The Atlas of World Hunger
Thomas J. Bassett and Alex Winter-Nelson University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress G1046.E59B3 2010 | Dewey Decimal 363.80223
Earlier this year, President Obama declared one of his top priorities to be “making sure that people are able to get enough to eat.” The United States spends about five billion dollars on food aid and related programs each year, but still, both domestically and internationally, millions of people are hungry. In 2006, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations counted 850 million hungry people worldwide, but as food prices soared, an additional 100 million or more who were vulnerable succumbed to food insecurity.
If hunger were simply a matter of food production, no one would go without. There is more than enough food produced annually to provide every living person with a healthy diet, yet so many suffer from food shortages, unsafe water, and malnutrition every year. That’s because hunger is a complex political, economic, and ecological phenomenon. The interplay of these forces produces a geography of hunger that Thomas J. Bassett and Alex Winter-Nelson illuminate in this empowering book. The Atlas of World Hunger uses a conceptual framework informed by geography and agricultural economics to present a hunger index that combines food availability, household access, and nutritional outcomes into a single tool—one that delivers a fuller understanding of the scope of global hunger, its underlying mechanisms, and the ways in which the goals for ending hunger can be achieved. The first depiction of the geography of hunger worldwide, the Atlas will be an important resource for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in understanding the geography and causes of hunger. This knowledge, the authors argue, is a critical first step toward eliminating unnecessary suffering in a world of plenty.
In preindustrial Europe, dependence on grain shaped every phase of life from economic development to spiritual expression, and the problem of subsistence dominated the everyday order of things in a merciless and unremitting way. Steven Laurence Kaplan’s The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700–1775 focuses on the production and distribution of France’s most important commodity in the sprawling urban center of eighteenth-century Paris where provisioning needs were most acutely felt and most difficult to satisfy. Kaplan shows how the relentless demand for bread constructed the pattern of daily life in Paris as decisively and subtly as elaborate protocol governed the social life at Versailles. Despite the overpowering salience of bread in public and private life, Kaplan’s is the first inquiry into the ways bread exercised its vast and significant empire. Bread framed dreams as well as nightmares. It was the staff of life, the medium of communion, a topic of common discourse, and a mark of tradition as well as transcendence. In his exploration of bread’s materiality and cultural meaning, Kaplan looks at bread’s fashioning of identity and examines the conditions of supply and demand in the marketplace. He also sets forth a complete history of the bakers and their guild, and unmasks the methods used by the authorities in their efforts to regulate trade. Because the bakers and their bread were central to Parisian daily life, Kaplan’s study is also a comprehensive meditation on an entire society, its government, and its capacity to endure. Long-awaited by French history scholars, The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700–1775 is a landmark in eighteenth-century historiography, a book that deeply contextualizes, and thus enriches our understanding of one of the most important eras in European history.
Food waste, hunger, inhumane livestock conditions, disappearing fish stocks—these are exactly the kind of issues we expect food regulations to combat. Yet, today in the United States, laws exist at all levels of government that actually make these problems worse. Baylen Linnekin argues that, too often, government rules handcuff America’s most sustainable farmers, producers, sellers, and consumers, while rewarding those whose practices are anything but sustainable.
Biting the Hands that Feed Us introduces readers to the perverse consequences of many food rules. Some of these rules constrain the sale of “ugly” fruits and vegetables, relegating bushels of tasty but misshapen carrots and strawberries to food waste. Other rules have threatened to treat manure—the lifeblood of organic fertilization—as a toxin. Still other rules prevent sharing food with the homeless and others in need. There are even rules that prohibit people from growing fruits and vegetables in their own yards.
Linnekin also explores what makes for a good food law—often, he explains, these emphasize good outcomes rather than rigid processes. But he urges readers to be wary of efforts to regulate our way to a greener food system, calling instead for empowerment of those working to feed us—and themselves—sustainably.
Tanga Region, Tanzania, is an area of persistent rural poverty with a long history of drought, floods, food shortages, famine, and social and economic disruption. Though farmers have been cultivating the land there for hundreds of years, they have consistently been unable to supply adequate food for the region's inhabitants. In Challenging Nature, Philip Porter examines eighteen farming communities to understand what the farmers there know about their environment and which historical and economic factors play into the lack of food security.
Porter first began work on this project in 1972, asking 250 farmers in the region about life history, environmental and agricultural changes, types of crops grown and methods of planting, environmental assessments, agricultural practices, food and water supplies, training and education, and attitudes toward nature. Twenty years later, he returned and reinterviewed as many farmers as could be found from the first survey. The result contextualizes the environmental history of the region while informing current and future agricultural development.
