Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

Good article this morning about Raj Patel's new book on the global politics of food, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. And another one to add to your must-read list.

Patel's book sounds like a combination of Naomi Klein's sharp critique of corporatization in No Logo and an insider view of the politics of agriculture, development and food production. In reading about it, I'm struck again by the realization of how political our consumption habits are; those of us in the affluent West in particular I think have the luxury of being oblivious to this, but it's important to soak up this kind of scholarship as a sort of reawakening when we too easily slide into taking our consumption habits for granted. What, and how, we eat is political! Period.

The politics of food are ugly and intricate; the combo of globalization and sociology and colonialism and corporate power is overwhelming and threatens to loom even further in the coming months as food prices rise. Do yourselves a favor and pick up this book. It certainly doesn't look like beach reading, but it seems to be a prescient analysis of an increasingly muddy global food crisis.

Raj Patel's "Starved" Offers Food For Thought (SF Chron)


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