Graduate studies at Western
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (1):31-51 (2009)
|Abstract||This article examines the diversity of food networks that fit within the alternative food system of the United States. While farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture schemes, and corporate organic food markets all fit within the alternative food system, they differ greatly in the conventions and beliefs that they represent. The alternative food system has divided into two movements: corporate, weak alternative food networks; and local, strong alternative food networks. The weak corporate version focuses on protecting the environment; however, it neglects issues concerning labor standards, animal welfare, rural communities, small-scale farmers, and human health. Local, strong alternative food networks not only assure environmental protection, but they also address the issues that weak alternatives neglect. Using three case studies from the Washington, D.C. metro area, the author explains that strong alternative food networks are better suited to create social and political change because they challenge the foundations of the conventional food system: standardized and generic products, price-based competition, consolidated power, and global scale. To affect true social and political change in the United States, the author recommends supporting strong alternative food networks by creating the requisite cultural and political space for them to succeed.|
|Keywords||Alternative Conventions Culture Food networks Food systems Policy Political change Public space Social movements|
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