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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Bolivia has become the first Latin American country to be McDonalds free since they closed their doors back in 2002. But what made them fall? It has been shown that Bolivians prefer their native food or to buy non traditional food from their own people selling them on the streets over the fast food. Its the reciprocity, they want to give back to each other as they can.  

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Jess Deady's curator insight, February 20, 3:27 PM

McDonalds is a social and economical chain restaurant that has not made its way to Bolivia. Sure, they like hamburgers but they prefer to get them from the women hawking them on the streets. Who can blame them? When is the last time you bought something that was made in America? Probably a couple weeks or months even. Cultural traditions are fading out fast and moves like this are what will keep Bolivians culturally enabled.

Paige Therien's curator insight, March 1, 1:21 PM

There is much valuable information to learn from other countries and cultures, especially when it comes to food because subsistence greatly shapes a culture.  Of course, the United States is very different than Bolivia in terms of culture and geography, but there is a lot to take away from the structural rejection of McDonalds in Bolivia.  Bolivia has taken advantage of the altitudinal zonation that is characteristic of their mountainous country; they have formed a system of reciprocity which fosters strong community and leaves no room for giant food corporations such as McDonald.  If people in the United States want a change in their food systems, the first step is rejecting the systems that should not play a role, but currently do.  Institutions like McDonalds have allowed people to be so far removed from their food sources, and ultimately, an important characteristic unique to humanity (food producers).

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 6:41 AM

       It's interesting that globalization is one of the reasons for the growth of fast food chains like McDonald’s around the world. It’s hard for countries to turn down a food company who really does configure their menu to the consumers their serving. I find it interesting that Bolivia found a way to resist this. Its topography is what made the last store close in 2002. McDonald’s couldn’t survive in the mountainous country with the Andes and the Amazon. They were able to resist because the nation always prioritized local control of its food system and eating healthy. Its people value food, food producers, and their ecosystems

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The Changing Geography of Quinoa

The Changing Geography of Quinoa | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The beautiful Quinoa plants grow and thrive in harsh conditions where nothing else can grow. Quinoa is one of the planets most nutritious food source that was once just a sacred crop for the Andean culture. It is now a health food for the middle class in the US and Europe, but the increased demand means less for the people of Bolivia and Peru and tripled prices. Many are concerned this could cause malnutrition because it is their main food source and it is now being taken from them at a rapid pace. Battles have even begun to be fought over prime Quinoa growing land. I love Quinoa, and its a big part of my diet but I never realized how important it was to the people of Bolivia and Peru or how much they relied on it.       

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Jen-ai's curator insight, January 24, 2013 11:14 AM

Your love of this favorite gluten free grain might be jeapordizing the health of the Andina farmers who grow it. 

Al Picozzi's comment, July 11, 2013 12:50 PM
Amazing what the demand from the US, Western Europe and Japan could do to the eating habits of people in Peru, Bolivia and the area in general.
Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 7:17 AM

I have never heard of Quinoa until I read this article.  I found myself amazed at the properties of this food especially when it is grown in such an inhospitable environment for growing other crops.  It is sad that the poor people eat less of it now but the income it generates for them is a good thing.  It allows them to increase their standards of living and entices people to return to their home villages rather than crowd into cities. With the increased income they can improve the variety of foods in their diets even if it means the decrease in consumption of the quinoa.