Elizabeth Barnett Pathak Ph. Nancy Romero Daza, Ph. October 16 9 Keywords: Smith PAGE 2 Dedication In loving memory of my mother, Maureen Smith who inspired me to embark on this academic journey This dissertation also would not be possible without the loving and unwavering support of my godmother, Zita St.
It smolders as chronic undernutrition. It can flare up intermittently, sometimes annually, because food stores are never quite sufficient to last until next harvest. Whatever the form, the costs are immense. Eighteen million people die every year from hunger-related causes. Certainly it is not always shortcomings in food production.
Pockets of hunger exist within some of the most agriculturally productive countries in the world, including the United States. Great regions of persistent famine exist on a planet producing more than enough food for everyone.
Currently, parts of Africa suffer the most from famine. Formerly, it was areas of Asia and before that Europe. In fact, careful studies never fail to disclose human causes. I discuss some of these in the first part of this essay. I turn my attention to effects in the second part.
Causes of Famine Conditions and events of many sorts can contribute to the development of famine. These include natural disasters e. Rarely, if ever, can we attribute a particular famine to any single cause. Yet, the pastoralists of the region, the chief victims, have coped with periods of unusually scant rainfall for centuries.
Key to their survival was their nomadic lifestyle and the movement of livestock over great distances when necessary. No less important was their practice of maintaining larger than needed herds during normal times as insurance against catastrophic loss during exceptionally dry years.
While this double-edged strategy was never entirely fail-safe, it did for the most part prevent major catastrophes.
But, the construction of boreholes by development agencies to provide water eliminated the incentive to move.
Political concerns also conspired against migration; the enforcement of international political boundaries became stricter. Later on, crop production began to press into the southern reaches of the region decreasing the availability of pasture.
To make matters worse, farmers began turning to cotton and other cash crops, reducing the opportunity to graze animals on grain stubble.
No longer able to rely on traditional reciprocities with farmers who now wanted money for their grain but more dependent than ever on grain because of the poor condition of their herds, the pastoralists brought increasing numbers of animals to market.
This upsurge in supply sent cattle prices plunging. Grossly disadvantaged in the marketplace and unable to meet their Caloric requirements, the pastoralists starved, their physical condition deteriorating more than any other Sahelian people.
There werestarvation-related deaths in the region in Yet, throughout the crisis years, only one Sahelian country, Mauritania where much of the economy depends on miningfell short of producing enough food to feed its total population. In addition to illustrating causal complexity, what happened in the Sahel also demonstrates that disastrous situations do not develop overnight.
The stage for famine is often set decades or more prior to the death of the first victim. Foraging, Food production, and Famine One such development is agriculture, the very foundation of civilization and all modern food systems.
Not long ago nobody doubted that the transition from foraging hunting and gathering to cultivation brought with it more bountiful and reliable food supplies and that nutritional well-being increased as a result.
Studies showing that modern foragers are generally well nourished first led scholars to question this received wisdom. Later, paleopathological data gleaned from examinations of prehistoric skeletal materials provided more direct evidence that agriculture was not the great blessing once imaged.
Mark Cohen, comparing a variety of information collected from the bones of both foragers and early agriculturalists came to the conclusion that at best farming did nothing to improve nutritional conditions. My research using famine records from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample SCCS support this view, particularly when the experience of foragers in especially difficult environments is discounted.
Cohen reminds us that before their displacement by agriculturalists, foragers did not live in the harshest habitats earth has to offer. The problem, as Thomas Malthus pointed out near two centuries ago, is that populations unchecked grow exponentially.
Consequently, unless society institutes preventive checks on growth — say, for instance, by tolerating abortions — starvation and violent efforts to avoid it are inevitable.
The temptation to neglect preventive checks is probably the greatest in agricultural societies in which children can perform simple but economically important tasks. Overpopulation begins once this is no longer the case. For the shifting cultivator, it becomes a matter of too many people attempting to wrest a living from an area to allow soils adequate recovery time between crops.Hunger’s long-term effects include physical and psychological scars (e.g., developmental abnormalities and mental illness).
In addition, hunger and famine often condition profound transformations in culture (e.g., changes in food habits, forms of government, and magical and religious practices).
Macroscopically, the long-term consequences of malnutrition are daunting to overall economic and social development. A framework developed by UNICEF demonstrates that the underlying causes of malnutrition are multifaceted, including economic, social, and political factors.
The visibility of real labouring bodies and their closeness to these economic, political and social systems leads to the physicalization of these cycles or processes because they are seen as close to the physical bodie s of the poor. vii Living with Sugar: Socioeconom ic Status and Cultural Beliefs A bout Type 2 Diabetes A mong Afro Caribbean Women Chrystal A.S.
Smith A BSTRACT In the U.S., i ndivi duals of Afro Caribbean and Latino descent are two to three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non Hispanic whites. This Is Hunge r is a powerful and interactive exhibit\, housed in a big rig\, that takes individuals on a journey—one that that will challenge their beliefs about who in America struggles with hunger and why\, and inspire them to take a ction.
They delve into questions of nutrition, of economic geography, of gender an d se x roles, and o f popular culture, and thei r various blends and melds of the records of medieval life illuminate our current interest in re-asking old questions, in reinterpreting old answers.