chapter  11
18 Pages

Neoliberalism and Local Food Systems: Understanding the Narrative of Hunger in the United States

At first glance the question seems trite and its answer simple. Most people feel hungry at some point during the day and satiate the sensation with a quick trip to the refrigerator, grocery store, or restaurant. Perhaps feeling hungry reminds people for a moment during their hectic routines that they must stop and pay attention to the needs of their bodies. But in all likelihood, the ease with which most people satiate hungry feelings disguises the true relation between their material bodies and the political economy in which the food they consume is produced and distributed. This stems from the fact that most people in cities of the developed world eat on a regular basis. Children who did not grow up on farms likely believed that food came from the refrigerator; as adults, their understanding has changed little as they now fail to think about its origins beyond the grocery store. Karl Marx referred to the obfuscation of the sources of food and the conditions of its production as commodity fetishism (1976).