By 2050, the world population is expected to reach nine billion. And the challenge of feeding this rapidly growing population is being made greater by climate change, which will increasingly wreak havoc on the way we produce our food. At the same time, we have lost touch with the soil—few of us know where our food comes from, let alone how to grow it—and we are at the mercy of multinational corporations who control the crops and give little thought to the damage their methods are inflicting on the planet. Our very future is at risk.
In Consumed, Sarah Elton walks fields and farms on three continents, not only investigating the very real threats to our food, but also telling the little-known stories of the people who are working against time to create a new and hopeful future. From the mountains of southern France to the highlands of China, from the crowded streets of Nairobi to the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, we meet people from all walks of life who are putting together an alternative to the omnipresent industrial food system. In the arid fields of rural India we meet a farmer who has transformed her community by selling organic food directly to her neighbors. We visit a laboratory in Toronto where scientists are breeding a new kind of rice seed that they claim will feed the world. We learn about Italy’s underground food movement; how university grads are returning to the fields in China, Greece, and France; and how in Detroit, plots of vacant land planted with kale and carrots can help us see what’s possible.
Food might be the problem, but as Elton shows, it is also the solution. The food system as we know it was assembled in a few decades—and if it can be built that quickly, it can be reassembled and improved in the same amount of time. Elton here lays out the targets we need to meet by the year 2050. The stories she tells give us hope for avoiding a daunting fate and instead help us to believe in a not-too-distant future when we can all sit at the table.
Employing original fieldwork, historical analysis, and sociological theory, Sekine and Bonanno probe how Japan’s food and agriculture sectors have been shaped by the global push toward privatization and corporate power, known in the social science literature as neoliberalism. They also examine related changes that have occurred after the triple disaster of March 2011 (the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor), noting that reconstruction policy has favored deregulation and the reduction of social welfare.
Sekine and Bonanno stress the incompatibility of the requirements of neoliberalism with the structural and cultural conditions of Japanese agri-food. Local farmers’ and fishermen’s emphasis on community collective management of natural resources, they argue, clashes with neoliberalism’s focus on individualism and competitiveness. The authors conclude by pointing out the resulting fundamental contradiction: The lack of recognition of this incompatibility allows the continuous implementation of market solutions to problems that originate in these very market mechanisms.
We are facing a world food crisis of unparalleled proportions. Our reliance on unsustainable dietary choices and agricultural systems is causing problems both for human health and the health of our planet. Solutions from lab-grown food to vegan diets to strictly local food consumption are often discussed, but a central question remains: how did we get to this point?
In Diet for a Large Planet, Chris Otter goes back to the late eighteenth century in Britain, where the diet heavy in meat, wheat, and sugar was developing. As Britain underwent steady growth, urbanization, industrialization, and economic expansion, the nation altered its food choices, shifting away from locally produced plant-based nutrition. This new diet, rich in animal proteins and refined carbohydrates, made people taller and stronger, but it led to new types of health problems. Its production also relied on far greater acreage than Britain itself, forcing the nation to become more dependent on global resources. Otter shows how this issue expands beyond Britain, looking at the global effects of large agro-food systems that require more resources than our planet can sustain. This comprehensive history helps us understand how the British played a significant role in making red meat, white bread, and sugar the diet of choice—linked to wealth, luxury, and power—and shows how dietary choices connect to the pressing issues of climate change and food supply.
Mass starvation’s causes may seem simple and immediate: crop failure, poverty, outbreaks of violence, and poor governance. But famines are complex, and scholars cannot fully understand what causes them unless they look at their numerous social and environmental precursors over long arcs of history and over long distances. Famine in the Remaking examines the relationship between the reorganization of food systems and large-scale food crises through a comparative historical analysis of three famines: Hawaii in the 1820s, Madagascar in the 1920s, and Cambodia in the 1970s. This examination identifies the structural transformations—that is, changes to the relationships between producers and consumers—that make food systems more vulnerable to failure. Moving beyond the economic and political explanations for food crisis that have dominated the literature, Stian Rice emphasizes important socioecological interactions, developing a framework for crisis evolution that identifies two distinct temporal phases and five different types of causal mechanisms involved in food system failure. His framework contributes to current work in famine prevention and, animated by a commitment to social justice, offers the potential for early intervention in emerging food crises.
The Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation the American president signs. Negotiated every five to seven years, it has tremendous implications for food production, nutrition assistance, habitat conservation, international trade, and much more. Yet at nearly 1,000 pages, it is difficult to understand for policymakers, let alone citizens. In this primer, Dan Imhoff and Christina Badaracco translate all the “legalease" and political jargon into an accessible, graphics-rich 200 pages.
Readers will learn the basic elements of the bill, its origins and history, and perhaps most importantly, the battles that will determine the direction of food policy in the coming years. The authors trace how the legislation has evolved, from its first incarnation during the Great Depression, to today, when America has become the world’s leading agricultural powerhouse. They explain the three main components of the bill—farm subsidies, food stamps or SNAP, and conservation programs—as well as how crucial public policies are changing.
As Congress ramps up debate about the next farm bill, we all need to understand the implications of their decisions. Will there be limits on subsidies to huge agribusinesses? Can we shift toward programs that reward sustainable farming practices? Will hungry kids get the help they need? These are questions that affect not only farmers, but everyone who eats. You have a stake in the answers. The Farm Bill is your guide.
Getting food, water, and services to the millions who live in the world’s few dozen megacities is one of the twenty-first century’s most formidable challenges. This innovative history traces nearly a century in the life of the megacity of Manila to show how it grew and what sustained it. Focusing on the city’s key commodities—rice, produce, fish, fowl, meat, milk, flour, coffee—Daniel F. Doeppers explores their complex interconnections, the changing ecology of the surrounding region, and the social fabric that weaves together farmers, merchants, transporters, storekeepers, and door-to-door vendors.
James R. Gibson offers a detailed study that is both an account of this chapter of Russian history and a full examination of the changing geography of the Okhotsk Seaboard and the Kamchatka Peninsula over the course of two centuries.
When scientists working in the agricultural biotechnology industry first altered the genetic material of one organism by introducing genes from an entirely different organism, the reaction was generally enthusiastic. To many, these genetically modified organisms (GMOs) promised to solve the challenges faced by farmers and to relieve world hunger. Yet within a decade, this "gene revolution" had abruptly stalled. Widespread protests against the potential dangers of "Frankenfoods" and the patenting of seed supplies in the developing world forced the industry to change course. As a result, in the late 1990s, some of the world's largest firms reduced their investment in the agricultural sector, narrowed their focus to a few select crops, or sold off their agricultural divisions altogether.
Fighting for the Future of Food tells the story of how a small group of social activists, working together across tables, continents, and the Internet, took on the biotech industry and achieved stunning success. Rachel Schurman and William A. Munro detail how the anti-biotech movement managed to alter public perceptions about GMOs and close markets to such products. Drawing strength from an alternative worldview that sustained its members' sense of urgency and commitment, the anti-GMO movement exploited political opportunities created by the organization and culture of the biotechnology industry itself.
Fighting for the Future of Food ultimately addresses society's understanding and trust (or mistrust) of technological innovation and the complexities of the global agricultural system that provides our food.
Throughout the United States, people are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from, how it is produced, and how its production affects individuals and their communities. The answers to these questions reveal a complex web of interactions. While large, distant farms and multinational companies dominate at national and global levels, innovative programs including farmers’ markets, farm-to-school initiatives, and agritourism are forging stronger connections between people and food at local and regional levels. At all levels of the food system, energy use, climate change, food safety, and the maintenance of farmland for the future are critical considerations. The need to understand food systems—what they are, who’s involved, and how they work (or don’t)—has never been greater.
Food, Farms, and Community: Exploring Food Systems takes an in-depth look at critical issues, successful programs, and challenges for improving food systems spanning a few miles to a few thousand miles. Case studies that delve into the values that drive farmers, food advocates, and food entrepreneurs are interwoven with analysis supported by the latest research. Examples of entrepreneurial farms and organizations working together to build sustainable food systems are relevant to the entire country—and reveal results that are about much more than fresh food.
Look at any list of America’s top foodie cities and you probably won’t find Boise, Idaho or Sitka, Alaska. Yet they are the new face of the food movement. Healthy, sustainable fare is changing communities across this country, revitalizing towns that have been ravaged by disappearing industries and decades of inequity.
What sparked this revolution? To find out, Mark Winne traveled to seven cities not usually considered revolutionary. He broke bread with brew masters and city council members, farmers and philanthropists, toured start-up incubators and homeless shelters. What he discovered was remarkable, even inspiring.
In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, once a company steel town, investment in the arts has created a robust new market for local restaurateurs. In Alexandria, Louisiana, “one-stop shopping” food banks help clients apply for health insurance along with SNAP benefits. In Jacksonville, Florida, aeroponics are bringing fresh produce to a food desert.
