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Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

By: Helena Norberg-Hodge, Todd Merrifield and Steven Gorelick

150 pages, B/w photos, figs, tabs

Zed Books

Paperback | Oct 2002 | #136015 | ISBN: 1842772333
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £17.99 $24/€20 approx
Hardback | Jan 2003 | #136014 | ISBN: 1842772325
Out of Print Details

About this book

Argues that a shift towards local production would enhance agricultural diversity, give farmers a better income and consumers healthier, cheaper food. It would reduce carbon emissions associated with transport and the environmental costs of storage, packaging and refrigeration. It would also revitalise rural economies.

'Want to know what's wrong with globalization? Read this book. Want to know what you can do? Read this book.' - David Suzuki, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia 'This valuable book offers a concise, yet comprehensive and systemic analysis of one of the most important issues of our time. I highly recommend it.' - Fritjof Capra, Author, The Web of Life and The Hidden Connections 'Rebuilding local food economies is one of the best ways to return power to the people. And nothing makes the case for local food better than 'Bringing the Food Economy Home' - Vandana Shiva, Author, The Violence of the Green Revolutions and Stolen Harvest


1. From Local to Global... and Back Again The global food system Locally adapted food systems Centuries of agricultural 'progress' Big farms get bigger Agribusiness takes over Globalization Speeding up the treadmill 2. The Ecology of Food Marketing Reduced vs. excessive packaging Small, decentralized shops vs. huge megamarkets Transport infrastructures Energy infrastructures Broadcasting unsustainability 3. The Ecology of Food Production Destroying diversity On-farm vs. off-farm inputs Integrated livestock vs. factory farms Life in the soil Local adaptation vs. genetic engineering 4. Food and Health Fresh is best Chemical stews Food poisoning Factory farms and human health 5. Food and the Economy Keeping money in the local economy Keeping jobs in the local economy Working more, earning less Farming in the Third World The decline of rural economies How important are 'economies of scale'? Are large industrial farms more productive? 6. Food and Community Webs of interdependence The death of rural communities Misplaced blame Unmanageable cities Loss of democracy 7. Food Security Corporate control Feeding corporations, not the hungry The dangers of a homogenized food supply Local foods add to food security 8. Shifting Direction 1) International level 2) National level a) Transport b) Energy c) Agricultural subsidies 3) Local level People power Afterword References Note on Measurements

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Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and a regular scholar in residence at Schumacher College in Devon. She is the co-author of From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture (Zed Books, new edition 2000). Steven Gorelick is the US Programs Director of ISEC, and a member of the editorial board of The Ecologist magazine. Todd Merrifield has a master's in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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