Weekend reading: Tom Philpott’s Perilous Bounty
Tom Philpott. Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It. Bloomsbury, 2020.
Here’s my blurb:
In Perilous Bounty, Tom Philpott probes what’s wrong with Big Agriculture—examining how it depletes California’s water, poisons water in the Midwest, and ruins soil resources—and proposes ways to reconfigure the food system to better promote health and sustain the environment. This must-read book is deeply researched, compellingly written, and thoroughly inspiring.
And here’s a quick excerpt:
We have reached the limits of “market-as-movement” to transform the food system. In an economy marked by severe inequality, wage stagnation, and persistently high levels of poverty, the market approach excludes the population that can’t afford to pay the higher prices of organic, local food or devote time to cooking from scratch. It threatens to create an ecologically robust niche for the prosperous within a dominant food system that quietly lurches on, wrecking the environment and making people sick. Well-off consumers should vote with their forks three times a day, but the pace of positive change they create has been no match for Big Food’s massive inertia and the rapid advance of climate change. But something important has emerged over the same period: the stirrings of a new form of movement politics… [p. 255]