Over the course of his travels, Winne experienced the power of individuals to transform food and the power of food to transform communities. The cities of Food Town, USA remind us that innovation is ripening all across the country, especially in the most unlikely places.
There is, literally, a world of difference between the statements "Everyone should have adequate food," and "Everyone has the right to adequate food." In George Kent's view, the lofty rhetoric of the first statement will not be fulfilled until we take the second statement seriously. Kent sees hunger as a deeply political problem. Too many people do not have adequate control over local resources and cannot create the circumstances that would allow them to do meaningful, productive work and provide for themselves. The human right to an adequate livelihood, including the human right to adequate food, needs to be implemented worldwide in a systematic way.
Freedom from Want makes it clear that feeding people will not solve the problem of hunger, for feeding programs can only be a short-term treatment of a symptom, not a cure. The real solution lies in empowering the poor. Governments, in particular, must ensure that their people face enabling conditions that allow citizens to provide for themselves.
In a wider sense, Kent brings an understanding of human rights as a universal system, applicable to all nations on a global scale. If, as Kent argues, everyone has a human right to adequate food, it follows that those who can empower the poor have a duty to see that right implemented, and the obligation to be held morally and legally accountable, for seeing that that right is realized for everyone, everywhere.
Many Americans are hungry, while others struggle to find healthy foods. What are communities doing to address this problem, and what should they be doing? Good Food, Strong Communities shares ideas and stories about efforts to improve food security in large urban areas of the United States by strengthening community food systems. It draws on five years of collaboration between a research team comprised of the University of Wisconsin, Growing Power, and the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and more than thirty organizations on the front lines of this work in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Madison, and Cedar Rapids. Here, activists and scholars talk about what’s working and what still needs to be done to ensure that everyone has access to readily available, affordable, appropriate, and acceptable food.
The approach begins by laying out the basic principles of food security and food justice in light of the diversity of food system practices and innovations in America’s cities. The contributing authors address land access for urban agriculture, debates over city farming, new possibilities in food processing, and the marketing of healthy food. They put these basic elements—land, production, processing, and marketing—in the context of municipal policy, education, and food justice and sovereignty, particularly for people of color. While the path of a food product from its producer to its consumer may seem straightforward on the surface, the apparent simplicity hides the complex logistical—and value-laden—factors that create and maintain a food system. This book helps readers understand how a food system functions and how individual and community initiatives can lessen the problems associated with an industrialized food system.
When it comes to food, Americans seem to have a pretty great deal. Our grocery stores are overflowing with countless varieties of convenient products. But like most bargains that are too good to be true, the modern food system relies on an illusion. It depends on endless abundance, but the planet has its limits. So too does a healthcare system that must absorb rising rates of diabetes and obesity. So too do the workers who must labor harder and faster for less pay.
Through beautifully-told stories from around the world, Kevin Walker reveals the unintended consequences of our myopic focus on quantity over quality. A trip to a Costa Rica plantation shows how the Cavendish banana became the most common fruit in the world and also one of the most vulnerable to disease. Walker’s early career in agribusiness taught him how pressure to sell more and more fertilizer obscured what that growth did to waterways. His family farm illustrates how an unquestioning belief in “free markets” undercut opportunity in his hometown.
By the end of the journey, we not only understand how the drive to produce ever more food became hardwired into the American psyche, but why shifting our mindset is essential. It starts, Walker argues, with remembering that what we eat affects the wider world. If each of us decides that bigger isn’t always better, we can renegotiate the grand food bargain, one individual decision at a time.
The tragedies of World War II are well known. But at least one has been forgotten: in September 1939, four hundred thousand cats and dogs were massacred in Britain. The government, vets, and animal charities all advised against this killing. So why would thousands of British citizens line up to voluntarily euthanize household pets?
In The Great Cat and Dog Massacre, Hilda Kean unearths the history, piecing together the compelling story of the life—and death—of Britain’s wartime animal companions. She explains that fear of imminent Nazi bombing and the desire to do something to prepare for war led Britons to sew blackout curtains, dig up flower beds for vegetable patches, send their children away to the countryside—and kill the family pet, in theory sparing them the suffering of a bombing raid. Kean’s narrative is gripping, unfolding through stories of shared experiences of bombing, food restrictions, sheltering, and mutual support. Soon pets became key to the war effort, providing emotional assistance and helping people to survive—a contribution for which the animals gained government recognition.
