SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.16 número2Transferencias y cohesión política de gobiernos disidentes en México índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados




Links relacionados

  • No hay artículos similaresSimilares en SciELO


Agricultura, sociedad y desarrollo

versión impresa ISSN 1870-5472

agric. soc. desarro vol.16 no.2 Texcoco abr./jun. 2019  Epub 25-Feb-2020 

Book Review

Claudia Rocío Magaña González, Yanga Villagómez Velázquez (Coordinadores). 2018. Hacia una reflexión decolonial de la alimentación en el occidente de méxico. [Toward a decolonial reflection of the diet in western mexico] México. Taller editorial La Casa del Mago, 226 p.

María De Lourdes Hernández Rodríguez1 

Andrés María Ramírez1 

1El Colegio de Tlaxcala, A.C., Melchor Ocampo No 28, San Pablo Apetatitlán, Tlaxcala. (,

Magaña González, Claudia Rocío; Villagómez Velázquez, Yanga. 2018. Hacia una reflexión decolonial de la alimentación en el occidente de México. [Toward a decolonial reflection of the diet in western Mexico], México: Taller Editorial la Casa del Mago, 226p.

This work suggests the urgency of a radical change in western scientific thought and a move toward a paradigm where human beings and nature constitute an indissoluble unit where they take care and give feedback to one another, and to focus on the diet, not as a characteristic of community or urban life, but rather as the central axis of life. It is grouped in four axes: limits of the dietary situation in western Mexico; answers, actions, and local-regional, urban and rural proposals; voice, view and practices from the furrow; and decolonizing academic thought and the diet, written by eight academics from five institutions and a farmer from La Ciénega, Jalisco.

In terms of the contributions, these can be understood in three aspects: Theoretical-conceptual, where certain terms are analyzed, such as sentipensante (sensible), decolonization, desenrrollo (unrolling), despatriarcalización (depatriarchalizing) and cosmovivencias (world experiences); the methodological contributions, where how to use ethnography and its critical variation are exercised and shown, auto-ethnography and others such as Participative-Research-Action; and, lastly, the practical cases, about which some chapters are reviewed next, where agriculture is shown not only as a biological practice of food production, but as a social construction that guarantees and dignifies the reproduction of cultures.

In “Transiting from vulnerability to food sovereignty”, Isabel Cristina Marín Arriola recalls how in southern Jalisco there was a change from traditional production of maize and fodder for their animals to agrarian production for exports with avocado cultivation, after the entrance of NAFTA, provoking the abandonment of the farmland and the tendency to rent lands by adults, in addition to the diet of infants, children, adolescents and young adults being highly influenced by industrialized (junk) foods, originating a grave problem of obesity.

In “Food security in Jalisco: experiences from the farmland and the city”, Everardo Pérez Cárdenas narrates how in processes of planned intervention, the so-called “beneficiary population”, both in rural areas and in urban, does and undoes, questions and accepts, the innovating practices and technical knowledge that agents of change (government agencies, civil society organizations, academics and local promoters) take to them; that is, the local dynamics are imposed and they reconfigure the processes of planned intervention, which agrees with the observation by Norman Long, that in these processes of intervention actors converge with heterogeneous motivations, which it is necessary to understand and consider in the implementation of intervention practices, such as the ones represented by the Strategic Program for Food Security (Proyecto Estratégico para la Seguridad Alimentaria, PESA) implemented in Mexico. As a result it was observed that among the beneficiary communities the forms of perception, signification and appropriation of the problems of territory by the populations are divergent (of cooperation or conflict, of participation or apathy, of legitimacy or discredit).

In “Organic agriculture in Michoacán and organic avocado: Ecological certification as a means of exports to the international market”, Yanga Villagómez Velázquez and David Rodolfo Domínguez Arista begin by pointing out how transnational companies control the complete cycle of food production through supermarkets, thanks to Neoliberalism; the authors recognize the failure of the Green Revolution model in the farmland, food dependency sponsored by Neoliberalism, and the growing power of these corporations which control the agrifood aspect and, with it, subjecting sovereign decisions of nations to those of agri-business food corporations on the State. In face of this, they consider organic agriculture as an option and within this modality, avocado cultivation, which in Michoacán covers close to 10 % of the total planted with this crop, bringing advantages over traditional management, such as the non-use of pesticides or toxic and synthetic contaminants, which allows for production not to entail a threat for flora and fauna in forests and rainforests, rivers and lakes, and other ecological systems.

In “16 reflections”, Rodolfo González Figueroa criticizes the clumsiness of science to communicate what is believed; thanks to science there is discovery, without becoming aware that in many studies related to the farmland academic work is contradictory and proposes as counterbalance the practice of Good Living, against those imposed by the State or the transnational companies, which not only threaten food sovereignty, but rather “against a salary that is barely enough to buy a pantry of processed foods that do not nourish, but do cause debt”, and only makes the population purchase illusions in installments and proposes embracing the collective commitment of peasants and practicing traditional agriculture that leads to food sovereignty, with a sensible human being.

In “Research, for whom? And, what for? Some reflections around our work”, after debating the efficacy of the Green Revolution, Norma Helena Juárez states that small-scale agriculture still conserves traditional practices and with it, biodiversity, with the work and knowledge of sensible people, not as western agriculture demands by commodifying and only validating what is measured and quantified, with a pretty vision of the world, proposing to decolonize knowledge by making it not only natural but also social, understanding the game between the local and the total, eradicating the idea that what belongs to the common people is not scientific and stimulating the principle of the “third included”, which implies acceptance and tolerance of those who view the world differently.

In the study that Nadia Xochiquetzalli González Briseño presents, titled “Making the diet interdisciplinary”, the author proposes within the professional contexts of the dietary area, actor in social movements linked to the diet and in the interdisciplinary practice of academia, to teach and act with political conviction to decolonize the thought and consumption of a westernized diet, using not only gender theory as analytical counterweight to show how nature has been subjectivized as a result of the colonial analytical framework where economic-political and social authority is given to the institutions emanated from the white man, through corporate politics and how this has made of femininity a social function that hides the appropriation of work under the cover of biological destiny, which first coopts women or then the poor for the sake of modernity, until reaching theoretical-conceptual discussions of modernity and dietary colonization.

Finally, as mentioned by Claudia Rocío Magaña and Yanga Villagómez, coordinators of the book, the intention of the book is to present the diet as a biocultural phenomenon that develops in a multidimensional way, according to the society where it belongs, with it being a challenge to propose methodological alternatives and approaches that show the diet from different points of view.

Creative Commons License Este es un artículo publicado en acceso abierto bajo una licencia Creative Commons