Food as a commodity

Authored by: Noah Zerbe

Routledge Handbook Of Food As A Commons

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138062627
eBook ISBN: 9781315161495
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315161495-10

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Abstract

The post–World War II era witnessed a fundamental transformation of the global food system. The international food regime established in the later part of the nineteenth century gave way to a system of food production heavily subsidized and shielded from international competition by the state in Western societies and their colonies. Food production was largely a national affair, rooted in the specific relations of production that were largely defined at the local or regional level. As agricultural productivity increased with the application of new technologies and improvements in seed varieties and cultivars, the scale and nature of production changed dramatically. By the late 1970s, this system began to break down, and a new food regime rooted in neoliberalism, freer international trade, and, perhaps most importantly, in the commodification of food, began to emerge.

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