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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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Presentation Transcript
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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