Remaking the North American Food System: Strategies for Sustainability

Remaking the North American Food System: Strategies for Sustainability

Remaking the North American Food System: Strategies for Sustainability

Remaking the North American Food System: Strategies for Sustainability

Synopsis

Food and agriculture are in the news daily. Stories in the media highlight issues of abundance, deprivation, pleasure, risk, health, community, and identity. Remaking the North American Food System examines the resurgence of interest in rebuilding the links between agricultural production and food consumption as a way to overcome some of the negative implications of industrial and globalizing trends in the food and agricultural system. Written by a diverse group of scholars and practitioners, the chapters in this volume describe the many efforts throughout North America to craft and sustain alternative food systems that can improve social, economic, environmental, and health outcomes. With examples from Puerto Rico to Oregon to Quebec, this volume offers a broad North American perspective attuned to trends toward globalization at the level of markets and governance and shows how globalization affects the specific localities. The contributors make the case that food can no longer be taken for granted or viewed in isolation. Rather, food should be considered in its connection to community vitality, cultural survival, economic development, social justice, environmental quality, ecological integrity, and human health.

Excerpt

C. Clare Hinrichs

We live in a time when food attracts growing scrutiny. Long taken for granted, food now gives many people pause. They ask where it comes from, how it is grown and prepared, and what implications it has for our health and the environment. A dairy cow found to have mad cow disease unleashes troubling questions about an international system of industrialized meat production, processing, and distribution. Lawsuits brought by obese teens against fast food companies that offer super-sized fare and parental campaigns to take the “junk” out of school lunches and vending machines highlight questionable commercial influences on food choices. Rural regions awash in a sea of commodity agriculture but without groceries or markets selling fresh or nutritious food suggest the sad ironies of our current agricultural “abundance.” And the visual perfection but disappointing taste of a Delicious apple prompts yearning for the irregular shapes and in-season novelty of regional and old varieties—those that may not pack well, travel far, or keep but that bloom with distinctive flavor.

Having both material presence and symbolic charge, food now figures prominently in struggles for power, negotiations about policy, possibilities for partnership, and new and renewed expressions of pleasure and identity. Consequently, food provides a unique analytical and experiential nexus, drawing together and crystallizing many urgent, complicated problems facing society. No longer taken for granted or viewed in isolation, food can and should be connected to community vitality, cultural survival, economic development, social justice, environmental quality, ecological integrity, and human health.

This book explores the widening circles of connection emanating from food by examining the diverse efforts now underway to remake . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.