Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America

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Overview


“A terrific primer on the corporate control of food in the United States, and the actions of those who fight back” (Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved), Foodopoly takes aim at the real culprit behind America’s food crisis: the ever-growing consolidation and corporatization of food production, which prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store.

In the tradition of the bestselling The World According to ...

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Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America

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Overview


“A terrific primer on the corporate control of food in the United States, and the actions of those who fight back” (Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved), Foodopoly takes aim at the real culprit behind America’s food crisis: the ever-growing consolidation and corporatization of food production, which prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store.

In the tradition of the bestselling The World According to Monsanto, Foodopoly tells the shocking story of how agricultural policy has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of companies such as Cargill, Tyson, Kraft, and ConAgra. “A meticulously documented account of how we have lost control of our food system” (Steve Gliessman, professor emeritus of agroecology, UC–Santa Cruz), the book demonstrates how the impacts ripple far and wide, from economic stagnation in rural communities at home to famines in poor countries overseas. In the end, author Wenonah Hauter argues that solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift, a grassroots movement to reshape our food system from seed to table—a change that is about politics, not just personal choice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Excellent…Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of Food and Water Watch…details the takeover of our food system."
—Mark Bittman, The New York Times

"From familiar ground such as the obesity epidemic and junk-food advertising, to the lesser-known yet important terrain of corporate supply chains and a largest-takes-all food infrastructure, Hauter provides bountiful evidence to buttress her deep working knowledge of the food system. . . . Foodopoly is politically brave—not just naming names in the agri-industrial complex, but pushing us to think more deeply about the politics and economics that dictate our diets beyond our own roles as shoppers and eaters."
San Francisco Chronicle

"A shocking and powerful reminder of the distance between our image of the family farmer and the corporate agribusiness reality. Make sure you read it before dinner."
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

"Foodopoly is a meticulously documented account of how we have lost control of our food system, as well as a roadmap for taking it back. We must respond to this call to action."
—Steve Gliessman, Professor Emeritus of Agroecology, UC-Santa Cruz

"Food is life. Today food and life are being hijacked by corporations — seed by Monsanto, trade by Cargill and giant agribusiness, retail by Walmart. And our earth, our farmers, our health are being sacrificed to increase corporate profits and control over our food systems. This is the story Hauter tells in Foodopoly. This is a story we must hear in order to create food democracy and food freedom."
—Dr. Vandana Shiva

"Wenonah Hauter knows where the bodies are buried beneath the amber waves of grain. This is a terrific primer on the corporate control of food in the US, and the actions of those who fight back. By turns heartbreaking, infuriating and inspiring, Foodopoly is required reading for anyone who wants to understand both the scale of the challenge in reclaiming our food system, and the urgency for doing so."
—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

"This may be the most important book on the politics of food ever written in the US. Hauter doesn't buy the notion that we can buy our way to a healthy future. She puts the blame for our food crisis squarely where it belongs: on the political and agribusiness leaders who benefit from a corporate-dominated food system. Read this essential book and take action!"
—Maude Barlow, author of Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water

"Foodopoly makes a compelling case for how corporate consolidation and control of the food supply are at the root cause of a host of problems. Hauter is absolutely right that unless we break the stranglehold of corporate power with significant policy change, such as enforcing federal antitrust laws, the food movement will continue to have only marginal success."
—Michele Simon, president of Eat Drink Politics and author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back

"A meticulously researched tour de force."
Publishers Weekly

"We all know how Monopoly ends: one person corners Boardwalk and Park Place and the rest are screwed. Winner-take-all is fine for a board game, but disastrous, as Wenonah Hauter reveals in this important new book, when it comes to our food. In compelling prose, Hauter breaks down why the concentration of corporate power over food matters—and what we can do about it. Kudos to Hauter for this vital book—essential reading for anyone who wants safe food and clean water."
—Anna Lappé, founder, Food Mythbusters and author, Diet for a Hot Planet

