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Anthropology of Food

to Sweet Treats around the World

What FoodAnthro is Reading Now . . .
. Thursday, 30 November 2023, 09:07 (09:07 AM) CST, day 334 of 2023 .
BBC Food
The Gardian News / The Gardian Animals Farmed /

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A Fistful of Rice.
A Fistfull of Rice
Claire Kathleen Roufs eating first food at 5 months.
Claire Kathleen Roufs

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Anthroplogy of Food



Picture from We Feed the World.

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We Feed the World

(96 min., CC, 2005, DVD 1330)

"Vividly reveals the dysfunctionality of the industrialized world food system and shows what world hunger has to do with us. Includes interviews with fishermen, farmers and drivers, as well as Jean Ziegler of the UN, Karl Otrok of seed manufacturer Pioneer, and Peter Brabeck of Nestle International."

Film HomePage


We feed the World -- Google Videos

We Feed the World (German) -- YouTube

See also Our Daily Bread

Picture from We Feed the World.

We Feed the World
List of countries by percentage of population suffering from undernourishment
Hunger -- Wikipedia
Illnesses related to poor nutrition
List of famines
United Nations World Food Programme



Picture from We Feed the World.

Picture from We Feed the World.
Picture from We Feed the World.
Picture from We Feed the World.
Picture from We Feed the World.

Picture from We Feed the World.

Scenes from
We Feed the World

Picture from We Feed the World.

Scenes from
We Feed the World



  1. The Modern Farming System is Broken (6:57)
  2. Fishing Yesterday and Fishing Today (16.45)
  3. Industrialized Agriculture: Almeria, Spain (8:21)
  4. The Human Toil of Farm Subsidies (6:46)
  5. The New and Old Worlds Collide: Romania (4:28)
  6. Hybred & GM Seeds and Subsidies: Romania (9:54)
  7. Starvation, Soy and the Amazonian Rainforest (6:35)
  8. Starvation amidst Plenty: Brazil (8:23)
  9. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO): Austria (16:27)
  10. Giant Food Corporations: The UN's Jean Ziegler (1:56)
  11. Giant Food Corporations: Nestle's Peter Brabeck (6:09)
  12. Credits


96 minutes DVD-R version, Color / Stereo Closed Captioned Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult US Release Date: 2007 Copyright Date: 2005 ISBN (DVD): 1-59458-652-7

Directed by Erwin Wagenhofer Produced by Helmut Grasser, Allegrofilm Photography - Erwin Wagenhofer Sound - Helmut Junker Supported by Österreichisches Filminstitut Filmfonds Wien

Close to a billion of the nearly seven billion people on Earth are starving today. But the food we are currently producing could feed 12 billion people.

This is a film about food and globalization, fishermen and farmers, the flow of goods and cash flow -- a film about scarcity amid plenty.

  • Why doesn't a tomato taste like a tomato today?
  • How does one explain that 200 million people in India, supplier of 80% of Switzerland's wheat, suffer from malnutrition?
  • Why are thousands of acres of the Amazon being cleared to grow soybeans?
  • Is water something to which the public has a basic right or, as the CEO of the world's largest food company Nestlé suggests, a foodstuff with a market value?

These distressing questions are addressed as filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer travels from Austria to Brazil, France to Romania to interview Jean Ziegler, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, CEOs and directors of the world's largest food companies, agronomists, biologists, fishermen, farmers and farmworkers.

On a daily basis, in Vienna alone, enough left-over bread to supply a small city is destroyed.

The planet has enough production power to feed everyone, but 800 million people suffer from hunger.

What does world hunger have to do with us?

"What does world hunger have to do with us?"

In a word: EVERYTHING. We Feed the World is an award-winning, visually stunning, globe-trotting expose of our modern agricultural system. From struggling fishermen and long-distance truckers, to agronomists and multi-national corporate executives, We Feed the World presents a sobering portrait of the people who define the contemporary food industry, where the constant pursuit of profit takes precedence over the health of the workers, the hungry, and the environment."

"Every day in Vienna the amount of unsold bread sent back to be disposed of is enough to supply Austria's second-largest city, Graz. Around 350,000 hectares of agricultural land, above all in Latin America, are dedicated to the cultivation of soybeans to feed Austria's livestock while one quarter of the local population starves. Every European eats ten kilograms a year of artificially irrigated greenhouse vegetables from southern Spain, with water shortages the result."

"In WE FEED THE WORLD, Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer traces the origins of the food we eat. His journey takes him to France, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil and back to Austria."

"Leading us through the film is an interview with Jean Ziegler, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food."

