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Foodopoly

The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America

Hauter, Wenonah

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Foodopoly
Print
Baker & Taylor
Argues that lobbyists and the consolidation and corporate control of food production is to blame for the unhealthy and unfair agricultural policies of the United States.

Perseus Publishing
Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of Food & Water Watch, but she also runs an organic family farm in Northern Virginia that provides healthy vegetables to over five hundred families in the Washington, D.C., area as part of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Despite this, as one of the nation’s leading healthy food advocates, Hauter believes that the local food movement is not enough to solve America’s food crisis and the public health debacle it has created. In Foodopoly, she takes aim at the real culprit: the massive consolidation and corporate control of food production, which prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store.

Through meticulous research, Hauter presents a shocking account of how agricultural policy has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of the likes of Cargill, Tyson, Kraft, and ConAgra. She demonstrates how the impacts ripple far and wide, from economic stagnation in rural communities at home, to famines in poor countries overseas. In the end, Hauter illustrates how solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift, a grassroots movement to reshape our food system from seed to table—a change that is about politics, not just personal choice.

Wenonah Hauter owns an organic family farm that provides healthy vegetables to hundreds of families as part of the growing nationwide Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. Yet, as one of the nation's leading healthy–food advocates, Hauter believes that the local food movement is not enough to solve America's food crisis and the public health debacle it has created. In Foodopoly, she takes aim at the real culprit: the control of food production by a handful of large corporations—backed by political clout—that prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store.

Blending history, reporting, and a deep understanding of American faming and food production, Foodopoly is the shocking and revealing account of the business behind the meat, vegetables, grains, and milk that most Americans eat every day, including some of our favorite and most respected organic and health–conscious brands. Hauter also pulls the curtain back from the little–understood but vital realm of agricultural policy, showing how it has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of the likes of Cargill, Tyson, Kraft, and ConAgra. Foodopoly demonstrates how the impacts ripple far and wide, from economic stagnation in rural communities at home to famines overseas. In the end, Hauter argues that solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift—a change that is about politics, not just personal choice.

Written with deep insight from one of America's most respected food activists, Foodopoly is today's essential guide for anyone who wants to reform our food system, from seed to table.


Book News
Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, argues that consumer choice and the fetishizing of farmers markets and local food production is not enough to address the dysfunctions of our food system. Instead we need to interrogate and ultimately intervene in the "corporate, scientific, industrial, and political structures that support an unhealthy system." In seven sections, she examines farm policy, consolidation of the food chain, the exploitation of organics, food safety deregulation, factory farming, biogenetic technology and the threat to our genetic commons, and finally building the political power to challenge the "foodopoly." Hauter is both critical of free market capitalism but also committed to a vision of economic viability that retains major features of capitalism, particularly profit-driven production. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New York : New Press, c2012
ISBN: 9781595587909
Branch Call Number: 338.1097 H
Characteristics: xii, 355 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

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Oct 03, 2013
  • HereHere rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Anyone who cares or wonders about where their food comes from should read this book. I was surprised by the failure in organics, although there is not enough detail to cause me to avoid organics in fresh produce.
Many problems with the current agriculture system are detailed, chapter after chapter. The diagrams of corporate ownership of the variety of brands (including of the major organic brands in that chapter) are particularly insightful.

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