2nd Edition

Food Policy in the United States An Introduction

By Parke Wilde Copyright 2018
    276 Pages 78 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    276 Pages 78 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This new edition offers a timely update to the leading textbook dedicated to all aspects of U.S. food policy. The update accounts for experience with policy changes in the 2014 Farm Bill and prospects for the next Farm Bill, the publication of the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the removal of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for trans fats, the collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty, stalled child nutrition reauthorization legislation, reforms in food-labeling policy, the consequences of the 2016 presidential election and many other developments. The second edition offers greater attention both to food justice issues and to economic methods, including extensive economics appendices in a new online Companion Website.

    As with the first edition, real-world controversies and debates motivate the book’s attention to economic principles, policy analysis, nutrition science and contemporary data sources. The book assumes that the reader's concern is not just the economic interests of farmers and food producers but also includes nutrition, sustainable agriculture, food justice, the environment and food security. The goal is to make U.S. food policy more comprehensible to those inside and outside the agri-food sector whose interests and aspirations have been ignored.

    The chapters cover U.S. agriculture, food production and the environment, international agricultural trade, food and beverage manufacturing, food retail and restaurants, food safety, dietary guidance, food labeling, advertising and federal food assistance programs for the poor.

    The author is an agricultural economist with many years of experience in the nonprofit advocacy sector, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as a professor at Tufts University. The author's blog on U.S. food policy provides a forum for discussion and debate of the issues set out in the book.

    1. Making food policy in the United States

    2. Agriculture

    3. Food production and the environment

    4. Food and agricultural trade

    5. Food manufacturing

    6. Food retailing and restaurants

    7. Food safety

    8. Dietary guidance and health

    9. Food labeling and advertising

    10. Hunger and food insecurity

    11. Nutrition assistance programs for children

    12. Looking forward


    Parke Wilde is a food economist and professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston, USA. Previously, he worked for the Community Nutrition Institute and for USDA’s Economic Research Service. He received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University, USA. At Tufts, Parke teaches graduate-level courses in statistics and U.S. food policy. His research addresses food security and hunger measurement, the economics of food assistance programs and federal dietary guidance policy. He is a director of the Tufts/University of Connecticut Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. He has been a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Food Forum and of the research committee advising AGree, a national food policy initiative. He is on the editorial board for Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy and keeps a blog at usfoodpolicy.com.

    "Parke Wilde provides an indispensable introduction to U.S. food policy, and he helps shed much needed light on some of the complexities of the modern agriculture system and how it is affected by food and farm policy. Although I am less sanguine than Wilde about the ability of food policy to provide major fixes, he helps provide a solid foundation and framework for understanding the merits and demerits of food policy proposals." - Jayson Lusk, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, USA

    "Parke Wilde’s new second edition provides an excellent foundation for my course in Agricultural and Food Policy. I greatly appreciate the diverse viewpoints considered and the broad range of topics covered." - Larry Lev, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University, USA


    Reviews of the first edition

    "Food Policy in the United States is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how our food system really works or to take action to change it. Professor Wilde provides a tough but balanced and decidedly nonpartisan overview of the facts behind the full range of policy areas – among them agricultural support, safety, dietary guidance – that affect food production and consumption. If you want to join the food movement to improve the system, here’s how to find out where to start." – Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and author of Food Politics

    "More than ever before, those of us who care about U.S. nutrition policy recognize that we need to pay attention to a whole wide world of policy and economic issues – including farm policy, food manufacturing, supermarkets, anti-hunger programs and more. For my students--and my colleagues--it can seem daunting! Without oversimplifying, Food Policy in the United States opens the doorway to these broader conversations and debates." – Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., Nutrition scientist, professor, and best-selling author of the Strong Women book series

    "This is a very engaging book on the key issues of the food systems and policies today. The topics and material make an excellent foundation for classroom discussion and learning. Parke Wilde asks provocative questions throughout that help to engage the reader and reinforce the importance of trying to understand the economic factors and policy process. I look forward to having this book available for students!" – Helen H. Jensen, professor of economics and head of the Food and Nutrition Policy Division at the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University

    "Substance beyond many populist food politics-type books which have surged over the past decade distinguishes Dr. Wilde's contribution. His knowledgeable approach to underlying market (and government) failure which motivates the food policy topic of concern comes from his own background and experience in academia, government and working with NGOs. Occasional notes on advocacy come as a refreshing "so what" for the reader." – Neal Hooker, Professor of Food Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Ohio State University