Moving in Opposite Directions? Exploring Trends in Consumer Demand and Agricultural Production
33 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 8, 2017
This article explores two divergent trends in the American food system: (1) consumer demand for “real” food that is sustainably produced and (2) the economic and political forces that continue to encourage consolidation and industrialization in agricultural production. It first considers consumer preferences for their food system, noting the evolution of the food movement from elite to mainstream in its significance. It then explores the latest data regarding agricultural production from the Census of Agriculture, revealing strong movement in a seemingly opposite direction from the consumer food movement. The article concludes by offering some signs that the future may provide hope for reconciliation, moving our food system in a positive, healthy, and sustainable direction.
Keywords: food, consumer, animal welfare, sustainable, environment, industrialized, concentrated, consolidated, agriculture, farm, production, food movement, food system, healthy
JEL Classification: I, K, Q
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation