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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, Today, 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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Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade | 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:

In Argentina there is a proposed plan to build a tunnel that would be the longest tunnel in the Americas through the mountains. It would make billions of dollars worth of Chinese electronics, Chilean wine, Argentine food and Brazilian Cars cheaper and more competitive. It would save millions on shipping and safe time on shipping as well. The only pass through the Andes at the moment is in the south and gets buried in snow in the winter stranding shipments. If this is put into place many people believe that it cut travel time by a third.     

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 11:14 PM

This is one of the hugest developments for this region since the digging of the Panama Canal. This project will have a huge effect on the world's economy as shipping methods will now be easier and more efficient in this region.  It's construction will also bring about a large amount of jobs in every country that will be affected by it.  Because the Andes run through most of the western part of South America, this is going to be a win-win for all involved.  The hardship of it's construction must not go unsaid, but the result will be worth all of it. 

Cam E's curator insight, February 11, 8:15 AM

The United States should really get back on board with trains. Pun intended. They were a marvel which practically created the west, and yet we abandoned them for air travel and the highway system while many other countries found ways to further develop their train systems for the utmost speed and affordability. With the new technologies behind engineering, we now have the capabilities to tunnel straight through large mountains and connect even the most inaccessible areas. Creating new opportunity for human expansion in places otherwise difficult to get to.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 7:25 AM

This article expresses the need for better transportation in South America.  The need to bridge the Andes to better move trade goods from the pacific to Atlantic sides of the mountains.  This would have a huge effect on the economies of the two countries involved as well as an impact on international trade, just as the Panama Canal did when it was built.  The ability to cut through a mountain range and build a rail system is amazing and hopefully this vision of transportation can happen.

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Environment, Energy and Resilience

Indonesia has the largest share of the world's mangroves — coastal forests that have adapted to saltwater environments. They play important environmental and ecological roles.

 

Mangroves play a key role of acting as an ecological buffer in coastal region that provide the area with resilience against tsunamis, hurricanes and other forms of coastal flooding.  Their role in carbon sequestration is also vital as energy emissions globally continue to rise.  So let's jump scales: how are global issues locally important?  How is the local deeply global?  How can stakeholders at either scale find common ground with the other?  


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Indonesia is home to 1/4 of the worlds mangrove trees. These trees are salt tolerant and grow along the coastlines. They provide protection from tidal floods and erosion and provide homes for the islands biodiversity. The most important thing they do however is provide the villagers with wood  to make shrimp ponds and fire wood. They also protect the mangroves ecosystem. These trees are so very important to Indonesia, their economy and their life style. 

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 4:51 PM

It's nice to see that people are trying to save these forests and are experiencing some success. Deforestation has many bad consequences including flooding, an increase in carbon emissions, and a decrease in biodiversity. People everywhere need to learn that even though we can gain some money by using the land for something other than forest, it is more beneficial to leave the forest because it not only saves the environment, forests also directly helps humans because of the health and safety benefits. There are a lot of people around the world trying to save the forests, but sadly it is not an easy task.

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 9:45 AM

Mangroves are a natural barrier to hurricanes, tsunamis, and the flooding that come with it in a very important way. It's often suggested that there is a battle between opposing sides of the environment and business, but in a situation like this, and in many others, the natural environment exists for a reason and protects the land against severe damage. In this way there's an economic incentive to protect natural environments as well as an ecological one.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 14, 4:35 AM

The NPR report discusses how valuable the mangrove forests of Indonesia are not just locally important, but globally important as well. Locally, they provide protection from flooding and tsunami as well as being incredibly significant in the overall ecology of the area. Globally, the mangroves are incredibly efficient at reducing carbon dioxide compared to most other types of forests. The Indonesian people have an interest in protecting the mangroves for their own local benefits, but there is interest internationally in the mangroves as buying and protecting them allows for a country to earn carbon credits. The dilemma lies in that clearing the mangroves for agriculture is a large economic advantage, but ruins the environmental benefits. A balance needs to be struck with the international community to protect the mangroves for the world while providing significant economic benefits to Indonesia.

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Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Tea is the backbone of the Assam economy, their tradition is to hand pick the tea leaves making it expensive. In Assam some estates are running into the risk of having to begin to rely on machines to pick their tea. This is because of a shortage of willing workers. Another problem they are facing is that they are being beaten out because their tea is highly priced compared to other estates. This is a big threat to the Assam and something that there economy relies on so heavely.  

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 11, 2013 10:03 AM

To modernize or not?  A great question.  Young people don't want to do this traditional work, it is expensive for the owners while others are using machines, the quality may be better, but the other brands are cheaper and selling more.  They exports have dropped becuase of the price of cheaper teas that don't have the same quality, but it seems that price is the more determining factor.  What is the owner to do?  If he changes and sells more his quality goes down, and a ton of people lose their jobs, however with less and less people willing to do the work...is it even necessary to keep this way???  A vicious circle..I think so.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 6:35 AM

I found it interesting that the estates choose to maintain a womb to tomb economy for their workers.  The cost they said was higher than in other tea producing models but they felt that it was something that safeguarded quality.  The introduction of machines would not only reduce quality but it would reduce the workforce, which would displace workers.  But this choice may be taken from them as younger workers leave to find work elsewhere. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 1:42 AM

This article details how globalization is damaging the high-end tea industry of India. The Assam company, which produces high quality tea, is under pressure to mechanize their 100% human tea production due to competition. Vietnam, Kenya, and even other Indian companies produce significantly cheaper tea due to their willingness and ability to cut costs by using machines and paying their workers less. A cultural stigma toward tea workers is making hiring difficult for Assam, compounding the problems with competitors and forcing a switch to mechanization which will produce an inferior product.

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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In India 20-42% of the population doesnt eat meat, because of this McDonalds will be opening a vegetarian only resturant right near the Golden Temple which is a pilgrimage site sacred to Sikhs. This will be a prime location because the temple doesnt allow meat so this is a solution. It is amazing to see how big buisness like McDonalds will completely change in order to be able to thrive and succed in another country.

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Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 8:47 AM

At the very least Mcdonalds is changing its menu to fit the culture, rather than making the entire world eat Big Macs and Cheeseburgers. One would be surprised that many times you don't have to go too far to find variances in fast food menus. Some could say I was a "Big" fan of fast food when I was younger, and I remember the Taco Bell in Arizona selling different food than the one in Rhode Island. Or even Canadian KFCs offering Poutine when they won't right over the border in the US.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 7:05 AM

McDonald’s is a company that is good at adjusting their brand to fit into the markets they are trying to enter.  This shows a positive side to globalization, in my opinion, because it shows that a large company is sensitive to the needs and wants of the place they are going into and is willing to find ways to adapt to the culture they are entering.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 14, 8:21 PM

I believe this is a wise decision by McDonald's to adjust their menu for the people of India who are vegetarian. India's population is over one billion now; many of those people are vegetarian. McDonald's is one of the world's most successful fast food chains and they have a chance to lure millions of new customers into their restaurant. This is a great example of a global company making small changes in order to attract people with specific customs and cultural norms. 

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Philippines Overtakes India as Hub of Call Centers

Philippines Overtakes India as Hub of Call Centers | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Many companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila to take advantage of workers who speak lightly accented English and are familiar with American culture.

 

The geography of globalization is epitomized by relentless change and marked by continual turnover.  Cultural and economic factors play significant roles in creating potential advantages for receiving outsourced jobs (whether that is beneficially long-term is another discussion). 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila because there the workers speak a lightly accented English and are more familiar with American culture then they are over in India. This shows the maturation of the outsourcing buisness and shows the preference for American English.  

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Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 11, 2012 10:40 PM

I liked this article simply because I could relate it to my own personal experiences speaking with someone at a call center.  I guess it is kind of interesting that the Phillippines has overtaken India in terms of number of call centers.  What was reallly interesting though was how familiar those at the call centers were of Americans. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 9:41 AM

The fact that so many Filipinos speak English is an important one to understand. This brings jobs to the Philippines, but at the expense of local culture. High income and social standing in the Philippines is often correlated with English, as many of the high-ranking citizens attend universities in the United States and return with degrees, and in turn teach their children English. This marginalizes their own language in a way, and is something to keep aware of, as it's one thing that the United States does not face in many areas, that most other countries around the world do.