The Guardian wrote an article recently about the ‘human pet food’ scandal that is currently unfolding in Brazil.
“Prosecutors in Brazil’s biggest city have opened an inquiry into a controversial plan to feed poorer citizens and schoolchildren with a flour made out of food close to its sell-by date that critics have described as “human pet food”.
The food product (if you can truly even call it that) is call farinata (flour in Portuguese) and is suggested as a way to feed the poor at no cost to the government. The primary concern in this case is the nutritional content of what the government is planning on feeding to people. João Doria a multimillionaire businessman who is touted as a possible candidate for next year’s presidential elections has described farinata as “solidarity food” and said it was “made to combat hunger and also supplement people’s alimentation”.
“Poverty, homelessness and unemployment have risen in recent years as Brazil struggled with a debilitating recession. But nutritionists attacked the plan, arguing that nobody knows exactly what farinata is made of – nor even whether it is safe.
“It is not food, it is an ultra-processed product,” said Marly Cardoso, a professor of public health and nutrition at the Federal University of São Paulo. “You don’t know what is in it.”
The history, philosophy, principles and methodology
One of the lessons learnt by the Brazilian Landless Peoples’ Movement (MST) is that the claim to land is only meaningful if it is linked to all human and social rights, including the right to education. Starting in 1987, the MST therefore developed a specific strand to work on the question of education of the landless. This work is carried out in the 23 States of Brazil where the MST are present, either by the people who are in charge of the camps and land that is occupied, or via the teams of educational staff designated for the different zones. There is also a national Educational Collective, composed of all the representatives of the different States that meets about three times a year to propose actions and to meet needs. This is how the MST has built a complex educational structure that covers child-minding facilities, as well as primary and secondary education and that has been supported by many national and international institutions. It has progressively won international recognition.
A Swiss-born man named Ernst Gotsch has spent the past 30 years developing an agroforestry system based on the natural succession of species and soil improvement in Brazil. He has developed and refined a technique of planting which can be applied to different ecosystems, but his actions in Bahia, Brazil have lead to the complete restoration of nearly 1200 acres of degraded Atlantic rainforests (from logging, pig farming, monocultures, etc). To see more of his videos, click HERE. <—And we really do hope you check out more of his videos, this guy is amazing.
The Movimento dos Trabalhdores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) will be holding its Sixth Congress in February, 2014 amidst its celebration of 30 years of struggle for agrarian reform, social justice and democracy. The movement’s 2 million members have spent the last year preparing, debating and discussing in preparation for this historic gathering. Mobilizing 15,000 movement leaders in the capitol Brasilia, the MST will gather to debate and discuss the challenges and next steps in building a more just and equitable Brazil.
The MST is a global leader of social movements of the poor through its leadership in various international movement networks such as Via Campesina International. In the last 30 years, MST has reclaimed 17 million acres of land, which is equivalent to the size of Uruguay. The MST’s Sixth National Congress is a space for celebration, exchange and learning for movement leaders around the world. (more…)