- Hardcover: 360 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (April 21 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262036088
- ISBN-13: 978-0262036085
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 726 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #539,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups Hardcover – Apr 21 2017
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If you don't understand why anti-hunger groups hardly ever advocate for higher wages or public health nutrition measures for low-income Americans, see Andy Fisher's analysis: they owe too much to their food-company donors. Big Hunger is a call to action, one well worth heeding.―Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University; author of Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning)
In this groundbreaking work, Andy Fisher details America's approach to rising hunger, and lays bare a modern Orwellian irony: The big food companies whose labor practices have spurred hunger now receive credit―tax, media, and otherwise―for supporting charities to address it. It's an invaluable read.―Tracie McMillan, author of the New York Times Best Seller The American Way of Eating
Big Hunger is arguably the most important book on the American food scene in a decade. A decade ago, the food scene was rocked by The Omnivore's Dilemma. Now we must face a Charitable Dilemma.―Wayne Roberts, author of The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food
Andy Fisher charts how the good intention to end poverty has metastasized into an industry that keeps 50 million Americans hungry. No one is spared in this searing analysis, from corporations to foundations to food banks. If hunger is to be ended in America, the unholy coalitions that currently frustrate, ignore, and try to contain attempts for radical change will need to be blown apart. Big Hunger is a book to burst that bubble.―Raj Patel, Research Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System
If you are an anti-hunger activist, you should read Big Hunger. It may make you mad, and it will definitely make you think. Hopefully, it will catalyze some long overdue and much needed conversations among various wings of the food movement.―Jan Poppendieck, Senior Fellow, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute; Professor Emerita of Sociology, Hunter College
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Through innovation, corporate social responsibility, increased dialogue & communication in the anti-hunger field, and expansion of federal food programs, we can build a healthier, more equitable food system. Bravo on a very critical, thought-provoking book that, as the great Robert Egger voiced, "compels every advocate to evaluate our tactics".
Big Hunger wants more people to ask "why they are poor". It challenges the anti-hunger movement to look at it's history of dumping junk food on the poor in the name of fighting hunger, and of aligning itself too closely with large companies that don't pay their employees enough to avoid the "pantry line". But it also pleads with them to chart a new course, now, before another 30 years of charity go by.
Andy Fischer has certainly done his homework. As an interviewee for the book, I must admit, I wondered how'd he'd approach the difficult task of both challenging the anti-hunger system to look at itself in the mirror, while also providing more than just complaints (however justified they might be). I think he did this nobly, by providing numerous, detailed examples of pursuits and partnerships that should have been avoided (then and now), and working examples of new programs and policies that might finally turn the tide.
For too long we'd tried to feed our way out of hunger. Andy points out that hunger isn't really about food, but social issues like wage, housing, race and incarceration.
I highly recommend Big Hunger, and think that EVERY hunger fighter and food waste warrior, young or old, should read this book, so that they avoid making the same mistakes a previous generation made, with love in their hearts and all good intentions. Truly fighting hunger will take courage, commitment and most importantly, policy changes that give every American / world citizen the tools they need to care for themselves. Big Hunger provides a great blueprint for change.
Along the way, the anti-hunger movement got in bed with big food manufacturing corporations who wanted to look good while getting tax deductions for all kinds of donations, including things like single-serving juice boxes and soda pop. Not surprisingly, talking about issues like unemployment, offshoring, minimum wage, and so forth would make corporate partners unhappy.
Meanwhile, the farm bill’s food stamps turned into SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program). In 1933, food stamps were only for fresh food; now only about 15% of SNAP dollars go to farmers. And the switch to electronic SNAP (EBT) to reduce fraud and stigma also cratered food stamp use at farmers markets.
Sadly, the ACA was a missed opportunity to insist that Big Ag and big food manufacturing corporations face up to their addiction to unhealthy food profits that contribute mightily to ongoing uncontrolled increases in health care costs. The good news is about grassroots awareness and widespread local action.