Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and drink: Decisions, decisions, decisions

Who are you voting for with your food dollars?

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• Proportion of gross domestic product the World Bank designates as the food and agriculture sector: 10 per cent

• Approximate value of that sector: US$4.8 trillion

• Amount the world’s five largest global supermarket chains (all of them US or European) expanded between 1980 and 2001: 240 per cent

• Number of corporations that control 60-80 per cent of global food supply along with integrated systems, such as transport and warehousing: 4-5

• Value of packaged food sector, according to Euromonitor International: $1.6 trillion

• Revenues of Kraft Foods Inc., one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies: US$37 billion

• Proportion of US houses that contain Kraft products: 99 per cent

• Number of countries that sell Kraft products: 150

• Number of brands Kraft sells: 59

• Proportion of people in the world employed in agriculture in 2007 vs. 1996: 35 per cent vs. 42 per cent

• Decrease in number of farms in Canada, from 1996 to 2001: -10.7 per cent

• Amount greenhouses have increased in area in Canada between the 1996 and 2001 census: Doubled

• Number of organic farms in Canada as of 2001: 2,230, or about 1 per cent of all farms

• Percent cancer could be reduced worldwide by a diet of plant-based food: 30-40 per cent

• Percent increase in the risk of people developing pancreatic cancer who eat large amounts of processed meats, including hot dogs and sausages: 67 per cent

• Year that the European Union adopted compulsory labelling for GMO foods: 2003

• Amount of genetically modified materials that food products contain in the EU that triggers labelling and traceability: 0.5 per cent

• Proportion of Canadians who feel that genetically modified foods will make their lives worse in the next 20 years: 50 per cent

• Amount of money that Monsanto feels its “seeds and genomics” section will generate in profits in 2008: US$3.8 billion+

• Percent increase that is over Monsanto’s 2007 profit for that sector: +25 per cent

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