where does your food come from: graph lovers’ edition


Courtesy of blogreader Orlande (well, now that we are Facebook pals I know her real name, and I never know what to do about things like that—I guess I will respect the anonymity of the screen name, and am thankful hers isn’t something like “Awesumveganearthgoddess”), spend a few fascinating minutes poring over these amazing graphs. They are charts exploring the structure of the organic food industry—who owns who and what giant multi-nationals have organic lines, and much more. I haven’t been to a supermarket for a while, but I was totally blown away by all the mainstream brands with organic lines. Keebler Organic? Hershey Organic????

Have I ever discussed my rage about the super scammy quote unquote “organic” beers made by Anheuser Busch and marketed as independent microbrews? Wild Hop and Stone Mill—yep, they are listed.

Philip H. Howard, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies at
Michigan State University—you are a gem for putting this all together so stylishly. Look at how cool this dude is:

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Community, Food and Agriculture, as well as a graduate course in Research Methods.

My research focuses on the ‘food system.’ The food system involves all of the steps required to produce food and get it to our plates–from farming and processing to distribution and consumption. My work is unified by three main questions:

What changes are occurring?
What are the impacts of these changes on communities?
What can communities do to respond positively to these changes?

I currently have three main projects:

characterizing consolidation in the food system, particularly in the rapidly growing organic sector
exploring inequalities in ‘food environments’ and their potential relationships with health outcomes
studying consumer interest in ‘ecolabels’ as a potential strategy for improving the livelihoods of small- and medium-scale farmers.

Aww, dude, I’m just plain glad you exist. Orlande, you too!

3 Responses to “where does your food come from: graph lovers’ edition”

  1. Joshua May

    I guess, the only real redeeming need I have for those “organic” brands, is when I’m travelling and have a choice between crap, and slightly-better-than-crap. Desperate times/desperate measures and all that jazz. It’s definitely not a habit, though.

    Most of the brands are lost on me, though. I wonder what the landscape looks like down here though – I’d imagine quite similar.

    How do you avoid the supermarket though? Or, do you just mean that you only visit smaller (non-“super”) grocers? Or do you get it all delivered? (Surely not!) I ask, because I find myself back at grocery stores for toilet paper and soy milk and such, and it kind of drags me down.

    • lagusta

      Yeah, I totally feel you about the traveling thing. You gotta do what you gotta do.

      I do go to the supermarket every three weeks or so, but only to buy cat box liners, artichoke hearts (I am addicted to non-organic [the organic ones are like 4 times as expensive] canned artichoke hearts!] and white vinegar and baking soda for cleaning and, well, that’s about it. It helps that there are two great small non-chain health food stores in my town, but what really helps is that I have commercial accounts for things like bulk toilet paper, beans and grains, etc! I admit I have an advantage. :)

      Can you join a food co-op or buying club? That will save money and keep you out of the supermarket, too!

  2. ruby

    Everyone I knew in college had this on the wall of their co-op kitchen.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: