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What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.
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This article is about a Bolivian culture which values its traditional food production methods. The Bolivians have even created some legislation to preserve their food sovereignty. Interestingly they do consume foreign foods, like hamburgers, but prefer them to be made by local street vendors. They have even managed to stave off most fast food restaurants, but they do have a dependence upon wheat imported from the United States.
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.
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).