Drawing extensively on new research from animal charities, state archives, diaries, and family stories, Kean does more than tell a virtually forgotten story. She complicates our understanding of World War II as a “good war” fought by a nation of “good” people. Accessibly written and generously illustrated, Kean’s account of this forgotten aspect of British history moves animals to center stage—forcing us to rethink our assumptions about ourselves and the animals with whom we share our homes.
How to Feed the World
Jessica Eise and Ken Foster Island Press, 2018 Library of Congress HD9000.5.H69 2018 | Dewey Decimal 338.19
By 2050, we will have ten billion mouths to feed in a world profoundly altered by environmental change. How can we meet this challenge? In How to Feed the World, a diverse group of experts from Purdue University break down this crucial question by tackling big issues one-by-one. Covering population, water, land, climate change, technology, food systems, trade, food waste and loss, health, social buy-in, communication, and, lastly, the ultimate challenge of achieving equal access to food, the book reveals a complex web of factors that must be addressed in order to reach global food security.
How to Feed the World unites contributors from different perspectives and academic disciplines, ranging from agronomy and hydrology to agricultural economy and communication. Hailing from Germany, the Philippines, the U.S., Ecuador, and beyond, the contributors weave their own life experiences into their chapters, connecting global issues to our tangible, day-to-day existence. Across every chapter, a similar theme emerges: these are not simple problems, yet we can overcome them. Doing so will require cooperation between farmers, scientists, policy makers, consumers, and many others.
The resulting collection is an accessible but wide-ranging look at the modern food system. Readers will not only get a solid grounding in key issues, but be challenged to investigate further and contribute to the paramount effort to feed the world.
Cullather has written an engrossing history of how the United States government, along with private philanthropies like the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, aimed to win the hearts and bodies of rural Asia in the post World War II decades by crafting strategies to develop and modernize agriculture and the peasant’s way of life. He explains how America used foreign aid, modernization theory, nutrition, statistics, and technology, to try to reconstruct the social and political order of the decolonized and disadvantaged countries in the region. Initially the issue of how best to intervene in Asia’s rural countryside was contentious, with clashing visions of development and humanitarian aid being argued throughout the 50’s and 60’s. Ultimately, one strategy displaced all the others—the “Green Revolution” and the ability to feed millions through the miracle of genetically designed dwarf strains of grain and rice. Cullather provides a detailed explanation of how this policy of feeding Asian peasants became the single strategy of “progress” adopted by the US rather than industrialization or land reform. As current controversy swirls about how best to aid Africa in the crisis of nation-building, famine, and a poverty-stricken peasantry, the story of the U.S. interventions in Asia become starkly relevant.
Respected economist Robert Albritton argues that the capitalist system, far from delivering on the promise of cheap, nutritious food for all, has created a world where 25% of the world population are over-fed and 25% are hungry. This malnourishment of 50% of the world's population is explained systematically, a refreshing change from accounts that focus on cultural factors and individual greed. Albritton details the economic relations and connections that have put us in a situation of simultaneous oversupply and undersupply of food.
This explosive book provides yet more evidence that the human cost of capitalism is much bigger than those in power will admit.
More and more Americans are becoming dedicated locavores, people who prefer to eat locally grown or produced foods and who enjoy the distinctive flavors only a local harvest can deliver. The Locavore’s Kitchen invites readers to savor homegrown foods that come from the garden, the farm stand down the road, or local farmers’ markets through cooking and preserving the freshest ingredients.
In more than 150 recipes that highlight seasonal flavors, Marilou K. Suszko inspires cooks to keep local flavors in the kitchen year round. From asparagus in the spring to pumpkins in the fall, Suszko helps readers learn what to look for when buying seasonal homegrown or locally grown foods as well as how to store fresh foods, and which cooking methods bring out fresh flavors and colors. Suszko shares tips and techniques for extending seasonal flavors with detailed instructions on canning, freezing, and dehydrating and which methods work best for preserving texture and flavor.
The Locavore’s Kitchen is an invaluable reference for discovering the delicious world of fresh, local, and seasonal foods.
The Qing state, driven by Confucian precepts of good government and urgent practical needs, committed vast resources to its granaries. Nourish the People traces the basic practices of this system, analyzes the organizational bases of its successes and failures, and examines variant practices in different regions. The volume concludes with an assessment of the granary system’s social and economic impact and historical comparison with the food supply policies of other states.
