(Illustration: Nikau Hindin, Obesity and Junk Food, 2009 @nikaugabrielle)

The past 60 years have seen an exponential rise in the production and consumption of ultra-processed “food”, such as packaged crisps, biscuits, sweetened beverages, and ready-to-eat meals.

Driven by an expansion of the industrial food system, including global sourcing and retail structures, and corporate concentration and power within this system, UPP are replacing fresh and minimally processed foods and home-cooked meals in our diets.

Dietary patterns are becoming increasingly homogenised and culinary traditions are disappearing. This shift started in high income countries and has now reached all countries, in some making up over 50% of what people eat.

The latest edition of the Nyéléni newsletter, prepared by FIAN and AFSA, explores how the “corporate diet” based on UPP is being imposed in different regions of the world and what this means for people’s health and food sovereignty.

To reclaim sovereignty over our plates we must look beyond our plates and reshape the food system as a whole.

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