Knowledge for better food systems

Food, politics, and society

The book “Food, Politics, and Society: Social Theory and the Modern Food System”, by Alejandro Colas, Jason Edwards, Jane Levi, and Sami Zubaida, surveys how social theory has shaped our understanding of the food system.

Publisher’s summary

Food and drink has been a focal point of modern social theory since the inception of agrarian capitalism and the industrial revolution. From Adam Smith to Mary Douglas, major thinkers have used key concepts such as identity, exchange, culture, and class to explain the modern food system. Food, Politics, and Society offers a historical and sociological survey of how these various ideas and the practices that accompany them have shaped our understanding and organisation of the production, processing, preparation, serving, and consumption of food and drink in modern societies. Divided into twelve chapters and drawing on a wide range of historical and empirical illustrations, this book provides a concise, informed, and accessible survey of the interaction between social theory and food and drink. It is perfect for courses in a wide range of disciplines.

 

Reference

Colas, A., 2018. Food, Politics, and Society: Social Theory and the Modern Food System. Univ of California Press, Berkeley.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource resource What about the relationship between food, culture, ethics and social norms?

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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