Mangos from India, pasta from Italy, coffee from Colombia: Every day, we are nourished by a global food system that relies on our planet remaining verdant and productive. But current practices are undermining both human and environmental health, resulting in the paradoxes of obesity paired with malnutrition, crops used for animal feed and biofuels while people go hungry, and more than thirty percent of food being wasted when it could feed the 795 million malnourished worldwide.
In Nourished Planet, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition offers a global plan for feeding ourselves sustainably. Drawing on the diverse experiences of renowned international experts, the book offers a truly planetary perspective. Essays and interviews showcase Hans Herren, Vandana Shiva, Alexander Mueller, and Pavan Suhkdev, among many others.
Together, these experts plot a map towards food for all, food for sustainable growth, food for health, and food for culture. With these ingredients, we can nourish our planet and ourselves.
This timely collection of 15 original essays written by expert scientists the world over addresses the relationships between human population growth, the need to increase food supplies to feed the world population, and the chances for avoiding the extinction of a major proportion of the world's plant and animal species that collectively makes our survival on Earth possible. These relationships are highly intertwined, and changes in each of them steadily decrease humankind’s chances to achieve environmental stability on our fragile planet.
The world population is projected to be nine to ten billion by 2050, signaling the need to increase world food production by more than 70 percent on the same amount of land currently under production—and this without further damaging our fragile environment. The essays in this collection, written by experts for laypersons, present the problems we face with clarity and assess our prospects for solving them, calling for action but holding out viable solutions.
For most people, grocery shopping is a mundane activity. Few stop to think about the massive, global infrastructure that makes it possible to buy Chilean grapes in a Philadelphia supermarket in the middle of winter. Yet every piece of food represents an interlocking system of agriculture, manufacturing, shipping, logistics, retailing, and nonprofits that controls what we eat—or don’t.
The Problem with Feeding Cities is a sociological and historical examination of how this remarkable network of abundance and convenience came into being over the last century. It looks at how the US food system transformed from feeding communities to feeding the entire nation, and it reveals how a process that was once about fulfilling basic needs became focused on satisfying profit margins. It is also a story of how this system fails to feed people, especially in the creation of food deserts. Andrew Deener shows that problems with food access are the result of infrastructural failings stemming from how markets and cities were developed, how distribution systems were built, and how organizations coordinate the quality and movement of food. He profiles hundreds of people connected through the food chain, from farmers, wholesalers, and supermarket executives, to global shippers, logistics experts, and cold-storage operators, to food bank employees and public health advocates. It is a book that will change the way we see our grocery store trips and will encourage us all to rethink the way we eat in this country.
We should thank a pollinator at every meal. These diminutive creatures fertilize a third of the crops we eat. Yet half of the 200,000 species of pollinators are threatened. Birds, bats, insects, and many other pollinators are disappearing, putting our entire food supply in jeopardy. In North America and Europe, bee populations have already plummeted by more than a third and the population of butterflies has declined 31 percent.
Protecting Pollinators explores why the statistics have become so dire and how they can be reversed. Jodi Helmer breaks down the latest science on environmental threats and takes readers inside the most promising conservation initiatives. Efforts include famers reducing pesticides, cities creating butterfly highways, volunteers ripping up invasive plants, gardeners planting native flowers, and citizen scientists monitoring migration.
Along with inspiring stories of revival and lessons from failed projects, readers will find practical tips to get involved. They will also be reminded of the magic of pollinators—not only the iconic monarch and dainty hummingbird, but the drab hawk moth and homely bats that are just as essential. Without pollinators, the world would be a duller, blander place. Helmer shows how we can make sure they are always fluttering, soaring, and buzzing around us.
Public Produce makes a uniquely contemporary case not for central government intervention, but for local government involvement in shaping food policy. In what Darrin Nordahl calls “municipal agriculture,” elected officials, municipal planners, local policymakers, and public space designers are turning to the abundance of land under public control (parks, plazas, streets, city squares, parking lots, as well as the grounds around libraries, schools, government offices, and even jails) to grow food.
Public agencies at one time were at best indifferent about, or at worst dismissive of, food production in the city. Today, public officials recognize that food insecurity is affecting everyone, not just the inner-city poor, and that policies seeking to restructure the production and distribution of food to the tens of millions of people living in cities have immediate benefits to community-wide health and prosperity.
This book profiles urban food growing efforts, illustrating that there is both a need and a desire to supplement our existing food production methods outside the city with opportunities inside the city. Each of these efforts works in concert to make fresh produce more available to the public. But each does more too: reinforcing a sense of place and building community; nourishing the needy and providing economic assistance to entrepreneurs; promoting food literacy and good health; and allowing for “serendipitous sustenance.” There is much to be gained, Nordahl writes, in adding a bit of agrarianism into our urbanism.
