Friday, January 21, 2011

periodic instability

"When consumers in rich Western nations turn their attention to the failings inthe food system, blame is generally divided, blame is generally divided between food companies, which, we're certain, put profits before all else, and governemtn regulators, who are outmaneuvered or corrupted by that profit-driven power. Yet although this conventional economic narrative does explain some of our food problems, it misses and often obscures those problems' true origins. Today's food crisis is fundamentally economic, but not in the familiar sense that food companies operate for financial gain or that consumers shop for the best price. Rather, the crisis is economic in the sense that our food system can only truly be understood as an economic system, one that, like all economic systems, has winners and losers, suffers periodic and occasionally profound instability, and is plagued by the same inherent and irreducible gap between what we demand and what is actually supplied."

-- Paul Roberts, The End of Food

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