An Alternative Paradigm for Food Production, Distribution, and Consumption: A Noneconomist's Perspective
Posted: 12 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 2015
The Industrial Food and Agricultural (IFA) industry has become increasingly excoriated by proponents of the Naturalization Food and Agricultural (NFA) paradigm over the past decade. Thought leaders of this alternative movement have been calling for economic and policy overhauls of the food system — touching upon human health, labor rights, the environment, climate change, and animal welfare. Although the majority of these thought leaders are not economists or scientists, their arguments are structured to shape consumer choices and farmers’ production decisions, influence food and agricultural policy, and ultimately affect the economics of the industry. In this article, we survey publications at the forefront of the NFA paradigm, touching upon the work of Pollan, Schlosser, Petrini, Bittman, Nestle, and Kremen, among others, as well as the earlier contributions of Carson, Sinclair, Steinbeck, Buck, and even Jefferson. Their solutions, although short on quantitative analysis and long on prescriptions, address the real concerns of the general public and lay the foundation for economists to advance public discourse through analytical research on the NFA paradigm.
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