The politics of food is changing fast. In rich countries, obesity is now a more serious problem than hunger. Consumers once satisfied with cheap and convenient food now want food that is also safe, nutritious, fresh, and grown by local farmers using fewer chemicals. Heavily subsidized and underregulated commercial farmers are facing stronger push back from environmentalists and consumer activists, and food companies are under the microscope. Meanwhile, agricultural success in Asia has spurred income growth and dietary enrichment, but agricultural failure in Africa has left one-third of all citizens undernourished – and the international markets that link these diverse regions together are subject to sudden disruption.
Food Politics carefully examines and explains the most important issues on today’s global food landscape, including international food prices, famines, chronic hunger, the Malthusian race between food production and population growth, international food aid, “green revolution” farming, obesity, farm subsidies and trade, agriculture and the environment, agribusiness, supermarkets, food safety, fast food, slow food, organic food, local food, and genetically engineered food.
Politics in each of these areas has become polarized over the past decade by conflicting claims and accusations from advocates on all sides. Paarlberg’s book maps this contested terrain, challenging myths and critiquing more than a few of today’s fashionable beliefs about farming and food. For those ready to have their thinking about food politics informed and also challenged, this is the book to read.
WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW About This Series Who it’s for: Busy people with diverse interests, ranging from college students to professionals, who wish to inform themselves in a succinct yet authoritative manner about a particular topic. What’s inside: An incisive approach to a complex and timely issue, laid out in a straight-forward, question-and-answer format. Meet Our Authors Top experts in their given fields, ranging from an Economist correspondent to a director at the Council on Foreign Relations, you can trust our authors’ expertise and guidance. Popular Topics in the “What Everyone Needs to Know” Series International Politics Environmental Policies World History Sciences & Math Religion & Spirituality
Political scientist Paarlberg calls on years of food-policy work and casts his net far and wide in highly opinionated discussions of food shortages and safety, organics, and obesity. He believes that the unsuccessful farm bill labors under the weight of Congressional and lobbyist interests who care only about profits, not good policy, while critics of the “green revolution” are more focused on idealism than science. Factory farming is essential, Paarlberg argues, and, by the way, international food aid is manipulated by everyone from the Department of Defense to the shipping lobby. The facts and figures he provides are dizzying, and the quick shifts in subject matter will likely leave readers wishing Paarlberg had chosen to focus his attention on a facet or two of this enormous subject. Ultimately Food Politics is best used as source book for those uncertain where to begin but desiring something more substantial than bland green guides. Consider it a cram course in how the world eats, and then use this knowledge to support further inquiry. —Colleen Mondor
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What a terrific book for teaching! The only complaint the students had was: ‘it’s too optimistic.’ So then we read The End of Food and — you guessed it — ‘it’s too pessimistic.’ That’s actually a good pairing: Paarberg’s techno-market optimism is a good foil for doomsday scenarios so common in the media. The formatting in Paarlberg’s book is user-friendly, intuitive. The Q and A format is stimulating and retains focus for each section. Paarlberg’s prose is admirably clear and jargon-free except when explaining jargon that students will encounter in political discourse. The coverage is broad and many concrete examples illustrate important points effectively, culled from experiences all over the world. Food Politics is a sophisticated treatment of a very broad canvass of important issues.
- Title: Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know
- Autor: Robert Paarlberg
- Publisher (Publication Date): Oxford University Press (April 7, 2010)
- Language: English
- Download File Format: PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3 (Kindle)