Farmers' markets, veggie boxes, local foods, organic products and Fair Trade goods - how have these once novel, "alternative" foods, and the people and networks supporting them, become increasingly familiar features of everyday consumption? Are the visions of "alternative worlds" built on ethics of sustainability, social justice, animal welfare and the aesthetic values of local food cultures and traditional crafts still credible now that these foods crowd supermarket shelves and other "mainstream" shopping outlets?
This timely book provides a critical review of the growth of alternative food networks and their struggle to defend their ethical and aesthetic values against the standardizing pressures of the corporate mainstream with its "placeless and nameless" global supply networks. It explores how these alternative movements are "making a difference" and their possible role as fears of global climate change and food insecurity intensify. It assesses the different experiences of these networks in three major arenas of food activism and politics: Britain and Western Europe, the United States, and the global Fair Trade economy. This comparative perspective runs throughout the book to fully explore the progressive erosion of the interface between alternative and mainstream food provisioning. As the era of "cheap food" draws to a close, analysis of the limitations of market-based social change and the future of alternative food economies and localist food politics place this book at the cutting-edge of the field.
The book is thoroughly informed by contemporary social theory and interdisciplinary social scientific scholarship, formulates an integrative social practice framework to understand alternative food production-consumption, and offers a unique geographical reach in its case studies.
David Goodman is Visiting Professor, Department of Geography, King's College London, UK, and Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. E. Melanie DuPuis is Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. Michael K. Goodman is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at King's College London, UK. ?
Part 1 1. Introducing Alternative Food Networks, Fair Trade Circuits and The Politics Of Food 2. Coming Home To Eat? Reflexive Localism and Just Food 3. Bridging Production and Consumption: Alternative Food Networks as Shared Knowledge Practice Part 2: Alternative Food Provisioning In Britain And Western Europe: Introduction And Antecedents 4. Rural Europe Redux? The New Territoriality and Rural Development 5. Into the Mainstream: The Politics Of Quality 6. Changing Paradigms? Food Security Debates and Grassroots Food Re-Localization Movements in Britain and Western Europe Part 3: Alternative Food Movements In The US: Formative Years, Mainstreaming, Civic Governance And Knowing Sustainability 7. Broken Promises? US Alternative Food Movements, Origins and Debates 8. Resisting Mainstreaming, Maintaining Alterity 9. Sustainable Agriculture as Knowing and Growing Part 4: Globalizing Alternative Food Movements: The Cultural Material Politics of Fair Trade 10. The Shifting Cultural Politics of Fair Trade: From Transparent to Virtual Livelihoods 11. The Price and Practices of Quality: The Shifting Materialities of Fair Trade Networks 12. The Practices and Politics of a Globalized AFN: Whither the Possibilities and Problematics of Fair Trade? 13. Concluding Thoughts