Friday, July 25, 2014

Why do they matter? Fish and McD's

Pinstrup-Anderson, co-author on my textbook, recently asked what fish have to do with food and nutrition security. He answers that it matters a great deal and recommends a new report by a high-level panel of experts on the subject.
The current debate and the many papers written recently about how agriculture can be made more nutrition sensitive also miss the point.  We should talk about how the food system, including fisheries and aquaculture and the total supply chain, can be made more nutrition sensitive.  If we limit the discussion and policy recommendations to agriculture, we are foregoing some very big opportunities for improving food security and nutrition. ... 
The report, which is available at or in hardcopy from, is a goldmine of policy-related knowledge about the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, their importance, sustainability issues, governance and recommended policies for consideration by governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. It provides a comprehensive assessment of the interaction between the fisheries and aquaculture sector and food and nutrition security. The report is a must-read for those of us interested in food policy.
Handjiski points out that all of Sub-Saharan Africa only has two countries with McDonald's franchises. Even though countries like Seychelles, E. Guinea, Gabon, Botswana, and good old Nigeria have a higher income than Indonesia, Egypt, Pakiston, or Moldova did when they got their first. He suggests that, since having a McDonald's requires a certain level of infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and access to a large number of ingredients, it can be a development indicator:
In almost 60 percent of cases, developing countries grew [significantly] faster in the five years, compared to the previous five, following the opening of the first McDonald’s. ... What this means is that McDonald’s may be viewed as one of the tipping points for when a country has amassed sufficient urban middle-class, investment security and supply chains for economic take off.
 Speaking of which, there was also a recent article about how Americans' general stupidity with fractions stopped A&W from beating McDonald's Quarter Pounder with a "Third Pounder". People said 3 is less than 4 and therefore 1/3 is less than 1/4. Ouch. In related interesting news, New York states has decided that a burrito is a sandwich for tax purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment