In the course of Venezuela’s economic crisis, we have seen changes in people’s consumption patterns. People are eating more plantain, cassava and whole-grain corn, among other things, and fewer processed carbohydrates. Do you think this is just a temporary change (a return to the “traditional Venezuela,” which the romantically-minded might delight in because of its picturesque qualities), or is it a real step toward greater food sovereignty? How can we work to assure that these changes in consumption and production patterns become lasting ones and thus steps toward sovereignty and socialism?
The changes in consumption patterns during these difficult times are due, firstly, to the crisis of the whole agroindustrial system, which connects production, processing and highly concentrated, homogeneous and commodified consumption.
In Venezuela’s case, that system is also highly dependent on imports of raw materials and technology, which makes the system highly vulnerable and unable to meet the food needs of the population (as we have seen in recent years).
On the other hand, the new consumption pattern is possible thanks to the availability of food harvested in campesino production systems. With far fewer resources, these systems have proven capable of sustaining production, even in the face of all the problems of infrastructure (for both production and distribution) that peasant agriculture confronts.
These changes occurred as a spontaneous and almost immediate response in the majority of the population.
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