous seeds and while their children were eating modern monoculture seed crops grown with pesticides. The hybrid crops grown with pesticides lack the high nutrients that organic foods have, and monoculture seeds take away all the food diversity making it less healthy. When the weather or bugs affect monoculture crops, there is the potential to lose the food so more pesticides are needed to keep them alive. On the other hand, heirloom seeds have a diverse amount of nutrients and there are several types of the seeds so if one type dies, others may still live keeping the food supply plentiful, and no pesticides are needed.
Normal Weather Patterns vs. Climate Change Weather
Irregular weather patterns are making it difficult to maintain healthy crops. While the increase of carbon dioxide in the air actually increases plant growth, climate change has caused the concentration of essential minerals and protein in the food people eat to decrease. The reduction of protein affects us directly through the plants we eat, but it also affects the livestock because of the shortage of pasture and rangeland able to support the animals. In the end, less food is grown, and the food that survives is not as strong or as healthy as it used to be.