Grocery cart shows impact of globalization

Take a close look at what’s on your plate during your next meal.

Nettie Wiebe – farmer, former National Farmers Union president and a

University of Saskatchewan professor – asks her students to find out

where one thing they put in their shopping carts came from.

She said they think this is a Mickey Mouse assignment.

“These are graduate students, so you get the sense that they know this

little professor has been on the farm too long,” she said at a recent

presentation on globalization at the University of Regina.

“Then it’s delightful thereafter, because very often they come back

after two weeks to ask for an extension.”

Wiebe said she is not surprised. Most of the food we eat today has

travelled thousands of kilometres to get to our plates, and it’s almost

impossible to find out exactly where it came from.

For example, students phoning New York to find out where the tomatoes

on their pizza were grown discovered they could have come from Mexico

or California and they might have been processed in the U.S. midwest.

“If anybody imagines that the globalization of agriculture isn’t

affecting them, they need to do this little assignment,” Wiebe said.

“We are in fact literally eating the effects of the globalization of


About the author


Stories from our other publications