Publishers Weekly
In a meticulously researched tour de force, Hauter, the executive director of Food & Water Watch, examines the pernicious effects of consolidation in every sector of the food industry. Not only has deregulation and the weakening of antitrust laws led to a significant reduction of competition, it has failed to allow the consumer to benefit from the economies of scale achieved by larger production facilities. More dangerous for our democracy, Hauter argues, the surviving firms have used their wealth to capture the political system in order to rewrite the regulations for their benefit. They have persuaded governments to subsidize their irrigation costs with publicly funded water projects; successfully pushed for the enactment of the Cuban sugar tariff, which directly led to high-fructose corn syrup becoming the sweetener of choice; and weakened oversight by federal bureaucracies, preventing the FDA from testing meat for contamination before and during processing. In fact, Hauter suggests, the FDA is no longer capable of enforcing its regulations at all and must resort to persuasion and, at times, begging. Though alarming, Hauter’s argument is undermined by her resort to the suggestion of conspiracy on occasion. Overall, though, the book deserves a place on the shelf beside the burgeoning journalistic explorations of the dangers of the current system. (Dec.)
Kirkus Reviews
A forceful argument about our dysfunctional food system. Hauter, the executive director of Food & Water Watch, has gathered statistics and stories to back her argument that the United States is in a food crisis, caused by government deregulation and by consolidation and control of the food supply by a small number of powerful corporations. Inadequate regulation of the food industry, she writes, has led to the poisoning of people and the dangerous overuse of antibiotics in animals. After a bit of history on farm policy, Hauter examines the consolidation of the food chain from crop seeds to retail stores, dotting the text with bold graphics that depict the extent of the power of leading corporations. To inform readers of the direness of the situation and to arouse their indignation, she reveals the cruelty to animals and the pollution of the environment that is part and parcel of the factory farming of cattle, hogs and chickens; she challenges the biotechnology advances that have led to the genetic modification of food crops; and she exposes large-company practices that are changing the organic food industry. She calls for the mobilization of a grass-roots movement to bring about the changes that she argues are essential to making the country's food system economically and ecologically sound. Hauter urges the movement that has been promoting local, sustainable food production to expand, to join with other progressives, and to become political activists and fight for the reinstatement and enforcement of antitrust laws that will enable midsize farms to once again flourish. While the text can be wordy and repetitive, the author's message is clear, and the graphics pack a punch that hammers it home.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595589781
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 202,443
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of Food & Water Watch, a D.C.-based watchdog organization focused on corporate and government accountability relating to food, water, and common resources. She has worked and written extensively on food, water, energy, and environmental issues at the national, state, and local levels. She owns a working farm in The Plains, Virginia.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part I Farm and Food Policy Run Amok 9

1 Get Those Boys Off the Farm! 11

Part II Consolidating Every Link in the Food Chain 39

2 The Junk Food Pushers 44

3 Walmarting the Food Chain 62

Part III The Produce and Organics Industries: Putting Profits Before People 79

4 The Green Giant Doesn't Live in California Anymore 81

5 Organic Food: The Paradox 98

Part IV Deregulating Food Safety 117

6 Poisoning People 119

7 Animals on Drugs 136

Part V The Story of Factory Farms 153

8 Cowboys Versus Meatpackers: The Last Roundup 155

9 Hogging the Profits 170

10 Modern-Day Serfs 191

11 Milking the System 211

Part VI Corporate Control of the Gene Pool: The Theft of Life 227

12 Life for Sale: The Birth of Life Science Companies 229

13 David Versus Goliath 243

14 The Future of Food: Science Fiction or Nature? 264

Part VII Building the Political Power to Challenge the Foodopoly 277

15 Eat and Act Your Politics 279

16 The Way Forward 287

Notes 311

Bibliography 341

Index 343

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 25, 2013

    I highly reccomend people reading this book Now................

    This book shows eactly what big Agriculture is up to and how we can work to stop them from poisioning us all...this is a well written book by and author who really knows the facts behind her writing...
    I reccomend this book to all who are interested in what they are eatingand want to stop GMO foods from coming to markets near you
    and getting them labelled so you can bypass them in the stores...
    I enjoyed reading it and was sorry when I had finished....

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted March 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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