Food Politics

ISBN-10: 0199322384

ISBN-13: 9780199322381

Edition: 2nd 2013

Authors: Robert Paarlberg

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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.The second edition of Food Politics has been thoroughly updated to reflect the latest developments and research on today's global food landscape, including biofuels, the international food market, food aid, obesity, food retailing, urban agriculture, and food safety. The second edition also features an expanded discussion of the links between water, climate change, and food, as well as farming and the environment. New chapters look at livestock, meat and fish and the future of food politics.Paarlberg's book challenges myths and critiques 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.
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Book details

List price: $16.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/25/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.660
Language: English

Preface to the Second Edition of Food Politics
An Overview of Food Politics
What is food politics?
Is food politics driven by material interests or by social values?
Is food politics a global or a local phenomenon?
Who are the most important actors in food politics?
Has the politics of food and agriculture recently been changing?
Food Production and Population Growth
Who was Thomas Malthus, and why did he see hunger as inevitable?
Was Malthus ever influential?
Are Malthusians still influential?
Can we feed a growing population without doing irreversible damage to the environment?
Is Africa facing an eco-Malthusian food crisis today?
Do Malthusians try to reduce population growth?
Do Malthusians argue that we should reduce food consumption?
The Politics of High Food Prices
When did high food prices become a political issue?
What caused these spikes in international food prices?
How many people became hungry when prices spiked in 2007-2008?
Do international food price spikes cause violent conflict?
Have higher food prices triggered "land grabs" in Africa?
Have subsidies and mandates for biofuels contributed to higher international food prices?
Have higher international prices become a permanent feature of food politics?
The Politics of Chronic Hunger and Famine
How do we measure hunger?
How many people around the world remain chronically undernourished?
What causes chronic undernutrition?
Does chronic hunger trigger political unrest?
Is chronic undernutrition a problem in the United States?
Do developing countries have policy remedies for chronic undernutrition?
What is the difference between undernutrition and famine?
When have famines taken place?
What causes famines?
How do famines end?
What has been the most successful international response to famine?
Can famine be prevented?
Food Aid and Agricultural Development Assistance
What is international food aid?
Which countries get food aid?
Do rich countries give food aid to dispose of their surplus production?
Why are America's food aid policies so difficult to change?
Does food aid create dependence or hurt farmers in recipient countries?
Do governments seek coercive power from food aid?
How is agricultural development assistance different from food aid?
How much international assistance do rich countries provide for agricultural development?
Which agencies operate United States agricultural development assistance?
Who benefits from agricultural development assistance?
The Green Revolution Controversy
What was the green revolution?
Why is the green revolution controversial?
Did the green revolution end hunger?
Did the green revolution lead to greater rural inequality?
Was the green revolution bad for the environment?
Why did the original green revolution not reach Africa?
What farming approaches do green revolution critics favor?
How have green revolution critics shaped international policy?
The Politics of Obesity
Is the world facing an obesity crisis?
How do we measure obesity?
What are the consequences of the obesity epidemic?
What is me cause of today's obesity epidemic?
Does cheap food cause obesity?
Do fast foods and junk foods cause obesity?
Is the food industry to blame for the way we eat?
Do "food deserts" cause obesity?
What government actions are being taken to reverse the obesity crisis?
Who lobbies for and against stronger policies on obesity?
The Politics of Farm Subsidies and Trade
Do all governments give subsidies to farmers?
What explains the tendency of all rich countries to subsidize farm income?
Do farmers in rich countries need subsidies to survive?
Why are farm subsidies hard to cut?
What is the "farm bill" and what is the "farm lobby"?
Is the use of corn for ethanol a subsidy to farmers?
What is the value of promoting corn-based ethanol in the United States?
How do farm subsidies shape international agricultural trade?
Has the WTO been able to discipline farm subsidies?
Do trade agreements like NAFTA hurt farmers in counties like Mexico?
Farming, the Environment, Climate Change, and Water
Does agriculture always damage the environment?
What kind of farming is environmentally sustainable?
What is low-impact or "precision" farming?
Do fragile lands, population growth, and poverty make farming unsustainable?
Do cash crops and export crops cause environmental harm?
Do farm subsidies promote environmental damage in agriculture?
How will climate change affect food production?
Does agriculture contribute to climate change?
Is the world running out of water to irrigate crops?
What can be done to improve water management in farming?
Livestock, Meat, and Fish
How are farm animals different torn crops?
Is meat consumption increasing, or not?
Is a vegetarian diet healthier?
If people in rich counties ate less meat, would hunger be reduced in poor counties?
What are CAFOs?
Are CAFOs bad for animal welfare?
What else generates opposition to CAFOs?
How important are fish as a source of food?
Are wild fisheries collapsing?
Is fish farming a solution?
Agribusiness, Supermarkets, and Fast Food
What does the word "agribusiness" mean?
Why is agribusiness controversial?
Do agribusiness firms control farmers?
Do food companies and supermarkets control consumers?
Are supermarkets spreading into developing counties?
Is Wal-Mart taking over food retailing in Africa and India?
Are fast food restaurant chains spreading unhealthy eating habits worldwide?
Organic and Local Food
What is organic food?
What is the history of organic food?
How is organic food regulated in the United States?
Is most organic food grown on small farms?
Is organic food more nutritious and safe?
Is organic farming better for the environment?
Could today's world be fed with organically grown food?
What is the local food movement?
What explains the growing market for local food?
What is urban agriculture?
Does local food help slow climate change?
What is the difference between local food and slow food?
What explains the loyalty of some groups to organic, local, or slow food?
Food Safety and Genetically Engineered Foods
How safe is America's food supply?
How do foods become contaminated?
Who regulates food contamination in the United States?
Is food safety an issue in international trade?
Does the industialization of agriculture make food less safe?
Is irradiated food safe?
What is genetically modified food?
How are genetically engineered foods regulated?
How widespread are genetically engineered foods?
Why do some people resist GMOs?
Do genetically engineered crops strengthen corporate control?
Are GMO foods and crops safe?
Could genetically engineered crops provide benefits to small farmers in developing countries?
Who Governs the World Food System?
Is there a single world food system?
How do national governments exercise control?
Which are the most important international organizations in the food and farming sector?
What has limited the influence of international organizations?
Do multinational corporations control the world food system?
How much power do non-governmental organizations have?
What Is the role of private foundations?
The Future of Food Politics
In the future, will obesity continue to replace hunger as the world's most serious food problem?
In the future, will food and farming systems become more localized or more globalized?
In the future, will the spread of affluent eating habits destroy the natural environment?
In the future, will the politics of food remain contentious?
Suggestions for Further Reading
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