Marvin is a contract hog farmer in Iowa. He owns his land, his tractor, and his animal crates. He has seen profits drop steadily for the last twenty years and feels trapped. Josh is a dairy farmer on a cooperative in Massachusetts. He doesn’t own his cows, his land, or even all of his equipment. Josh has a healthy income and feels like he’s made it.
In The Food Sharing Revolution, Michael Carolan tells the stories of traditional producers like Marvin, who are being squeezed by big agribusiness, and entrepreneurs like Josh, who are bucking the corporate food system. The difference is that Josh has escaped the burdens of individual ownership and is tapping into the sharing economy. Josh and many others are sharing tractors, seeds, kitchen space, their homes, and their cultures. They are business owners like Dorothy, who opened her bakery with the help of a no-interest crowd-sourced loan. They are chefs like Camilla, who introduces diners to her native Colombian cuisine through peer-to-peer meal sharing. Their success is not only good for aspiring producers, but for everyone who wants an alternative to monocrops and processed foods.
The key to successful sharing, Carolan shows, is actually sharing. He warns that food, just like taxis or hotels, can be co-opted by moneyed interests. But when collaboration is genuine, the sharing economy can offer both producers and eaters freedom, even sovereignty. The result is a healthier, more sustainable, and a more ethical way to eat.
In today’s fast-paced, fast food world, everyone seems to be eating alone, all the time—whether it’s at their desks or in the car. Even those who find time for a family meal are cut off from the people who grew, harvested, distributed, marketed, and sold the foods on their table. Few ever break bread with anyone outside their own socioeconomic group. So why does Michael Carolan say that no one eats alone? Because all of us are affected by the other people in our vast foodscape. We can no longer afford to ignore these human connections as we struggle with dire problems like hunger, obesity, toxic pesticides, antibiotic resistance, depressed rural economies, and low-wage labor.
In this new edition, author Michael Carolan brings all data and citations fully up to date. Increased coverage is given to many topics including climate change, aquaculture, financialization, BRICS countries, food-based social movements, gender and ethnic issues, critical public health, and land succession. There is also greater discussion about successful cases of social change throughout all chapters, by including new text boxes that emphasize these more positive messages.
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The books I write tend to center on at least one of the following three issues: sustainability, food and agriculture, and prosperity. In addition to writing books for a popular audience, I am a social theorist and public speaker. To learn more about my books, publications, and more access the links below.
The books I write tend to center on at least one of the following three issues: sustainability, food and agriculture, and prosperity. In addition to writing books for a popular audience, I am a social theorist and public speaker.
To learn more about my books, publications, and more access the links below.
I'm a Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University. I'm also a son, brother, husband, father as well as someone who's deeply concerned about the well-being of present and future generations. Want to learn more?