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Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know

Author

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  • Paarlberg, Robert

    (Wellesley College)

Abstract

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 labelled 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Paarlberg, Robert, 2010. "Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195389593.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780195389593
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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Jikun & Yang, Jun & Msangi, Siwa & Rozelle, Scott & Weersink, Alfons, 2012. "Global biofuel production and poverty in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 246-255.
    2. Moon, Wanki, 2011. "Is agriculture compatible with free trade?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 13-24.
    3. Daniele Guidi, 2011. "Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise: Framing Strategies to Support Smallholder Inclusive Value Chains for Rural Poverty Alleviation," CID Working Papers 53, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    4. David Atkin, 2016. "The Caloric Costs of Culture: Evidence from Indian Migrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 1144-1181, April.
    5. Timothy E. Josling & Stefan Tangermann, 2015. "Transatlantic Food and Agricultural Trade Policy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15889.
    6. Moon, Wanki, 2012. "Conceptualizing Multifunctional Agriculture from a Global Perspective," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119751, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    7. Artur Zimerman, 2016. "A Piece of Land or Peace on the Land: How Much Is a Peasant's Life Worth in Brazil?," Journal of Human Security, Librello publishing house, vol. 12(1), pages 37-51.
    8. Shareen Hertel & Corinne Tagliarina, 2012. "Regional Party Politics and the Right to Food in India," Economic Rights Working Papers 20, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.
    9. McFadden, Brandon R. & Lusk, Jayson L. & Crespi, John M. & Cherry, J. Bradley C. & Martin, Laura E. & Bruce, Amanda S., 2012. "Consumer Response to Controversial Food Technologies and Price: A Neuroeconomic Analysis," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124071, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Huang, Jikun & Yang, Jun & Msangi, Siwa & Rozelle, Scott & Weersink, Alfons, 2012. "Biofuels and the poor: Global impact pathways of biofuels on agricultural markets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 439-451.
    11. Eckart Woertz & Martin Keulertz, 2015. "Food trade relations of the Middle East and North Africa with tropical countries," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 7(6), pages 1101-1111, December.

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