Farmers, Fairness & the Farm Bill

where issues of producers, policy and equity converge

A Collaborative Research Project with Rural Coalition, National Family Farm Coalition & American University's School of International Service (Washington, DC)

Industrial Agriculture and a Call for a Paradigm Shift

An abundance of publicly available, credible evidence establishes that the current industrial, high input, high externality agricultural system in the U.S. hurts consumers, the natural environment, and the food security of today and the future. This evidence suggests that sustainable and agroecological alternatives are viable, but the U.S. has yet to respond on a large political scale.

In an academic paper I wrote during an International Food and Agricultural Politics course I took last year at American University, I explore explanations for this phenomenon. I address the mainstream explanation of the issue of influence from big agribusiness corporations on politics and the market, and I offer an ideological theory—an explanation for the mainstream explanation. I propose that the true reason behind the lack of large-scale response is a path dependency in the American capitalist paradigm, and I argue that there is a deeper level than politics to be examined: a cultural-philosophical level from which stems the potential for a paradigm shift and widespread social and political change.

I hope it leads you into your own exploration of food and agriculture in the American psyche and how we can shift the paradigm to promise the future of sustainable agriculture.

Community partnered action research on and for U.S. agricultural policy