With globalization has come an increased focus on food—where it comes from, how it is transported, who eats it, and what cultural significance it has. This volume brings together ethnographically based anthropological analyses of shifting meanings and representations associated with the foods, ingredients, and cooking practices of marginalized and/or indigenous cultures. Contributors are particularly interested in how these foods intersect with politics, nationhood and governance, identity, authenticity, and conservation.
The chapters cover diverse locales, issues, and foods: the cultural meanings of sinonggi, a thick sago porridge from Sulawesi, Indonesia; the significance of pom, a Surinam dish popular in the Netherlands; the transformation of alpaca meat in Peru; the impact of culinary tourism on indigenous cuisine in Mexico; the re-presenting of minor millets in South India; and the development of cheeses in the Italian Alps. A conceptual essay on food and social boundaries rounds out the collection.
Throughout, the contributors address important questions, including: How are traditional foods “repackaged” in the process of mainstreaming access? What does this repackaging mean for the ways local or indigenous peoples view their traditional food practices? How are local cuisines mobilized in movements to create national images and identities? What tensions emerge between new representations of foods and local cultural meanings?
Together the contributors provide a thoughtful inquiry into what happens when food and culinary practices are moved from the cultural or physical margins, and how such movements can be shaped by—and employed in the pursuit of—political, social, and cultural goals.
How often in today's environmental debates have you read that "the science is in dispute"-even when there is overwhelming consensus among scientists? Too often, the voice of science is diminished or diluted for the sake of politics, and the public is misled. Now, the most authoritative voice in U.S. science, Science magazine, brings you current scientific knowledge on today's most pressing environmental challenges, from population growth to climate change to biodiversity loss. Science Magazine's State of the Planet 2006-2007 is a unique contribution that brings together leading environmental scientists and researchers to give readers a comprehensive yet accessible overview of current issues. Included are explanatory essays from Science magazine editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy that tie together the issues and explore the relationships among them. Each of the book's 18 chapters is written by the world's leading experts, such as: Joel Cohen on population Peter Gleick on water Daniel Pauly on fisheries Thomas Karl on climate change science Paul Portney on energy and development Elinor Ostrom and Thomas Dietz on commons management Interspersed throughout are Science news pieces that highlight particular issues and cases relevant to the main scientific findings. An added feature is the inclusion of definitions of key terms and concepts that help students and nonspecialists understand the issues. Published biennially, State of the Planet is a clear, accessible guide for readers of all levels-from students to professionals.
Every year, millions of the rural poor suffer from predictable and preventable seasonal hunger. This hunger is less dramatic but no less damaging than the starvation associated with famines, wars and natural disasters. Seasons of Hunger explores why the world does not react to a crisis that we know will continue year after year.
Seasonal hunger is caused by annual cycles of shrinking food stocks, rising prices, and lack of income. This hidden hunger pushes millions of children to the brink of starvation every year, permanently stunting their physical and cognitive development, weakening their immune systems and opening the door for killer diseases. Action Against Hunger argue that ending seasonal hunger could save millions of young lives and is key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This book documents seasonal hunger in four countries - India, Malawi, Mali and Myanmar - including personal stories and country-wide data which shows the magnitude of the problem.
The authors also find encouraging examples of interventions designed to address seasonality - initiatives led by governments, donors and NGOs, and poor people themselves - and propose a package of advocacy messages that could contribute to the global eradication of seasonal hunger. This book will be a valuable resource for journalists, policy makers, NGO members and students of development studies.
It’s 2047 in Dayton, Ohio. In response to food and water shortages, the U.S. government has developed an enormous, and powerfully successful, agricultural area—the “Heartland Grid”—just north of the city. In the meantime, in the wake of declining American power a multinational force has established itself in Cleveland. Behind these quickly shifting alliances lies a troubling yet tantalizing question: what will the American future look like?
Sharp and Dangerous Virtues is the story of ordinary people caught in situations they had never planned for or even imagined. There are Chad and Sharis, a married couple with two sons, holding out for normal life in their decaying suburb; Tuuro, a black church custodian whose false confession of murder is used for political purposes; Lila, Dayton’s aging, lonely Commissioner of Water, who dreams of being part of the “pure” existence of the Grid residents; and Charles and Diana, idealistic lovers trying desperately to preserve the nature center that has become their refuge.
