chapter  28
16 Pages

Family farms, class, and the future of food

ByElizabeth Ramey

Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff's efforts to breach the doorstep of the household and bring the insights of their class analytical framework to bear on contemporary families have produced a unique Marxist-Feminist theoretical framework. Its very significance, however, suggests the importance of engaging the movement respectfully, but critically. Local food is about more than just geographical proximity between food production and consumption. It is a complex and comprehensive alternative vision in which the local is not only intrinsically valuable, but is also a means to an end of a variety of other goals. Disparate concerns for the problems of rural life coalesced into what became known as "the farm woman problem". The burdens of the farm wife's job, it seemed, were creating a shortage of farm women and thereby threatening the survival of the family farm. In fact, the "farm woman problem" was actually a "feudal woman problem", exacerbated by harsh conditions of farming and rural life at the time.