Developing countries are a hot market for Big Food’s high-calorie junk food.
There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times recently. In Brazil, food giant Nestle sends vendors door to door hawking its high-calorie junk food and giving customers a full month to pay for their purchases. Such a deal. Nestle calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, “micro-entrepreneurs.” Right.
Big Food is increasing targeting poor countries as “emerging markets” to please shareholders, supplanting their indigenous diets with fast food, packaged goods and soft drinks. In addition to creating obesity, diabetes, heart disease and chronic illnesses, the junk food supplants subsistence agriculture crops with sugar cane and GMO corn and soybeans. Even philanthropic groups like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have drunk Big Food’s Kool-Aid about GMOs “feeding the world.” Actually, GMOs drench the fields of poor communities with toxic pesticides and pollute their waters.
Nestle’s exploitation of the poor goes back more than 40 years when it convinced poor mothers to reject their own breast milk-the one thing poor mothers actually have to give their babies-in favor of its infant formula. Activist groups say babies die in poor areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America because their mothers bottle-feed them with Western-style infant milk.