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New Books

The Sociology of Food and AgricultureThe Sociology of Food and Agriculture

2nd Edition

Michael Carolan, © 2016,  Routledge, 348 p., Paperback £29.99, ISBN: 9781138946255

In this second edition of The Sociology of Food and Agriculture, students are provided with a substantially revised and updated introductory text to this emergent field.

The book begins with the recent development of agriculture under capitalism and neo-liberal regimes, and the transformation of farming and peasant agriculture from a small-scale, family-run way of life to a globalized system. Topics such as the global hunger and obesity challenges, GM foods, and international trade and subsidies are assessed as part of the world food economy. The final section concentrates on themes of sustainability, food security, and food sovereignty. The book concludes on a positive note, examining alternative agri-food movements aimed at changing foodscapes at levels from the local to the global.

With increased coverage of the financialization of food, food and culture, gender, ethnicity and justice, food security, and food sovereignty, the book is perfect for students with little or no background in sociology and is also suitable for more advanced courses as a comprehensive primer. All chapters include learning objectives, suggested discussion questions, and recommendations for further reading to aid student learning.

Vision Infinity for Food SecurityVision Infinity for Food Security

Some Whys, Why Nots and Hows!

Sharma, Shashi B., Wightman, John, 2015, Ebook, 41,64€, ISBN: 978-3-319-23249-2

A new perspective on the global food security situation and highlights the need for seeking a common vision and implementing global planning to define the manner in which the human species will manage its food security. The basic question of ‘is there enough food’ is examined in general and then in some detail.

The history of food production is reviewed in the hope that lessons can be learned from the past. Intensive agriculture has stripped out the nutrients that support plant growth and marginalised extensive tracts of land. The global solution to feed the growing population has been and continues to be – produce more food. Even during the last 30 years, about 95 percent of global research investments have focused mainly on increasing productivity.

However, about a third of the food produced, sufficient to feed over two billion hungry people, is lost or wasted in the food value chain. Climate change is another confounding factor that impinges on our discussions. Pests of all kinds continue to destroy food before and after it is harvested, even though the technology to protect it is available. Solutions include extending the number of cultivated plant and animal species to include those that can prosper in what are currently considered to be extreme environments.

Seed Sovereignty, Food SecuritySeed Sovereignty, Food Security

Women in the Vanguard of the Fight against GMOs and Corporate Agriculture

Vandana Shiva (Ed.), 2016, EBook, 424 p., ISBN: 9781623170295

In this unique anthology, women from around the world write about the movement to change the current, industrial paradigm of how we grow our food. As seed keepers and food producers, as scientists, activists, and scholars, they are dedicated to renewing a food system that is better aligned with ecological processes as well as human health and global social justice. Seed Sovereignty, Food Security is an argument for just that–a reclaiming of traditional methods of agricultural practice in order to secure a healthy, nourishing future for all of us. Whether tackling the thorny question of GMO safety or criticizing the impact of big agribusiness on traditional communities, these women are in the vanguard of defending the right of people everywhere to practice local, biodiverse, and organic farming as an alternative to industrial agriculture.