Rethinking California’s Food Economy
On the surface, California’s food system is a vision of abundance and prosperity. But a closer look reveals a range of serious problems, including degraded ecosystems, obesity alongside hunger, an ailing farm economy, appalling farmworker conditions, and a distribution system that favors trade over local needs. Meanwhile, control of the entire food system, from seed to table, is being centralized within a handful of corporate giants.
This report by the Local Futures/ ISEC reveals the connections behind these seemingly isolated problems. Ripe for Change: Rethinking California’s Food Economy urges a shift away from current policies aimed at forging a single global food economy – one based on a narrow range of foods and technologies. Instead, a broad and inclusive movement to build thriving local food systems offers an alternative vision and promising strategy for rescuing California’s food and farming future.
Ripe for Change: Rethinking California’s Food Economy addresses the root causes of breakdown in the food economy and points to solutions and case studies of how an alternative vision can work, showing that we need to move beyond isolated local-level projects to address policy and regulation that prevent local food economies from becoming meaningfully established. The report is packed with useful facts, figures and analysis, making it an essential tool for those – from the grassroots to the policy level – working for sustainable food systems.
The report is also an important tool for regions beyond California. Though California’s food and farming sector is often thought to be unique, it is a model that is being emulated around the world, with other states, regions and countries following California’s lead. An understanding of how the state is suffering at the hands of its industrialized, export-driven agriculture can help other regions make more informed decisions about their own futures.