Our diets are going to change dramatically as global warming affects growing seasons and the availability of different foods around the world. Meanwhile, our foodways are among the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
To address these challenges Food in a Changing Climate demands we look beyond our plates to the roots of inequity in our food systems. It presents an unashamedly political agenda for 'deep adaptation', focused on the rejuvenation and strengthening of local and regional food systems that have been steadily eroded in the name of economic efficiency. The colonial origins of fossil-fuel-based food production and trade persist in the marginalisation of farmers, food workers, and fishers in a corporatized food system that promotes the exploitation of the environment, excess production, and hyper-consumerism. These factors contribute to climate change, poverty, and health inequities on a global scale. Drawing on case studies from around the world, this book illustrates how the commodification of food has made us particularly vulnerable to climate change, extreme weather events, and pandemics such as COVID-19. These shocks reveal the danger of our reliance on increasingly complex supply chains – dominated by a decreasing number of mega-companies – for our food security.
The unsustainability of the way we produce and eat food is clear. It has been for a long time. Food in a Changing Climate explores how we can cultivate resilient communities through the just application of new technologies, the recovery of traditional knowledge, and by building diversity to protect the livelihoods of food producers everywhere.
Alana Mann is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney. A political economist in food studies, her research focuses on the international food sovereignty movement and other efforts to democratise food systems.
"Food in a Changing Climate could not be more timely, as COVID-19 has revealed the enormous institutional vulnerabilities of existing food system while the Black Lives Matter movement is propelling a long overdue reckoning with the insidiousness of racial capitalism. With impressive grounding in international scholarship, Alana Mann asks her readers to attend to the complex ecologies, cultures, and political economies in which food is entwined and commit to a food politics that does not shy away from the difficult questions."
– Julie Guthman, Professor of Social Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz
"Don't be fooled, this compact book speaks volumes to the civilizational crisis facing our societies – and to the strategies that can help us put our food systems back on track. Food in a Changing Climate brings together a wide range of data, information and expert opinion – as well as ancient wisdom – for a trenchant, analysis of our dysfunctional capitalist food system. Can we feed the world with GMOs? Will fake meat cool the planet? Is the Blue Revolution the answer to overfishing? Dr. Alana Mann bravely takes on these issues in clear, no-nonsense language. Uncompromisingly honest, this book is a must-read for students of food studies and food activists seeking the facts and the language to speak truth to the power in our food system."
– Eric Holt-Giménez, Former Executive Director of Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First
"Wielding the food lens brilliantly, Alana Mann issues a wake-up call to the plunder of life-worlds and ecosystems at this geological tipping point. Her comprehensive account of planetary and species damage by industrial food, now intensifying claims to a future of lab-grown nutritionism, is exceptional. She brings her remarkable communication skills to critique the corporate scientism of food engineering, and the urgency of restoring sovereignty to diverse food cultures in the illiberal shadow of standardization. Food in a Changing Climate is a disturbing reminder of the plantation-like mindsets and practices of a globalized food system, and the need to replace it with an ethical world in which many worlds may fit sustainably."
– Philip McMichael, Cornell University