Reality cheques
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Reality Cheques. Jules Pretty Jeremy Nelson. Real cost of food. We pay for food 3 times… At the store In taxes for ag susidies To clean up environmental/health effects Food is kept artificially cheap

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Reality Cheques

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Reality cheques

Reality Cheques

Jules Pretty

Jeremy Nelson


Real cost of food

Real cost of food

  • We pay for food 3 times…

    • At the store

    • In taxes for agsusidies

    • To clean up environmental/health effects

  • Food is kept artificially cheap

    • Cost-shifting: environmental/health costs are transferred away from food producers and onto consumers


Multifunctionality

Multifunctionality

  • More than a system of food production; impacts economies and ecosystems

    • Makes people healthier

    • Promotes just societies

    • Preserves the earth and life on it

  • 5 assets that ag both relies upon and affects

    • Natural capital: nature’s resources

    • Social capital: relations through mutually beneficial action

    • Human capital: total capability of individuals (knowledge, skills, health)

    • Physical capital: store of human made material resources

    • Financial capital: facilitating role rather than a source of productivity

  • Issue lies in increasing food production while improving positive side-effects and eliminating negative ones


Externalities

externalities

  • Agriculture, as an multifunctional activity, has impacts beyond the market; externalities

    • Thus, costs of externalities not included in food prices

  • Types of externalities:

    • Atmosphere – polluting gas emissions from fertilizers, fossil fuel use, release of carbon trapped in the soil

    • Water – polluting agrochemicals infiltrate ground and surface water

    • Soil – increased erosion and loss of fertility

    • Biodiversity – monocultures replace diverse ecology

    • Humans – agrochemicals poison workers, consumers


Conclusion

conclusion

  • We pay to clean up the environment and ourselves, negating economic benefits of increased productivity

  • Take-home message

    • Our responsibility is to assess all the aspects of farming, not focusing on one to the exclusion of the rest


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