This new edition offers a timely update to the leading textbook dedicated to all aspects of U.S. food policy. The update accounts for experience with policy changes in the 2014 Farm Bill and prospects for the next Farm Bill, the publication of the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the removal of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for trans fats, the collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty, stalled child nutrition reauthorization legislation, reforms in food-labeling policy, the consequences of the 2016 presidential election and many other developments. The second edition offers greater attention both to food justice issues and to economic methods, including extensive economics appendices in a new online Companion Website. As with the first edition, real-world controversies and debates motivate the book’s attention to economic principles, policy analysis, nutrition science and contemporary data sources. The book assumes that the reader's concern is not just the economic interests of farmers and food producers but also includes nutrition, sustainable agriculture, food justice, the environment and food security. The goal is to make U.S. food policy more comprehensible to those inside and outside the agri-food sector whose interests and aspirations have been ignored. The chapters cover U.S. agriculture, food production and the environment, international agricultural trade, food and beverage manufacturing, food retail and restaurants, food safety, dietary guidance, food labeling, advertising and federal food assistance programs for the poor. The author is an agricultural economist with many years of experience in the nonprofit advocacy sector, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as a professor at Tufts University. The author's blog on U.S. food policy provides a forum for discussion and debate of the issues set out in the book.
Many issues in food and agriculture are portrayed as increasingly polarized. These include industrial vs. sustainable agriculture, conventional vs. organic production methods, and global vs. local food sourcing, to name only three. This book addresses the origins, validity, consequences, and potential resolution of these and other divergences. Political and legal actions have resulted in significant monetary and psycho-social costs for groups on both sides of these divides. Rhetoric on many issues has caused misinformation and confusion among consumers, who are unsure about the impact of their food choices on nutrition, health, the environment, animal welfare, and hunger. In some cases distrust has intensified to embitterment on both sides of many issues, and even to violence. The book uses economic principles to help readers better understand the divisiveness that prevails in the agricultural production, food processing and food retailing industries. The authors propose solutions to promote resolution and depolarization between advocates with seemingly irreconcilable differences. A multifaceted, diverse, but targeted approach to food production and consumption is suggested to promote social well-being, and reduce or eliminate misinformation, anxiety, transaction costs and hunger.
This book discusses the issues of integration within food and fibre supply chains and the challenges in managing price risk. The problems of integration and price risk are interwoven in agricultural supply chains with production and supply risk as well as hoarding. However, without supply chain integration through commercial trade markets there can be no forward market upon which forward transactions and the management of price risk can be based. Without a forward market that can reduce opportunistic behaviour, there is likely to be little security of supply, particularly under high production risk and price uncertainty. Whilst price risk management is possible under certain circumstances, there are many factors that can prevent the development of forward markets or cause them to collapse, thus undermining the ability to manage price risk within acceptable risk and return parameters. Market positions therefore need to be valued and often settled daily due to the risk of contract default. In addition, the issue of currency risk and its management applies to international market positions and transactional exposures. The book analyses a range of price risk management strategies from forward contracting through to futures and options hedging, and finally to over-the-counter products. Evaluation techniques are developed to aid decision-making. The author concludes that forward market development may be the exception rather than the norm, and that whilst favourable price risk management outcomes may be possible, they can sometimes be caused more by luck than through good management. It is shown how tactics are an important consideration in decision-making to minimize costs and losses.
A public health approach to the US food system Introduction to the US Food System: Public Health,Environment, and Equity is a comprehensive and engagingtextbook that offers students an overview of today's US foodsystem, with particular focus on the food system'sinterrelationships with public health, the environment, equity, andsociety. Using a classroom-friendly approach, the text covers thecore content of the food system and provides evidence-basedperspectives reflecting the tremendous breadth of issues and ideasimportant to understanding today's US food system. The book is richwith illustrative examples, case studies, activities, anddiscussion questions. The textbook is a project of the Johns Hopkins Center for aLivable Future (CLF), and builds upon the Center's educationalmission to examine the complex interrelationships between diet,food production, environment, and human health to advance anecological perspective in reducing threats to the health of thepublic, and to promote policies that protect health, the globalenvironment, and the ability to sustain life for futuregenerations. Issues covered in Introduction to the US Food Systeminclude food insecurity, social justice, community and workerhealth concerns, food marketing, nutrition, resource depletion, andecological 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 offood Examines the political factors that influence food and how itis produced Ideal for students and professionals in many fields, includingpublic health, nutritional science, nursing, medicine, environment,policy, business, and social science, among others Introduction to the US Food System presents a broad viewof today's US food system in all its complexity and providesopportunities for students to examine the food system's stickiestproblems and think critically about solutions.
