Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

Synopsis

• Reveals how bringing food production to a local level revitalizes rural economies in both the industrialized and developing world

• Published in association with the International Society for Ecology and Culture

• For readers concerned with agriculture, community development, environmental sustainability, and ecological economics

If the many social, environmental, and economic crises facing the planet are to be reversed, local food economies must be rebuilt. Given the constant demand for food, even miniscule changes in its production and marketing can offer immense benefits for farmers, consumers, the economy and the environment.

Bringing the Food Economy Home reveals how a shift towards the local would protect and rebuild agricultural diversity by giving farmers a larger share of the money spent on food, and providing consumers with healthier, fresher food at more affordable prices.

Excerpt

Counting all the people negatively affected by the global food system … we
are really the majority of the people in the world
.

—Peter Rosset, Executive Director, Food First

Food is at the center of a storm the world over. Farms in the North are going under in record numbers, even as farmers in the South are being removed from the land by the millions. Food scares occur with increasing regularity, leading many to wonder whether their meals are safe to eat. Genetically altered crops have been planted on much of America's farmland, angering consumers and environmentalists, and setting off trade disputes with Europe and Japan. Corporations are tightening their hold over the world's food supply, inciting farmers and other citizens around the world to call for boycotts, to attack fast-food chains, and to uproot genetically engineered crops.

All of this turbulence has its origins in the industrialization and globalization of food and farming. With food reduced to a commodity in a volatile market, farming is becoming ever more specialized, capital-intensive, and technology-based, and food marketing ever more globalized. These trends are proving disastrous for consumers, farmers, local economies, and the environment; nonetheless, most governments intend to accelerate the process, with policies that aim for higher exports and lower barriers to trade, more chemicals and more genetic engineering.

There is, however, an opposing current—a small but rapidly growing groundswell of support for local food systems. Consumers and farmers are forging links to promote smaller-scale, more diversified, and ecologically sound agriculture. These groups favor foods grown nearby, rather than global commodities mass-produced thousands of miles away.

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