The Political Consequences of The Collapse of The Global Food System

Adebayo Adeniran
4 min readMay 23, 2022

And no one it seems, is safe….

Image via unsplash by Catalin Pop

Mohammed Bouazizi is not a name familiar to most people around the world. But his actions led to the greatest reconfiguration in the Middle-East since the end of the first world war.

What were his actions and what was the root cause?

It was Mr. Bouazizi who set himself alight at the helplessness of his economic situation in Tunisia in December 2010, thus triggering the Arab spring of 2011.

Contrary to popular belief that the Arab spring came about due to a yearning for democracy in the Middle-East, we now know that the biggest food companies on earth were indirectly responsible the collapse of longstanding regimes in Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya.

While I am not one to shed tears for the likes of Hosni Mubarak, Abdul Saleh, Gaddafi et al, it is pertinent to pay attention what happened in the recent past and understand that the events of 2011 are eminently possible today on a much greater scale.

Who are these food companies and what exactly did they do?

ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus (ABCD)are the biggest food companies in the world.

Together they control 90% of the world’s wheat. ABCD are extremely powerful and it is worth pointing out that they have the ear of some of the most powerful politicians in America.

And their influence extends to every nook and cranny of the world.

It was ABCD which very nearly succeeded in getting Donald Trump to oppose the appointment of an African technocrat in 2020, to head an important body created to deal with the issue of food scarcity on the continent.

And it was also this same body, which thwarted Nixon’s attempts to hike corn prices and create widespread starvation in the Soviet republic back in the 1970s.

So how does this tie to the subject of the article, I hear you ask?

Back in 2005, when these organizations were facing a crises of their own, due to the capriciousness of their harvests and the volatility of pricing cereals, they made a seminal decision: to bet against their own products in the international markets.

Adebayo Adeniran

A lifelong bibliophile, who seeks to unleash his energy on as many subjects as possible