Concentration and Power in the Food System

Author: Philip H. Howard
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472581148
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Nearly every day brings news of another merger or acquisition involving the companies that control our food supply. Just how concentrated has this system become? At almost every key stage of the food system, four firms alone control 40% or more of the market, a level above which these companies have the power to drive up prices for consumers and reduce their rate of innovation. Researchers have identified additional problems resulting from these trends, including negative impacts on the environment, human health, and communities. This book reveals the dominant corporations, from the supermarket to the seed industry, and the extent of their control over markets. It also analyzes the strategies these firms are using to reshape society in order to further increase their power, particularly in terms of their bearing upon the more vulnerable sections of society, such as recent immigrants, ethnic minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status. Yet this study also shows that these trends are not inevitable. Opposed by numerous efforts, from microbreweries to seed saving networks, it explores how such opposition has encouraged the most powerful firms to make small but positive changes.

Black White and Green

Author: Alison Hope Alkon
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820343897
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Farmers markets are much more than places to buy produce. According to advocates for sustainable food systems, they are also places to "vote with your fork" for environmental protection, vibrant communities, and strong local economies. Farmers markets have become essential to the movement for food-system reform and are a shining example of a growing green economy where consumers can shop their way to social change. Black, White, and Green brings new energy to this topic by exploring dimensions of race and class as they relate to farmers markets and the green economy. With a focus on two Bay Area markets--one in the primarily white neighborhood of North Berkeley, and the other in largely black West Oakland--Alison Hope Alkon investigates the possibilities for social and environmental change embodied by farmers markets and the green economy. Drawing on ethnographic and historical sources, Alkon describes the meanings that farmers market managers, vendors, and consumers attribute to the buying and selling of local organic food, and the ways that those meanings are raced and classed. She mobilizes this research to understand how the green economy fosters visions of social change that are compatible with economic growth while marginalizing those that are not. Black, White, and Green is one of the first books to carefully theorize the green economy, to examine the racial dynamics of food politics, and to approach issues of food access from an environmental-justice perspective. In a practical sense, Alkon offers an empathetic critique of a newly popular strategy for social change, highlighting both its strengths and limitations.

Framing Fat

Author: Samantha Kwan
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813560934
Format: PDF, Kindle
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According to public health officials, obesity poses significant health risks and has become a modern-day epidemic. A closer look at this so-called epidemic, however, suggests that there are multiple perspectives on the fat body, not all of which view obesity as a health hazard. Alongside public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advertisers of the fashion-beauty complex, food industry advocates at the Center for Consumer Freedom, and activists at the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. Framing Fat takes a bird’s-eye view of how these multiple actors construct the fat body by identifying the messages these groups put forth, particularly where issues of beauty, health, choice and responsibility, and social justice are concerned. Samantha Kwan and Jennifer Graves examine how laypersons respond to these conflicting messages and illustrate the gendered, raced, and classed implications within them. In doing so, they shed light on how dominant ideas about body fat have led to the moral indictment of body nonconformists, essentially “framing” them for their fat bodies.

The Agency of Eating

Author: Emma-Jayne Abbots
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472598555
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Deciding what to eat and how to eat it are two of the most basic acts of everyday life. Yet every choice also implies a value judgement: 'good' foods versus 'bad', 'proper' and 'improper' ways of eating, and 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' bodies. These food decisions are influenced by a range of social, political and economic bioauthorities, and mediated through the individual 'eating body'. This book is unique in the cultural politics of food in its exploration of a range of such bioauthorities and in its examination of the interplay between them and the individual eating body. No matter whether they are accepted or resisted, our eating practices and preferences are shaped by, and shape, these agencies. Abbots places the body, materiality and the non-human at the heart of her analysis, interrogating not only how the individual's embodied eating practices incorporate and reject the bioauthorities of food, but also how such authorities are created by the individual act of eating. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from across the globe, The Agency of Eating provides an important analysis of the power dynamics at play in the contemporary food system and the ways in which agency is expressed and bounded. This book will be of great benefit to any with an interest in food studies, anthropology, sociology and human geography.

Introduction to the US Food System

Author: Roni Neff
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118913051
Format: PDF, ePub
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A public health approach to the US food system Introduction to the US Food System: Public Health, Environment, and Equity is a comprehensive and engaging textbook that offers students an overview of today's US food system, with particular focus on the food system's interrelationships with public health, the environment, equity, and society. Using a classroom-friendly approach, the text covers the core content of the food system and provides evidence-based perspectives reflecting the tremendous breadth of issues and ideas important to understanding today's US food system. The book is rich with illustrative examples, case studies, activities, and discussion questions. The textbook is a project of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), and builds upon the Center's educational mission to examine the complex interrelationships between diet, food production, environment, and human health to advance an ecological perspective in reducing threats to the health of the public, and to promote policies that protect health, the global environment, and the ability to sustain life for future generations. Issues covered in Introduction to the US Food System include food insecurity, social justice, community and worker health concerns, food marketing, nutrition, resource depletion, and ecological degradation. Presents concepts on the foundations of the US food system, crop production, food system economics, processing and packaging, consumption and overconsumption, and the environmental impacts of food Examines the political factors that influence food and how it is produced Ideal for students and professionals in many fields, including public health, nutritional science, nursing, medicine, environment, policy, business, and social science, among others Introduction to the US Food System presents a broad view of today's US food system in all its complexity and provides opportunities for students to examine the food system's stickiest problems and think critically about solutions.

