Tech Won't Save Us

How Tech is Remaking the Food System w/ Jim Thomas

October 13, 2022 Paris Marx, Jim Thomas Episode 137
Tech Won't Save Us
How Tech is Remaking the Food System w/ Jim Thomas
Show Notes

Paris Marx is joined by Jim Thomas to discuss how digital technologies are being integrated into the industrial food system, how it empowers agribusiness firms and major tech companies, and its implications for farmers and farm workers.

Jim Thomas is the research director at ETC Group, which has over 25 years international experience tracking the impact of emerging technologies on human rights, biodiversity, equity and food systems. Follow Jim on Twitter at @jimetc or follow @ETC_Group.

Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, and support the show on Patreon.

The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

Also mentioned in this episode:

  • ETC Group recently released its Food Barons 2022 report, providing a snapshot of the world’s the biggest players up and down the industrial food and agriculture chain, with a lot of insight on the use of technologies throughout the food system.
  • The ETC Group has also put together a children’s book and video to make information about the digital takeover of food more accessible.
  • The war in Ukraine is only exacerbating preexisting problems in the global food system.
  • The Gates Foundation uses its vast wealth to shape the global food system so it works as Bill Gates wants it to and benefits major agribusiness and tech companies. Groups in Africa have long been speaking out about Gates’ plans for agriculture on the continent.
  • The UN finds that food systems are responsible for 80% of deforestation, 29% of emissions, and a leading share of biodiversity loss. It also reports that 70% of the world’s agricultural land is owned by 1% of all farms, mainly large agribusiness firms.
  • The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems put together a report on what a long food movement could look like.

Support the show