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EU debates biopiracy law to protect indigenous people

EU debates biopiracy law to protect indigenous people | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Pharmaceutical companies would need to compensate indigenous people for using their knowhow in creating new medicines
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'd never hear the term biopiracy before this month, but this idea is this: companies from wealthy countries commercially develop the genetic resources of developing countries with local assistance but don't fairly compensate the local population.  I never had the vocabulary to describe such a thing, but that is biopiracy in a nutshell and the EU is working to end that.  It doesn't only impact the pharmaceutical companies but heavily impact the agricultural industries as well.  Anyone in the developed world eating quinoa and kale 20 years ago?  Being marketed as 'superfoods' has changed the global production systems but also impacted local indigenous food supplies (some are referring to this as food gentrification). 


Tagsfood productiontechnology, industry, food, agriculture, agribusiness, globalization, folk cultures, indigenous.

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Shawn Wright's curator insight, September 7, 2014 8:20 AM

The  Nagoya protocol is an international biological diversity convention. The protocol would at it's core require permission, acknowledgment of source knowledge  or practice and compensation for the use of cultural wisdom.


i don't see Nagoya as a perfect solution - there is a lot of room for language interpretation so slick corporate lawyers will find ways to legally cheat indigenous peoples from their share but I do see it as at least A small step in the right direction.   


The World Health Organisation estimates that 4 billion people, 80% of the world's population, use herbal medicine in primary healthcare. 


Cherokees Believe and have practiced healing from plant and water for thousands of years. Every and any human sickness has a plant who can cure it. Every plant in the world has a purpose if we but learn to hear and understand what that is - there are no weeds to the Cherokee.


Yona Shawn

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 27, 2016 12:31 PM
unit 5
Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 30, 2016 2:30 PM
This would be a very new approach.
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The Changing Geography of Quinoa

The Changing Geography of Quinoa | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition
Seth Dixon's insight:

Quinoa was once a traditional Andean grain that few outside of South America consumed, but it has quickly become a staple among the health-conscious in developed countries in recent years.  Dieticians and nutritional experts give it their seal of approval because it is a low-fat starch that is high in protein and filled with amino acids.  This rapid adoption of quinoa in high-priced whole food stores has changed the economics of quinoa dramatically.  Peruvian and Bolivian farmers are selling at high prices with huge global demand.  Local consumers who have traditionally relied on this crop however, now have to pay triple the price to eat quinoa, causing some to question the ethics of quinoa consumption.  A simple change in cultural eating habits in one part of the world can have some major impacts on the economy and agriculture of another region.  


Tags: food, agriculture, South America, consumption, unit 5 agriculture.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 2014 8:48 PM

Bolivia and Peru once enjoyed Quinoa as a locally grown grain that was used in a nutritious diet. However, because  other parts of the world are becoming increasingly accustomed to Quinoa it is driving the price of the grain in both countries, which is putting the locals in a tough pot because it is practically tripling in price. The poorer citizens are struggling to get Quinoa, something that they once got relatively easy.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:12 PM

This is an example of the harmful effect of globalization, those who grew quinoa for food are now forced to ship away their food source leading to starvation and a slew of other issues. Those in the west with their obsession with "Super Foods" have without realizing it driven up the price of this grain to the extend that those who relied upon it as their staple crop can no longer afford to eat it themselves.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 3, 2015 12:54 PM

I remember walking into Panera Bread one morning a few months back. In the doorway, they had a sign that read, "Now serving Quinoa Oatmeal." I thought to myself, "What the hell is a Key-noah?" Now, it seems I can't go anywhere without hearing about this grain.

 

Touted as the super grain, Quinoa has been used for centuries as a source of sustenance for the dwellers of the Andes. But what happens when a traditional food source, only able to grow in a small region is suddenly desired by large parts of America and Europe? Supply and demand has kicked in and if it's more profitable to eat something else and sell your crop, then I'd imagine most folks would do just that like they are in the Andes. The problem with selling your main source of nutrition is that when you aren't eating it, you're not getting the nutrients you normally got. Is stripping a people of their ancestral food source and malnutrition worth it for a bowl of oatmeal at Panera? 

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Geography of Quinoa

Geography of Quinoa | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The popularity of Quinoa has grown exponentially among the health-conscious food consumers in the developed economies of the world.  Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is rich in protein and is a better grain for those seeking to lose weight.  Quinoa has historically be rather limited but this diffusion is restructuring the geographic patterns of many places." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map from a Geography in the News article shows that Quinoa has historically been grown almost exclusively in the highlands of the Andes Mountains.  This was a localized food source for generations but this new global demand has increased the economic possibilities for Quinoa growers.  At the same time, local consumers that have traditionally depended on cheap Quinoa to supplement their diet are now effectively priced out, as stated in this Al-Jazeera article


Questions to Ponder: What modern and traditional agricultural patterns can we see in the production of Quinoa?  How have global and local forces reshaped the system?


Tags: agriculture, food production, foodglobalization, South America, folk cultures, culture, Bolivia.

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 9, 2015 10:10 PM

Quinoa appears to be originated as grain crop for edible seeds in parts of Bolivia, Argentina, Peru and along to Andes Mountain. However, they increase the crop value as it spreads to other areas of the world such as Europe and United States. One thing that I wonder is that if the production is going to be popular in any region other than South America but manufacturing regions started on eastern United States and they spread overseas to Europe. I wonder if production of Quinoa will spread to other continents. Believe it or not, it has partially spread to small parts of southwestern Europe.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:20 PM

Quinoa will be a staple for generations to come and the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina would do well to provide all the assistance to the farming community in their respective countries. This product is like New Age rice, it provides multiple benefits to health conscious consumers such as protein, fiber, and a "full" feeling when consumed. Any recipe that calls for a rice base can incorporate Quinoa just as easily and it tastes great. being a bit of a health freak, I use Quinoa in my diet and it works.

While the success of the grain has made it less accessible price-wise to those who grow it, it should provide for a greater economic benefit for years to come, lifting a population from near poverty levels to hopefully one of a strong and vibrant middle class.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:43 PM

Quinoa has been grown in the high mountains of the Andes for decades and has been a localized food for the population. As their health benefits became known in to the global community, the demands for them increases. This made it difficult for the locals to find cheap Quinoa, which is normally eaten in their diet. I feel that it is unfair for the locals to have seek new source of food alternatives now that their healthy Quinoa will become more expensive as the demand for it goes up.