Rethinking Food and Agriculture - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128164105

Rethinking Food and Agriculture

1st Edition

New Ways Forward

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Editors: Amir Kassam Laila Kassam
Paperback ISBN: 9780128164105
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 1st June 2020
Page Count: 312
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Rethinking Food and Agriculture explores the relationship between the two systems and suggests that agriculture systems, whether they are deemed ecologically sustainable or not, are responding to the demands and pressures placed upon it by the food system, industry, government and the economy as a whole, ultimately creating unsustainable programs.

As our agricultural systems are stretched to accommodate producing food for the world’s population, modern diets and lifestyles and other factors are increasingly causing obesity and ill health while a significant portion of the population remains chronically hungry. At the same time, pressures on the natural resource base are closely related to the size and nature of the societal demand for food and feed, and how they are produced, processed, distributed, utilised and wasted, both nationally and internationally.

Rethinking Food and Agriculture proposes a plan to move beyond the current limited view of agro-ecological sustainability towards overall sustainability of the food and agriculture system through a socially responsible system of ‘inclusive responsibility’. Inclusive responsibility encourages ecosystem sustainability based on agro-ecological and planetary limits to sustainable resource use for production and livelihoods. The systems also places importance on quality of life, biocultural diversity, equity and social justice and emphasise the health, well-being, sovereignty, dignity and rights of producers, consumers and other stakeholders, as well as of livestock and the natural world.

Key Features

  • Explores the limits of agricultural sustainability in light of current strategies and practices
  • Presents the relationship between the food system and agricultural systems, and the pressures involved
  • Examines the potential of "inclusive responsibility" in addressing the food security challenge while protecting food production resources in an integrated, multidisciplinary program


Given the multi-stakeholder nature of the book, it is intended for students, academics, professionals, researchers, educationalists, activists, service providers and decision-makers in the public, private and civil sectors, extension staff of development agencies, staff of international and national development and technical assistance agencies

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Setting innovation free in agriculture by Rupert Sheldrake

Chapter 2: Agriculture planted the seeds of alienation from nature by Jim Mason and Laila Kassam

Chapter 3: Political-economy of the global food and agriculture system

by Philip McMichael

Chapter 4: Neo-colonialism and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: A gendered analysis of the development consequences for Africa

by Mark Langan and Sophia Price

Chapter 5: The myth of a food crisis by Jonathan Latham

Chapter 6: Animal Ethics as Critique of Animal Agriculture, Environmentalism, Foodieism, Locavorism, and Clean Meat by Robert C. Jones

Chapters 7: A food system fit for the future by Tony Juniper

Chapter 8: Why change the way we grow, process and consume our food?

by Hans R. Herren

Chapter 9: Two paradigms of science – and two models of science-based agriculture by Colin Tudge

Chapter 10: Paradigms of Agriculture by Amir Kassam and Laila Kassam

Chapter 11: Soil health and the revolutionary potential of Conservation Agriculture by David R. Montgomery

Chapter 12: Climate change adaptability and mitigation in Conservation Agriculture by Emilio Gonzalez

Chapter 13: Will gene-edited and other GM crops fail sustainable food systems? by Allison Wilson

Chapter 14: Sustaining agricultural biodiversity and heterogenous seeds for responsible agriculture and food systems by Patrick Mulvany

Chapter 15: Healthy diets as a guide to responsible food systems by Shireen Kassam, David Jenkins, Doug Bristor and Zahra Kassam

Chapter 16: Knowledge systems for inclusively responsible food and agriculture by Robert Chambers

Chapter 17: Social movements in the transformation of food and agriculture systems by Nassim Nobari

Chapter 18: Alternatives to the global food regime: Steps towards system transformation by Helena Norberg-Hodge

Chapter 19: Co-creating responsible food and agriculture systems by Vandana Shiva


No. of pages:
© Woodhead Publishing 2020
1st June 2020
Woodhead Publishing
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editor

Amir Kassam

Amir Kassam FRSB, OBE, is visiting professor in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading, and a member of the global forum of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Reading, UK

Laila Kassam

Laila Kassam is a social scientist and has been working in rural development since 2003, and since 2009 she has been mainly consulting for the CGIAR and FAO, doing research. Her training and interests are weighted to Volume 2. The two editors have adequate combined strength to manage the overall theme of the book and the specific chapter topics of both volumes.

Affiliations and Expertise

Everyday Justice, London, UK

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