2nd Edition

Food Wars The Global Battle for Mouths, Minds and Markets

By Tim Lang, Michael Heasman Copyright 2015
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the years since publication of the first edition of Food Wars much has happened in the world of food policy. This new edition brings these developments fully up to date within the original analytical framework of competing paradigms or worldviews shaping the direction and decision-making within food politics and policy. 

    The key theme of the importance of integrating human and environmental health has become even more pressing. In the first edition the authors set out and brought together the different strands of emerging agendas and competing narratives. The second edition retains the same core structure and includes updated examples, case studies and the new issues which show how these conflicting tendencies have played out in practice over recent years and what this tells us about the way the global food system is heading. Examples of key issues given increased attention include: 

    • nutrition, including the global rise in obesity, as well as chronic conditions, hunger and under-nutrition
    • the environment, particularly the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, water stress and food security
    • food industry concentration and market power
    • volatility and uncertainty over food prices and policy responses
    • tensions over food, democracy and citizenship
    • social and cultural aspects impacting food and nutrition policies.

    1. Introduction: The Food Policy Problem 

    2. The Food Wars Thesis 

    3. Diet, Health and Disease 

    4. Food, Environment and Sustainability 

    5. Policy Responses to Food’s Role in Human and Environmental Health 

    6. The Food Wars Business 

    7. The Consumer Culture War 

    8. Food Democracy or Food Control? 

    9. The Future


    Tim Lang is Professor of Food Policy at City University London, UK. He has been a consultant to UN agencies, including auditing the Global Top 25 Food Companies on food and health for the WHO. He was a UK Sustainable Development Commissioner, 2006–11, and has worked closely with civil society organisations locally, nationally and internationally. In 2010 he was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Food Board. He is a frequent commentator on food policy in the media. 

    Michael Heasman is Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing, Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford, UK. He has held academic positions at universities including Alberta, Aalborg, SOAS, Reading and Harper Adams. He is Research Fellow at the Centre for Food Policy, City University London. He has been a consultant to Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, VTT in Finland and CSIRO in Australia.

    "This welcome new edition of Food Wars explores the deepening integration of health and environment in food policy. The authors were prescient 15 years ago in identifying two emerging food system trajectories. Since 2008 battle has been explicitly engaged over meanings of food system sustainability and equity. The updated, well documented synthesis of economy, science, power, consumption, and human relations with our earthly home is an even more valuable guide for students, food system innovators, and policymakers." Harriet Friedmann, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto, Canada and Visiting Professor, Institute of Social Studies (Erasmus University). 

    "Will it be possible to achieve a socially just and environmentally sustainable system of global food production and consumption? The first edition of Food Wars broke new ground in exploring the competing paradigms that underpin modern food systems. This edition tackles today’s most confronting food issues – obesity, hunger, environmental degradation, and corporate domination – providing a critical, nuanced, understanding of contemporary food policy. It is compulsory reading for anyone who cares about the future of food and farming."Geoffrey Lawrence, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Queensland, Australia and President, International Rural Sociology Association. 

    "Food Wars, 2nd edition, is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the battles underpinning global food provisioning. With significantly updated chapters, it intensifies the call and provides a much needed vision to radically change the way our food system is organised and governed."Damian Maye, Reader in Agri-Food Studies, University of Gloucestershire, UK. 

    "What’s so terrific about this book is its basis in theory applied to real-world, cross-cutting food issues involving government, business, and civil society. The authors emphasize the need for all of us to advocate for healthier and more sustainable food systems, for food peace rather than food wars, and to do so now."Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University, and author of Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning).