BRINGING HOME THE FOOD ECONOMY (1)

BRINGING HOME THE FOOD ECONOMY (1) - 1 Acknowledgments We w...

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Acknowledgments We would like to thank Jules Pretty and Katharine Deighton of the Centre for Environment and Society at the University of Essex for helping to pro- duce an early draft of this document. Much of the research used in this book comes from that draft. We also gratefully acknowledge the help of Anja Lyngbaek, John Page, Becky Tarbotton, Ben Savill, Lindsay Toub, and Maya Mitchell, all of the International Society for Ecology and Culture. Helpful insights were also provided by Eve Sinton, Suzanna Jones, Brian Tokar, Miyoko Sakashita, Stephanie Roth, Karen Shaw, and Forrest Foster. A. V. Krebs's newsletter, The Agribusiness Examiner, provided a great deal of valuable information about US-based food corporations. Finally, we would like to honor the work of Alan Lepage in Barre, Vermont, and Aba Lagruk in Ladakh, India-two among the thousands of farmers worldwide whose local knowledge makes local food possible. The International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) is a nonprofit organization that promotes locally based alternatives to the global consumer culture. For more information, contact us at: ISEC Foxhole, Dartington Devon TQ9 6EB UK ISEC PO Box 9475 Berkeley, CA 94709 USA Web site: www.isec.org.uk 1 From Local to Global Counting all the people negatively affected by the global food system . .. we are really the majority ofthe 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 in- creasing regularity, leading many to wonder whether their meals are safe to eat. Genetically altered crops have been planted on much of America's farm- land, angering consumers and environmentalists, and setting off trade dis- putes 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 global- ization 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 en- vironment; 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,l more diversified, and ecologically sound agriculture. These groups favor foods grown nearby, rather than glo- bal commodities mass-produced thousands of miles away.
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BRINGING HOME THE FOOD ECONOMY (1) - 1 Acknowledgments We w...

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