By Changing our Food System Can We Change Capitalism?

| 11.16.2017

By Changing our Food System Can We Change Capitalism?
A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism” shines light on global impact of our food systems

CONTACT: Ahna Kruzic, akruzic@foodfirst.org510-927-5379

(Oakland) Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First), examines the history of our food system and the basics of capitalism in his new book titled A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat. The book provides a hard-hitting and timely political-economic tool kit for the food movement—from foodies, farmers, farm justice activists, and concerned consumers to climate justice and environmental activists.

“I wanted to explain the political economics of why—even as local, organic, and gourmet food have spread around the world—billions go hungry in the midst of abundance,” says Holt-Giménez, who has worked with peasant farmers and communities around the world to take back control of their food systems. “I began to see why diet-related disease is a global epidemic, why land for producing food is disappearing, how food production figures in to climate change, and how environmental pollution is increasing.”

A Foodie’s Guide explores past and present-day struggles to change the food system, from “voting with your fork,” to land occupations. The book details the potential and the pitfalls of organic and community-supported agriculture, certified fair trade, microfinance, land trusts, agrarian reform, cooperatives, and food aid.

Acclaimed author and Professor, Marion Nestle, writes in the book’s forward, “We need food to live. But the purpose of food companies is not to promote our life, health, or happiness; it is to make money for executives and shareholders. If we want to improve our food system, we need to know what has to change and how to make that change happen. Eric urges all of us to join together with everyone else working on food issues as well as with groups working on related social causes. Let’s form a united movement with real power.”

Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of Community to Community Development (C2C), said “A Foodie’s Guide should serve as a warning call to the world’s small farmers: if current trends continue, agricultural production will be consolidated into the hands of 50,000 or so mega-farms. This will condemn the world’s 2.5 billion peasants, small farmers, and their families – a third of humanity – to dispossession, unemployment, and misery.”

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Patti Edwardson Naylor, Iowa farmer writes, “A Foodie’s Guide seeks to identify and alleviate the intrinsic injustices of a global food system that is not only stratified by class but also racialized and gendered. Eric expertly details the ways these inequities undermine equal access to land and productive resources; healthy food, clean air, and drinkable water; and decent working conditions and fairly compensated labor.”

As A Foodie’s Guide details, by understanding some of the rudiments of how capitalism operates, we can better grasp why our food system is the way it is, and use this moment of crisis to build a powerful movement for transformation capable of mobilizing resistance and inspiring change.

CONTACT: Ahna Kruzic, akruzic@foodfirst.org510-927-5379