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HAZEL HEALY for the New Internationalist Co-operative

A boy stands in front of a food shop in Uganda, East Africa. MICHAEL BOYNY/ ALAMY


Imagine you live by the Atlantic Ocean, close enough to hear the waves breaking. In those waters swim small fish. They are a superfood: rich in the nutrients needed by your bodies – and those of your children.

But these fish are destined for the diets of others. They will be turned into food for farmed fish – like salmon – and livestock, which will in turn nourish wealthy people inland or abroad, perhaps even their pets.

This stark reality is experienced by coastal communities across the Global South. It was mapped and brought to the world’s attention by environmental social scientist Christina Hicks, who is a contributing editor for this edition.

Her research sparked the Food Justice files, a yearlong New Internationalist focus on the stories of people in sub-Saharan Africa who too often go unheard: from the forest gardeners of Ethiopia to herders in droughtstricken Somaliland.

To close the project, this Big Story takes us to the beaches of Senegal where we hear from women fish workers whose jobs are threatened by a deeply inequitable exchange. As social movements build a critical grassroots response to a UN food summit this September, this magazine reflects back on who gets to eat, why – and the urgent actions needed to rebalance food systems in the interests of the hungry.

You can find the whole Food Justice files series online at

Elsewhere in this edition, Leonardo Sakamoto brings us an exclusive interview with Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Wayne Ellwood explores whether, with the Castros gone, Cuba is turning a new page.


Christina Hicks is an environmental social scientist who’s interested in the relationships between societies and nature and how they shape health and livelihoods. She’s a professor at Lancaster University’s Environment Centre. @ChristinacHicks


Etinosa Yvonne is a documentary photographer and visual artist based in Abuja, Nigeria, whose work focuses on exploring and expressing themes of social injustice.

Raj Patel is an awardwinning writer, filmmaker and academic. He co-directed The Ants & The Grasshopper and wrote Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System.

Jason Hickel is an economic anthropologist, author and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His most recent book is Less is More: How Degrowth will Save the World.

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