Taking on the C-Word

Teresa M. Mares | 05.10.2018

This book review was originally published by the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.

What role does love play in challenging the devastating impacts of capitalism on our food system? What role does hope play? For Holt-Giménez, the author of A Foodie’s Guide to Capital­ism, both love and hope are essential in building a more just and sustainable world, and his newest book is inspired by his long career of allying with those “for whom giving up was not an option” (p. 240). Concluding a treatise on understanding the inner workings and history of capitalism with a call for love and hope might seem trite at first glance. And yet, this is perhaps the best indication of the narrowness and cynicism that often dominate the thinking of those of us who consider ourselves food activists. Another world is indeed possible, and Holt-Giménez gives us the tools we need to better understand the ways that capitalism—and racism—and sexism—and classism—stand in the way of that world. This is the kind of intersectional analysis that we need in the face of climate change, the plundering and privatization of our natural resources, and the ongoing attacks on democracy and progressive politics. A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism allows the reader to understand how these kinds of wicked problems are interrelated with the ways that food is grown, distributed, consumed, and wasted…

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