Food and Animal Welfare

Author: Henry Buller
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 0857856944
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Drawing together the latest research and a range of case studies, Henry Buller and Emma Roe guide readers on a fascinating journey through animal welfare issues 'from farm to fork'. Animal welfare offers a vital lens through which to explore the economies, culture and politics of food. This is the first text to provide a much-needed overview of this strongly debated area of the food industry. Buller and Roe explore how animal welfare is defined, advocated, assessed and implemented by farmers, veterinarians, distributors, and consumers. From the practicalities and limitations of establishing a basic standard of care for livestock, to the ethics of selling welfare as a product in the supermarket, this indispensable book offers empirical insights into a key aspect of the global food system: the lives, deaths, and consumption of animals which are at the core of the food chain. It is a must-read for students and scholars of animal welfare, agro-food studies and human-animal relations in disciplines such as geography, politics, anthropology, and sociology as well as animal behaviour, psychology and veterinary science.

Agri Food and Rural Development

Author: Terry Marsden
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 0857857452
Format: PDF, Docs
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The agri-food and rural development world has experienced significant changes in recent years. The evolution towards globalized and highly complex food supply systems has been accompanied by growing competition, reduced state subsidies as well as concerns about quality, output and the environment. At the beginning of the 21st century, the agri-food industry is urgently searching for new solutions. Exploring these recent developments, Agri-Food and Rural Development highlights the latest research on understanding and promoting sustainable food systems. Featuring a range of international case studies, it investigates different models of rural development for food production, examines the implications for a sustainable future, analyzes future challenges, and suggests new strategies for future agri-food development in a world fast exceeding its resources. An ambitious new study written by a leading authority in the field, this book offers a vital new perspective on this important debate and is destined to become a landmark text for students, scholars and policy-makers in food studies, agriculture, rural sociology, and geography.

Food Transgressions

Author: Michael K. Goodman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317134222
Format: PDF, ePub
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Reconnecting so-called alternative food geographies back to the mainstream food system - especially in light of the discursive and material 'transgressions' currently happening between alternative and conventional food networks, this volume critically interrogates and evaluates what stands for 'food politics' in these spaces of transgression now and in the near future and addresses questions such as: What constitutes 'alternative' food politics specifically and food politics more generally when organic and other 'quality' foods have become mainstreamed? What has been the contribution so far of an 'alternative food movement' and its potential to leverage further progressive change and/or make further inroads into conventional systems? What are the empirical and theoretical bases for understanding the established and growing 'transgressions' between conventional and alternative food networks? Offering a better understanding of the evolving position of the corporate food system vis a vis alternative food networks, this book considers the prospects for economic, social, cultural and material transformations led by an increasingly powerful and legitimated alternative food network.

Food Justice Now

Author: Joshua Sbicca
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781517904012
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A rallying cry to link the food justice movement to broader social justice debates The United States is a nation of foodies and food activists, many of them progressives, and yet their overwhelming concern for what they consume often hinders their engagement with social justice more broadly. Food Justice Now! charts a path from food activism to social justice activism that integrates the two. It calls on the food-focused to broaden and deepen their commitment to the struggle against structural inequalities both within and beyond the food system. In an engrossing, historically grounded, and ethnographically rich narrative, Joshua Sbicca argues that food justice is more than just a myopic focus on food, allowing scholars and activists alike to investigate the causes behind inequities and evaluate and implement political strategies to overcome them. Focusing on carceral, labor, and immigration crises, Sbicca tells the stories of three California-based food movement organizations, showing that when activists use food to confront neoliberal capitalism and institutional racism, they can creatively expand how to practice and achieve food justice. Sbicca sets his central argument in opposition to apolitical and individual solutions, discussing national food movement campaigns and the need for economically and racially just food policies--a matter of vital public concern with deep implications for building collective power across a diversity of interests.

The Industrial Diet

Author: Anthony Winson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479862797
Format: PDF
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“This is a hugely informative book, stocked full of careful analysis.”—Amy Best, Associate Professor of Sociology, George Mason University Accused by many of creating a global health crisis, the American diet has been a source of controversy for years. The way Americans eat—and the disastrous health problems that can often result--is debated on daytime talk shows and in political arenas, written about in bestselling manifestos, and exposed in Oscar-nominated documentaries. Yet, despite all the attention from the media and the scientific community, few studies have looked seriously at the mass-market forces underlying our Western diet. In The Industrial Diet, Anthony Winson chronicles the forces that have transformed our natural resources into an industry that produces edible commodities, an industry that far too often subverts our well-being instead of nourishing us. Tracing the industrial diet’s history from its roots in the nineteenth century through to the present day, Winson looks at the role of technology, population growth, and political and economic factors in the constitution and transformation of mass dietary regimes. In addition to providing new evidence linking broad-based dietary changes with negative health effects in the developed and developing world, Winson also outlines realistic and innovative strategies that can lead to a healthier future. A fresh new look at the degradation of food and the emergent struggle for healthful eating, this book is an eye-opening tour of the state of nutrition and food culture today.