What will these people do? What choices are left for them, and what choices have been taken away? Whom and what can they trust? Novelist Moody—known for her vivid portrayals of complicated characters and relationships in novels such as Best Friends and Sometimes Mine—weaves together cataclysmic events and the most intimate of human emotions to create a future that seems achingly real. Sharp and Dangerous Virtues will change the way you think and feel.
Combining anthropology, archeology, and evolutionary theory, Paul E. Minnis develops a model of how tribal societies deal with severe food shortages. While focusing on the prehistory of the Rio Mimbres region of New Mexico, he provides comparative data from the Fringe Enga of New Guinea, the Tikopia of Tikopia Island, and the Gwembe Tonga of South Africa.
Minnis proposes that, faced with the threat of food shortages, nonstratified societies survive by employing a series of responses that are increasingly effective but also are increasingly costly and demand increasingly larger cooperative efforts. The model Minnis develops allows him to infer, from evidence of such factors as population size, resource productivity, and climate change, the occurrence of food crises in the past. Using the Classic Mimbres society as a test case, he summarizes the regional archeological sequence and analyzes the effects of environmental fluctuations on economic and social organization. He concludes that the responses of the Mimbres people to their burgeoning population were inadequate to prevent the collapse of the society in the late twelfth century.
In its illumination of the general issue of responses to food shortages, Social Adaptation to Food Stress will interest not only archeologists but also those concerned with current food shortages in the Third World. Cultural ecologists and human geographers will be able to derive a wealth of ideas, methods, and data from Minnis's work.
Enacted in 1954, the Food for Peace program allowed the United States to make agricultural surpluses available to needy nations but served varying political agendas. President Eisenhower saw it primarily as a temporary means for improving domestic agriculture prices, while his two Democratic successors turned it into the cornerstone of an expanded foreign assistance program.
Kristin Ahlberg traces the transformation of Public Law 480 from a means of liquidating domestic surplus into a vital component of U.S. foreign policy. She focuses on how Lyndon Johnson sought to re-create his Great Society reforms on a global scale by exporting programs designed to improve the lives of world citizens through combating food shortages—and how he also wielded Food for Peace as a diplomatic tool to gain support for U.S. policies and to reward or punish allies for their behavior.
LBJ sought to demonstrate America’s commitment to the less fortunate while providing a deterrent to those impoverished nations most vulnerable to communist influence, and the White House maintained control of the program’s objectives on a country-by-country basis while leaving its implementation to the bureaucracy. Ahlberg describes these foreign policy maneuvers as well as the domestic battles that found farm nationalists like Senator Allen Ellender opposing Johnson and Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman—and also found the Department of Agriculture, Department of State, and Agency for International Development vying for control of the program.
Ahlberg draws on recently declassified sources to show how the Johnson administration used Food for Peace to win diplomatic support for American policy in Vietnam, prevent nuclear proliferation on the Indian subcontinent, and uphold Israeli security. When India diverted resources from agriculture to arms, Washington suspended wheat shipments until New Delhi reordered its priorities. But in the case of Israel and South Vietnam, LBJ used food aid to help client governments build up their militaries—as well as to win the “hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese people.
Transplanting the Great Society is an insightful study that shows the successes and limitations of using food aid as a diplomatic tool during the middle period of the cold war. It paints a broader picture of Johnson’s foreign policies, opening a new window on both his administration and postwar diplomatic history.
Glossy magazines write about them, celebrities give their names to them, and you’d better believe there’s an app (or ten) committed to finding you the right one. They are New York City restaurants and food shops. And their journey to international notoriety is a captivating one. The now-booming food capital was once a small seaport city, home to a mere six municipal food markets that were stocked by farmers, fishermen, and hunters who lived in the area. By 1890, however, the city’s population had grown to more than one million, and residents could dine in thousands of restaurants with a greater abundance and variety of options than any other place in the United States.
Historians, sociologists, and foodies alike will devour the story of the origins of New York City’s food industry in Urban Appetites. Cindy R. Lobel focuses on the rise of New York as both a metropolis and a food capital, opening a new window onto the intersection of the cultural, social, political, and economic transformations of the nineteenth century. She offers wonderfully detailed accounts of public markets and private food shops; basement restaurants and immigrant diners serving favorites from the old country; cake and coffee shops; and high-end, French-inspired eating houses made for being seen in society as much as for dining. But as the food and the population became increasingly cosmopolitan, corruption, contamination, and undeniably inequitable conditions escalated. Urban Appetites serves up a complete picture of the evolution of the city, its politics, and its foodways.