The idea of food as a commons

Multiple understandings for multiple dimensions of food

Authored by: Jose Luis Vivero-Pol

Routledge Handbook Of Food As A Commons

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138062627
eBook ISBN: 9781315161495
Adobe ISBN:


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Food has been defined as a commodity (Bush, 2010; Bahel et al., 2013), a commons (Dalla Costa, 2007; Karyotis and Alijani, 2016), a public good (Akram-Lodhi, 2013; Agyeman and McEntee, 2014), a private good (Samuelson, 1954) and a human right (Ziegler, 2001; De Schutter, 2014). Moreover, food has been recognized as an important cultural element (Van Esterik in this volume) and a power device (Frye and Bruner, 2012). Actually, food can be understood as a network of meanings (Szymanski, 2016), some of which may even be contradictory (e.g., how can food be a right and a commodity at the same time if rights are not tradeable?, or how can food be a basic need and a cultural determinant if human needs are basically equal and universal?).

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