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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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Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 13, 11:29 AM

I absolutely love this! Here is a country that takes a lot of pride in eating fresh foods. They do not have any fast food chains because Bolivians prefer their traditional foods just the way they are. They still eat hamburgers but prefer to buy them from women who make them instead of a McDonald's. Bolivians value that interaction and relationship with the people surrounding them and that genuinely makes food more enjoyable. Their food relationships do not involve money but the effects of what these fresh foods can do for them. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 28, 5:50 PM

This is a fine example of people looking out for one another.  It might be easier to industrialize their food market but it's more admirable to preserve tradition, help small indigenous business, and try your best at making the country more healthy.  I applaud them for doing this.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 3:33 PM

I think I might want to move to Bolivia one day! Reciprocity is often a term used for corporate culture; you but from me and I'll buy from you type of relationship. This is still true in Bolivia only they do it on a much more personal level. Farmers share equipment, they share crops, seeds and develop a rapport not easily undone by corporations such as McDonald's. Bolivia's multiple micro-climates allow it to grow a wide variety of foods for their citizens, thus making it easier to trade within their circle of neighborhood farmers. "I'll trade you ten pounds of potatoes for five pounds of Quinoa."

The article goes on to state that Bolivians do indeed love their hamburgers, a handful of Subway's and Burger King's still do business there, but the heritage of picking a burger from a street vendor has been passed down by generations. These cholitas, as they are called, sell their fare in the streets of Bolivia and this type of transaction is not easily duplicated by large corporations. I have added Bolivia to my bucket list...

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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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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, 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?