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The Rise of the Food Risk Society and the Changing Nature of the Technological Treadmill

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  • Lioudmila Chatalova

    () (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 2, 06120 Halle, Germany)

  • Daniel Müller

    () (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 2, 06120 Halle, Germany
    Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (IRI THESys), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin , Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany)

  • Vladislav Valentinov

    () (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 2, 06120 Halle, Germany)

  • Alfons Balmann

    () (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 2, 06120 Halle, Germany)

Abstract

Economic development of transition and developed countries is associated with increasingly unhealthy dietary habits among low-income population segments. Drawing on Ulrich Beck’s sociological theory of risk society, the present research note calls attention to the positive relation between national economic development and food risks that result in the rise of food-related diseases and healthcare costs. On this basis, we argue that the knowledge-intensive agribusiness may translate Cochrane’s technological treadmill into Beck’s risk treadmill that shifts a growing share of food-related healthcare costs from producers toward consumers, state, and the healthcare system. This argument motivates a novel research program dealing with the “food risk treadmill” that emerges in response to modern farming and agribusiness practices. Awareness of the food risk treadmill may help to streamline the development of agricultural science and to prevent it from being excessively dominated by the agricultural and food industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Lioudmila Chatalova & Daniel Müller & Vladislav Valentinov & Alfons Balmann, 2016. "The Rise of the Food Risk Society and the Changing Nature of the Technological Treadmill," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-10, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:6:p:584-:d:72467
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Andreas W. Ebert, 2014. "Potential of Underutilized Traditional Vegetables and Legume Crops to Contribute to Food and Nutritional Security, Income and More Sustainable Production Systems," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-17, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven E. Wallis & Vladislav Valentinov, 2017. "A Limit to Our Thinking and Some Unanticipated Moral Consequences: A Science of Conceptual Systems Perspective with Some Potential Solutions," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 103-116, April.
    2. Chatalova, Lioudmila, 2016. "Market uncertainty, project specifity and policy effects on bioenergy investments: A real options approach," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 83, number 83.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agricultural treadmill; risk shifting; risk society; Ulrich Beck; knowledge;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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