"WE FEED THE WORLD is a film about food and globalisation, fishermen and farmers, long-distance lorry drivers and high-powered corporate executives, the flow of goods and cash flow–a film about scarcity amid plenty. With its unforgettable images, the film provides insight into the production of our food and answers the question what world hunger has to do with us."

"Interviewed are not only fishermen, farmers, agronomists, biologists and the UN's Jean Ziegler, but also the director of production at Pioneer, the world's largest seed company, as well as Peter Brabeck, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé International, the largest food company in the world."

Awards and Festivals

  • Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film & Video Festival Toronto
  • International Film Festival IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam)
  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
  • The Guelph International Film Festival
  • The Portland International Film Festival
  • Belgrade International Film Festival
  • One World Film Festival (Prague)
  • Thessaloniki Film Festival
  • Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival
  • Taos Mountain Film Festival
  • CounterCorp Film Festival
  • Best Eco Film, Napa Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival
  • Toronto International Film Festival
  • Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, Film Festival
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
  • Reel Food Film Festival, Ottawa
  • Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
  • Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival


"The images from this video will stay in your mind long after the closing credits. The film effectively reveals the paradoxical disparity between the prevalence of hunger and the overproduction of food, sometimes within the same country. It exposes the very high costs of this enormous food production in terms of ecological health, quality of the foods, and humane treatment of the animals and still, there is much food waste and millions of people starving - How can we continue to let this happen?

Most people in developed nations are so far removed from the origins of their food that few really know and understand the methods of modern food production; they still have a very bucolic view of farms and fisheries. This video very effectively shows the reality of modern, high volume food production methods. It will be hard to look at foods the same way again." Dalia Perelman, Nutrition and Food Science Department, San Jose State University

"Through evocative images and compelling stories, We Feed the World illustrates the ominous ecological and societal consequences of a global food system driven solely by the relentless quest for corporate profits and growth. The documentary reflects a European perspective from which every American might learn. Clearly, the future of humanity is at risk and time is running out." John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri, author of Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense, A Return to Common Sense, Small Farms are Real Farms, and Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture

"The absurdities of a globalized food industry are subject to mounting scrutiny and criticism. These excesses are illustrated with jaw-dropping efficacy in this timely documentary from Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer." Sofia International Film Festival

"This unsettling documentary from Austria meticulously documents how the mechanization of modern food production has created a monster. It reveals how the Western agro-industry's insatiable hunger for yield is creating poorer quality food, mind-boggling wastage, and impoverishing our natural environment and those who work in it." iofilm

"Sincere...perversely fascinating. It's enough to put you off poultry." Variety

"The documentary focuses on various aspects on the supply side of the food chain, giving insight to the various industries which produce food, like fishing, vegetables and poultry...It just boggles the mind, and makes you feel sad at the way things work, illogical as it may seem, in the name of profit." A Nutshell Review

"We Feed the World highlights two of the most pressing issues of our time: food distribution and globalization. Students can surely learn much by observing the differences shown between large agribusinesses and small farmers...This film illustrates many surprising results and connections among the people who produce foods and those who consume them...A great resource to spark a dialogue about the effects of globalization on food production and distribution systems." Laura Skelton, Assistant Program Director, Facing the Future: People and the Planet

"We Feed The World tells us that we are all part of the system, and that it is up to 'us' to change it, as we are the ones who should desire to do so." Shift Magazine

"The film is a thoughtful look at the problems facing small food producers in the face of increasing subsidies and industrialization of agricultural processes...provides fodder for student discussion on the perils of the modern agriculture system. Strong production values make We Feed the World visually interesting as well as thought provoking." Dr. Jeffrey Miller, Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University

"We Feed the World ensures that viewers will rethink their ideas about what farms look like, where their groceries come from, and why people starve. A provocative instructional tool, this film will be an asset anywhere educators wish to inspire students to think critically about globalization, food, and hunger." Charlotte Biltekoff, American Studies & Food Science and Technology Departments, University of California-Davis

"This powerful film provokes the viewer to thought about the real nature of the world's food system, and what we need to consider in moving beyond mere concern with just lower food prices...[We Feed the World] does a superb job of stirring the emotions on the way to envisioning a different and better future with regard to the way we produce the food we eat." Gary D. Lynne, Professor, Dept. of Agricultural Economics and School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

DVD version with special features available - see below
Color / Stereo
Closed Captioned
Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2007
Copyright Date: 2005
ISBN (VHS): 1-59458-651-9
ISBN (DVD): 1-59458-652-7

We Feed the World catalog information

We Feed the World
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