Food Politics

Food Politics : What Everyone Needs to Know

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Description

One of the most persistent and startling news stories of the past year has been the global crisis in the world's food supply. Reduced stockpiles have led to panic buying and hoarding, a sharp rise in prices, food riots, the virtual collapse of portions of the food industry, and dire warnings about food and water shortages. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast prices to remain high for the foreseeable future, and the World Bank has predicted that this rise will push an additional 100 million people into poverty around the world. Theories about the roots of the crisis are many, diverse and contradictory: from increased production of biofuels, to rising populations, climate change, and environmentally harmful and inefficient farming practices. In Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know, Robert Paarlberg, one of the most prominent scholars writing on agricultural issues, maps out and demystifies the phenomena that newspapers and magazines have variously labeled as causes of the food crisis, often in highly alarmist tones. Over the course of the book, Paarlberg addresses, in straightforward terms, questions about global food trade policy, agricultural subsidies, the factors contributing to famine and malnutrition, the green revolution, the effects of climate change on farming, the pros and cons of biofuels, food safety and regulation, pesticide use, organic farming, and genetically modified crops. Focusing on the world's most vulnerable populations and couched within a firm historical understanding of farming practices, nutritional standards, and food movements, what he uncovers will surely be surprising to many readers and stand as a corrective to reactionary takes on the state of global agriculture. Paarlberg concludes with a revealing chapter on common assumptions about the food crisis and the future of food, pointing the way toward socially and environmentally sustainable--and attainable--practices in agriculture and the wider food industry.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 140 x 212 x 22mm | 381.02g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195389603
  • 9780195389609

Review quote

"The author is an academic, not a journalist, and his efforts to get the food facts right ring through every page. Paarlberg challenges many of the ideas that are frequently voiced - but rarely questioned - in popular food discourse...Although many of his claims call into question sacrosanct principles in activist and academic circles, there are good reasons to hear Paarlberg out; he backs up his arguments with data, and writes based on decades of experience as a political scientist and policy analyst working in the field." --Nature Geoscience"Paarlberg's book is a timely contribution to the discussion about the politics of food, both domestically and internationally. Although advocates of alternative farming methods are unlikely to agree with Food Politics, they should nevertheless read it. Paarlberg is a serious, knowledgeable scholar." --Journal of Politics"[Paarlberg] is one of the most distinguished academics in the field of global food politics and is able to draw on a lifetime of research. Although the book is clearly underpinned by a considerable body of evidence, the writing style is engaging and easily digestible. It would serve as an excellent introduction to the topic for students." --International Studies Review"Going well beyond its title, Food Politics addresses key questions about agriculture, including consumers' concerns about food safety, producers' concerns about price volatility, and taxpayers' concerns about subsidies. Paarlberg organizes his material around a long list of questions about food policies and practices...His answers to these and many other questions are accessible and nuanced." --Foreign Affairs"A much needed corrective to a clanging bandwagon of culinary protest that asks well-off consumers to drop out, stay local and go green, while the rest of the world worries about its next bowl of rice." --The Texas Observer"The great strength of Food Politics is the breadth of topics covereshow more

About Robert Paarlberg

Robert Paarlberg is the B.F. Johnson Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. A leading authority on food policy, his books include Starved for Science, Policy Reform in American Agriculture, and Fixing Farm Trade.show more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION; 1. The World Food Crisis; 2. Hunger Even When World Prices are Low; 3. "Green Revolutions" in Agricultural Productivity; 4. Agricultural Subsidy and Trade Policies; 5. Food Quality and Safety, Environmental Protection, and Animal Welfare; 6. The Future of Foodshow more

Rating details

168 ratings
3.23 out of 5 stars
5 11% (19)
4 35% (59)
3 28% (47)
2 17% (29)
1 8% (14)
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