The MIT Press

Food, Health, and the Environment

Robert Gottlieb

Published by: The MIT Press

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Food, Health, and the Environment

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Big Hunger

The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups

Andrew Fisher

Food banks and food pantries have proliferated in response to an economic emergency. The loss of manufacturing jobs combined with the recession of the early 1980s and Reagan administration cutbacks in federal programs led to an explosion in the growth of food charity. This was meant to be a stopgap measure, but the jobs never came back, and the "emergency food system" became an industry. In Big Hunger, Andrew Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement. From one perspective, anti-hunger leaders have been extraordinarily effective. Food charity is embedded in American civil society, and federal food programs have remained intact while other anti-poverty programs have been eliminated or slashed. But anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. Reliant on corporate donations of food and money, anti-hunger organizations have failed to hold business accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. They have become part of a "hunger industrial complex" that seems as self-perpetuating as the more famous military-industrial complex. Fisher lays out a vision that encompasses a broader definition of hunger characterized by a focus on public health, economic justice, and economic democracy. He points to the work of numerous grassroots organizations that are leading the way in these fields as models for the rest of the anti-hunger sector. It is only through approaches like these that we can hope to end hunger, not just manage it.

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California Cuisine and Just Food

Sally K. Fairfax, Louise Nelson Dyble, Greig Tor Guthey, Lauren Gwin, Monica Moore, and Jennifer Sokolove

An account of the shift in focus to access and fairness among San Francisco Bay Area alternative food activists and advocates.

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Cultivating Food Justice

Race, Class, and Sustainability

edited by Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman

Documents how racial and social inequalities are built into our food system, and how communities are creating environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives.

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Food Justice

Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi

To combat these inequities and excesses, a movement for food justice has emerged in recent years seeking to transform the food system from seed to table. In Food Justice, Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi tell the story of this emerging movement.

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Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice

From Loncheras to Lobsta Love

Julian Agyeman

The food truck on the corner could be a brightly painted old-style lonchera offering tacos or an upscale mobile vendor serving lobster rolls. Customers range from gastro-tourists to construction workers, all eager for food that is delicious, authentic, and relatively inexpensive. Although some cities that host food trucks encourage their proliferation, others throw up regulatory roadblocks. This book examines the food truck phenomenon in North American cities from Los Angeles to Montreal, taking a novel perspective: social justice. It considers the motivating factors behind a city's promotion or restriction of mobile food vending, and how these motivations might connect to or impede broad goals of social justice.

The contributors investigate the discriminatory implementation of rules, with gentrified hipsters often receiving preferential treatment over traditional immigrants; food trucks as part of community economic development; and food trucks' role in cultural identity formation. They describe, among other things, mobile food vending in Portland, Oregon, where relaxed permitting encourages street food; the criminalization of food trucks by Los Angeles and New York City health codes; food as cultural currency in Montreal; social and spatial bifurcation of food trucks in Chicago and Durham, North Carolina; and food trucks as a part of Vancouver, Canada's, self-branding as the "Greenest City."

ContributorsJulian Agyeman, Sean Basinski, Jennifer Clark, Ana Croegaert, Kathleen Dunn, Renia Ehrenfeucht, Emma French, Matthew Gebhardt, Phoebe Godfrey, Amy Hanser, Robert Lemon, Nina Martin, Caitlin Matthews, Nathan McClintock, Alfonso Morales, Alan Nash, Katherine Alexandra Newman, Lenore Lauri Newman, Alex Novie, Matthew Shapiro, Hannah Sobel, Mark Vallianatos, Ginette Wessel, Edward Whittall, Mackenzie Wood

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Japan's Dietary Transition and Its Impacts

Vaclav Smil and Kazuhiko Kobayashi

An examination of the transformation of the Japanese diet from subsistence to abundance and an assessment of the consequences for health, longevity, and the environment.

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Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice

Jill Lindsey Harrison

An examination of political conflicts over pesticide drift and the differing conceptions of justice held by industry, regulators, and activists.

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Seeds, Science, and Struggle

The Global Politics of Transgenic Crops

Abby Kinchy

An examination of how advocates for alternative agriculture confront “science-based” regulation of genetically engineered crops.

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