A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture
Author: David Molden
Managing water resources is one of the most pressing challenges of our times - fundamental to how we feed 2 billion more people in coming decades, eliminate poverty, and reverse ecosystem degradation. This Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, involving more than 700 leading specialists, evaluates current thinking on water and its interplay with agriculture to help chart the way forward. It offers actions for water management and water policy - to ensure more equitable and effective use. This assessment describes key water-food-environment trends that influence our lives today and uses scenarios to explore the consequences of a range of potential investments. It aims to inform investors and policymakers about water and food choices in light of such crucial influences as poverty, ecosystems, governance, and productivity. It covers rainfed agriculture, irrigation, groundwater, marginal-quality water, fisheries, livestock, rice, land, and river basins. Ample tables, graphs, and references make this an invaluable work for practitioners, academics, researchers, and policymakers in water management, agriculture, conservation, and development. Published with IWMI.
When other nations are forced to rethink their agricultural and food security strategies in light of the post-peak oil debate, they only have one living example to draw from: that of Cuba in the 1990s. Based on the first and - up till now - only systematic and empirical study to come out of Cuba on this topic, this book examines how the nation successfully headed off its own food crisis after the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s. The author identifies the policies and practices required for such an achievement under conditions of petroleum-scarcity and in doing so, challenges the mainstream globalized and privatized food systems and food security strategies being driven through in both industrialized and more vulnerable developing regions. Paradoxically, the book dispels the myth that Cuba turned to organic farming nationwide, a myth founded on the success of Cuba's urban organic production systems which visitors to the country are most commonly exposed to. In rural regions, where the author had unique access, industrialized high-input and integrated agriculture is aspired to for the majority of domestic production, despite the ongoing fluctuations in availability of agrochemicals and fuel. By identifying the challenges faced by Cuban institutions and individuals in de-industrializing their food and farming systems, this book provides crucial learning material for the current fledgling attempts at developing energy descent plans and at mainstreaming more organic food systems in industrialized nations. It also informs international policy on sustainable agriculture and food security for less-industrialized countries.
Alongside other factors, cultural values and identities help to explain different regulatory frameworks for genetically modified organisms. This book uses insights from environmental history and sociology to illuminate the cultural politics of regulation in the US and the EU, with particular attention to public opinion and anti-GMO activism.
A compelling look at the global food crisis, with particular emphasis on global innovations that can help solve a worldwide problem. State of the World 2011 not only introduces us to the latest agro-ecological innovations and their global applicability but also gives broader insights into issues including poverty, international politics, and even gender equity.
Publisher's description: As the threats of food insecurity loom ever larger, the world faces the sad irony of food shortages in the global South alongside a purported 'obesity epidemic' in the global North. The twin issues of food production and food access are of particular concern in the context of climate change, 'peak oil', biofuels, and land grabs by wealthy nations. Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainability offers critical insights by international scholars, with chapters on global food security, supermarket power, new technologies, and sustainability. The book also assesses the contributions of diet and nutrition research in building socially just and environmentally sustainable food systems and provides policy recommendations to improve the health and environmental status of contemporary agri-food systems. The book features contributions from a range of social science perspectives, including sociology, anthropology, public health and geography, with case study material drawn from throughout the world.
In this challenging work, the author argues that the goal of any food system should not simply be to provide the cheapest calories possible. A secure food system is one that affords people and nations – in both the present and future – the capabilities to prosper and lead long, happy, and healthy lives. For a variety of reasons, food security has come to be synonymous with cheap calorie security. On this measure, the last fifty years have been a remarkable success. But the author shows that these cheap calories have also come at great cost, to the environment, individual and societal well-being, human health, and the food sovereignty of nations. The book begins by reviewing the concept of food security, particularly as it has been enacted within agrifood and international policy over the last century. After proposing a coherent definition the author then assesses empirically whether these policies have actually made us and the environment any better off. One of the many ways the author accomplishes this task is by introducing the Food and Human Security Index (FHSI) in an original attempt to better measure and quantify the affording qualities of food systems. A FHSI score is calculated for 126 countries based on indicators of objective and subjective well-being, nutrition, ecological sustainability, food dependency, and food system market concentration. The final FHSI ranking produces many counter-intuitive results. Why, for example, does Costa Rica top the ranking, while the United States comes in at number fifty-five? The author concludes by arguing for the need to reclaim food security by returning the concept to something akin to its original spirit, identified earlier in the book. While starting at the level of the farm the concluding chapter focuses most of its attention beyond the farm gate, recognizing that food security is more than just about issues surrounding production. For example, space is made in this chapter to address the important question of, "What can we eat if not GDP?" We need, the author contends, a thoroughly sociological rendering of food security: a position that views food security not as a thing – or an end in itself – but as a process that ought to make people and the Planet better off.
