Wednesday, 6 October 2010

New Title for My Blog

I changed the title of my blog from When Corporations Rule the Food Chain: Agri-food business, law and policy: health and environment issues to B’org Food Chain: Big organisation of Food and the Chain of iniquities. For one thing, it’s a bit of a shorter and snappier title and there doesn’t seem to be another blog or book called anything similar. The old title was too long and a little too close to When Corporations Rule the World which I didn’t know when I originally thought of my title.

The main reason I have chosen this new title is because although the theme of my blog is still about corporations ruling the food chain and the implications of that, I’ve been thinking lately that corporations are becoming more and more like the Borg from Star Trek (the Borg - see video clip here). Then it occurred to me that ‘B’org’ could be an abbreviation of Big organisation(s), which is what corporations are, and what the Borg is too. And corporations are assimilating the small farmers, store owners and others in food production and distribution all over the world, just like the Borg assimilated other cultures.

Next I was thinking of the UK Conservative Party’s Big Society in their 2010 Manifesto and that Big Organisations fit right in with this since corporations are like citizens too. In fact, not only are corporations treated much the same as you or me, they have more power and more rights because they are made up of a lot of drones, I mean people. The main legal things corporations can’t do that we can is vote, be incarcerated or die. As for the voting issue, besides the fact that many people either don’t vote or don’t know what or who they are voting for when they do vote, corporations more than make up for this with lobbying and putting one of their own in strategic positions such as the US Supreme Court or other government posts.

Another reason I like the title B’org Food Chain is that our food is becoming more and more mechanical and artificial, just like the Borg. And in a way, many people are eating less and less real food. If the trend continues, we will all join the B’org (as corporations don't eat!) and be like the Borg not needing food at all! And all the other creatures and many plants will just become extinct. If this seems a bit outlandish, think about what’s in our food now: non-food additives, highly processed ingredients, artificial flavourings, genetically modified organisms, drugs (OK, medicinal products), chemicals and nanotechnology. Yes, nano food is in the works.

So I suppose that if we do get to the point of not needing to actually eat food to sustain ourselves, it will be a lot simpler! But what a shame that so many people are already missing the joy of tasty wholesome home cooked meals. We are being assimilated into the B’org that requires no sustenance.

That brings me to the last part of my new title, ‘Chain’. When I first included this in my title, I was solely thinking of the link between all the living organisms on planet earth and how they eat to survive. But the word also means something that can be used to bind or tie-down as in a chain made of metal links. I add this meaning of chain to my new title because we are being enslaved by the food that is on offer by the B’org. Much of it is addictive, cheap, tempting, and deceptive. And it is used to keep us in a consumerist mode, i.e., buying products that we don't really need and which are often not in our best interest.  It is also enslaving us in Borg-like employment, starting with the farmers' reliance on the B'org for seeds and inputs.

I realise that a lot of my articles, news and letters on this blog are a bit hard on the B’org, but it is only because of what I see happening. I have witnessed with my own eyes the modernisation of the food business over my lifetime and the story continues. The size of today’s supermarkets is impressive. But the reason they are so big is not because they sell more of the food that before was sold in smaller stores and shops, but because of the massive amount of novelty foods that have bombarded the market. The big isle after isle of boxed cereals, sweets/candy, bottled water and soft drinks, cakes and biscuits, buns and white bread, bargain offers, tinned/canned foods, ready meals, seasonal stuff, and novel products derived partly from milk never cease to amaze me (along with all the very overweight people shopping and working there).

I hope you will join me from time to time for some more riveting galactic adventures in the world of the modern food industry. For now though, do try to avoid assimilation!! If you’ve already been assimilated, there is hope as Captain Janeway has proven.

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