Mexican cuisine has emerged as a paradox of globalization. Food enthusiasts throughout the world celebrate the humble taco at the same time that Mexicans are eating fewer tortillas and more processed food. Today Mexico is experiencing an epidemic of diet-related chronic illness. The precipitous rise of obesity and diabetes—attributed to changes in the Mexican diet—has resulted in a public health emergency.
In her gripping new book, Alyshia Gálvez exposes how changes in policy following implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have fundamentally altered one of the most basic elements of life in Mexico—food. Mexicans are now faced with a food system that favors industrial and imported food over subsistence agriculture, development over sustainability, free markets over social welfare, and ideologies of individual self-care over public health. Trade agreements have resulted in unintended consequences for people’s everyday lives.