Delicious, Disgusting, Dangerous: Eating in a time of food price volatility
This report (PDF) by IDS and Oxfam highlights the third year results of the study Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, with a focus on changes in diets. The report explores what people on low and precarious incomes are eating now and how they are responding to the increasing commodification of food. Furthermore, the paper uncovers how these changes are linked to adjustments in work, residence and home life. The study shows that, for the consumer, there are undeniable benefits from the integration of world food trade: more stable supply, wider choice. Changes in food habits mean people are finding new ways to enjoy food and new foods to enjoy, often with greater convenience and ease. There is much to savour in the eating landscape as new markets for purchased and prepared foods open up. But the loss of control this brings has detrimental impacts on wellbeing. Most people feel they understand little about how new foods affect their health and nutrition; knowledge that they had accrued over generations and longer with respect to their customary cuisines. People have real worries about a new culture of fast food and fake food; they worry about additives, nourishment and food hygiene, and they feel that governments do too little to protect them from the risks. One of the recommendation of the report is that governments should preserve and promote customary food cultures and providing trustworthy information about new food choices.