Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

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Zed Books, 2002 - Agricultural industries - 150 pages
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If the many social, environmental, and economic crises facing the planet are to be reversed, a good place to start is to rebuild local food economies. Food is something everyone, everywhere, needs every day, so even small changes in the way it is produced and marketed can offer immense benefits.

Bringing the Food Economy Home shows how a shift towards the local would protect and rebuild agricultural diversity. It would give farmers a bigger share of the money spent on food, and provide consumers with healthier, fresher food at more affordable prices. It would reduce transport, greenhouse gas emissions, and the need for toxic agricultural chemicals. It would lessen the need for storage, packaging, refrigeration and artificial additives. And it would help revitalize rural economies and communities in both the industrialized and the developing world.

With benefits for farmer and consumer, for urban and rural dweller, and for the economy as well as the environment, local food is a powerful solution-multiplier, one that we cannot afford to ignore.
 

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Contents

The Ecology of Food Marketing
17
The Ecology of Food Production
35
Food and Health
51
Keeping Jobs in the Local Economy
67
Are Large Industrial Farms More Productive?
74
Food Security
89
Shifting Direction
101
From Global to Local
113
Note on Measurements
126
Index
143
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Born in 1946, Paul Gilk grew up on a small homestead farm in northern Wisconsin. From work horses, threshing crews and silo-filling rings, huge gardens, quilting bees and one-room schools, township demographics changed in twenty-five years from thirty farms to three. Returning to northern Wisconsin from St. Louis in 1979, Gilk built a cottage in the woods of what had been part of the family farm. Several years of intensive study followed. The question that preoccupied him was Why are small farms dying? In the early 1990s, he reconstructed a nineteenth-century log house and, in 1995, married Suzanna Juon. He has made a living by farm work, woods work, carpentry, writing, and folk music.

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