We all need food to survive, and forty percent of the worlds population relies on agriculture for their livelihood. Yet control over food is concentrated in relatively few hands. Turmoil in the world food economy over the past decade - including the food price crisis, intensification of land grabs, and clashes over rules governing global food trade - has highlighted both the volatility and vulnerability inherent in the way we currently organize this vital sector. At the same time, contrasting extremes of both undernourishment and overnourishment affect a significant proportion of humanity. There is also growing awareness of the serious ecological consequences that stem from industrial models of agriculture that are increasingly spreading worldwide.
The revised and updated second edition of this popular book aims to contribute to a fuller understanding of the forces that influence and shape the current global food system. In it, Jennifer Clapp explores how the rise of industrial agriculture, corporate control, inequitable agricultural trade rules, and the financialization of food have each enabled powerful actors to gain fundamental influence on the practices that dominate the world food economy. A variety of movements have emerged that are making important progress in establishing alternative food systems but, as Clapps penetrating analysis ably shows, significant challenges remain.
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Figures and Tables
- 1 Unpacking the World Food Economy
- 2 The Rise of a Global Industrial Food Market
- 3 Agricultural Trade Rules Liberalization
- 4 Transnational Corporations
- 5 Financialization of Food
- 6 Can the World Food Economy Be Transformed?
- Notes and references
- Selected Readings
'Jennifer Clapp brilliantly demystifies the global food economy so the rest of us can realize our power to transform it. A giant in the field, Clapp offers a new edition of her classic that is truly breathtaking in its scope and insight. Clapp has done it again! Bravo.'
Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and coauthor of World Hunger: 10 Myths
'The global food economy may seem remote from daily experience, but Jennifer Clapp explains how it affects every aspect of what we eat and, therefore, our health and welfare. Best of all, she provides the information and tools advocates can use to redesign the global food economy to promote fair trade, food justice, and food sovereignty.'
Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and author of Soda Politics.