Fair and ethical trade is often criticized for being highly gendered, and for institutionalizing the ethical values of consumers, the priorities of NGOs and governments, and most of all, food retailers. But little is known about how women smallholder farmers experience diverse ethical standards, or whether and how standards reflect their values, local cultural and environmental contexts, or priorities for achieving sustainable livelihoods. Linking gender, smallholder livelihoods and global ethical trade regulations, this book reveals that multiple understandings of social justice, environmental sustainability and well-being – or ethicality – exist in parallel to those institutionalized in ethical trade schemes. Through an in-depth case study of smallholder subsistence and French bean farming in Kenya, the book grounds the analysis of livelihoods, gender and ethical trade in women smallholders’ perspectives, links the macro level of markets with the micro level of livelihoods, and engenders relations of power, structure and agency in food networks. It brings together disparate bodies of theory to illustrate the knowledge, strategies and values of women smallholder farmers that are often beyond the scope of ethical trade regulations. It also provides a challenging new vision for doing food systems research.
As interest has increased in topics such as the globalization of the agrifood system, food security, and food safety, the subjects of food and agriculture are making their way into a growing number of courses in disciplines within the social sciences and the humanities, like sociology and food studies. This book is an introductory textbook aimed at undergraduate students, and is suitable for those with little or no background in sociology. The author starts by looking at the recent development of agriculture under capitalism and neo-liberal regimes and the transformation of farming from a small-scale, family-run business to a globalized system. The consequent changes in rural employment and role of multinationals in controlling markets are described. Topics such as the global hunger and obesity challenges, GM foods, and international trade and subsidies are assessed as part of the world food economy. The second section of the book focuses on community impacts, food and culture, and diversity. Later chapters examine topics such as food security, alternative and social movements, food sovereignty, local versus global, and fair trade. All chapters include learning objectives and recommendations for further reading to aid student learning.
This is an analysis of the impact of globalization on diet and health which shows how the global food economy contributes to ill health and greater inequality. It argues for an alternative approach providing wholesome food and a healthy environment.
In 2008, half of the Earth’s population will live in urban areas, marking the first time in history that humans are an urban species. State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future examines changes in the ways cities are managed, built, and lived in that could tip the balance towards a healthier and more peaceful urban future.
Increasing Productivity in African Food and Agricultural Systems
Author: Jules N. Pretty,Stella Williams,Camilla Toulmin
Continued population growth, rapidly changing consumption patterns and the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation are driving limited resources of food, energy, water and materials towards critical thresholds worldwide. These pressures are likely to be substantial across Africa, where countries will have to find innovative ways to boost crop and livestock production to avoid becoming more reliant on imports and food aid. Sustainable agricultural intensification - producing more output from the same area of land while reducing the negative environmental impacts - represents a solution for millions of African farmers. This volume presents the lessons learned from 40 sustainable agricultural intensification programmes in 20 countries across Africa, commissioned as part of the UK Government's Foresight project. Through detailed case studies, the authors of each chapter examine how to develop productive and sustainable agricultural systems and how to scale up these systems to reach many more millions of people in the future. Themes covered include crop improvements, agroforestry and soil conservation, conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, horticulture, livestock and fodder crops, aquaculture, and novel policies and partnerships.
This book discusses the politics of the Public Distribution System in India, a large-scale food distribution programme through which subsidised food grains (mainly rice and wheat) are distributed to the Indian population.
National Research Council,Policy and Global Affairs,Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
The Role of Program Management: Summary of a Workshop
Author: National Research Council,Policy and Global Affairs,Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
Publisher: National Academies Press
Category: Political Science
This report summarizes a workshop organized by the National Academiesâ€™ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability. The workshop brought together a select group of program managers from the public and private sectors to discuss specific cases of linking knowledge to action in a diverse set of integrated observation, assessment, and decision support systems. Workshop discussions explored a wide variety of experiments in harnessing science and technology to goals of promoting development and conserving the environment. Participants reflected on the most significant challenges that they have faced when trying to implement their programs and the strategies that they have used to address them successfully. The report summarizes discussions at the workshop, including common themes about the process of linking knowledge with actions for sustainable development that emerged across a wide range of cases, sectors, and regions.
In this fifteenth edition of State of the World, Lester R. Brown and the Worldwatch research team look at the environmental effects of continuing economic growth as the economy outgrows the earth's ecosystem. As the global economy has expanded from $5 trillion of output in 1950 to $29 trillion in 1997, its demands have crossed many of the earth's sustainable yield thresholds