Plotting the Future of Food


Amidst the rising acrimony over how we expect to feed ourselves in the next 50 years, three main schools of thought and strategy emerge. Two remain devoted to technological innovation, driven by corporate investment and international competition. A third proposes something more dramatic: configuring a food system integrated with the life of natural and human communities.

"Food policy can be understood as a tension between three competing paradigms.The dominant paradigm - that we term the Productionist Paradigm - came to full dominance during the last 50 years of the 20th century. Its core ethos is 'production almost at all costs.' This is now giving way before two big new agendas. One is premised on integrating the Life Sciences into food policy ....The other paradigm ... roots food supply in social and ecological needs.

"A new Agricultural Policy Framework agreement ... presents a unique opportunity at both the provincial and federal levels to argue for the inclusion of more progressive policies towards the rural economy, agriculture, and other aspects of food supply. But the future of food policy is as much about the battles for the mind as for markets and products. We need to think through and develop a wider range of solutions to the hard choices looming in the next 10-20 years to see us through to the midcentury."

Putting ecologically-driven, community-based policy at the heart of Canada’s food economy
Heasman, Michael
Lang, Tim
Publication Date: 
Stock #: