New Book: The Neoliberal Diet: Healthy Profits, Unhealthy People

RSS Member Gerardo Otero is publishing a new book that will be available soon.  You can view the book at this link.

Book description:
Why are people getting fatter in the United States and beyond? Mainstream explanations argue that people simply eat too much “energy-dense” food while exercising too little. By swapping the chips and sodas for fruits and vegetables and exercising more, the problem would be solved. By contrast, The Neoliberal Diet argues that increased obesity does not result merely from individual food and lifestyle choices. Since the 1980s, the neoliberal turn in policy and practice has promoted trade liberalization and retrenchment of the welfare regime, along with continued agricultural subsidies in rich countries. Neoliberal regulation has enabled agribusiness multinationals to thrive by selling highly processed foods loaded with refined flour and sugars—a diet that originated in the United States—as well as meat. Drawing on extensive empirical data, Gerardo Otero identifies the socioeconomic and political forces that created this diet, which has been exported around the globe, often at the expense of people’s health.

Otero shows how state-level actions, particularly subsidies for big farms and agribusiness, have ensured the dominance of processed foods and made healthful fresh foods inaccessible to many. Comparing agrifood performance across several nations, including the NAFTA region, and correlating food access to class inequality, he convincingly demonstrates the structural character of food production and the effect of inequality on individual food choices. Resolving the global obesity crisis, Otero concludes, lies not in blaming individuals but in creating state-level programs to reduce inequality and make healthier food accessible to all.

Published manuscript on food self-provisioning

RSS Member Jan Vavra has recently publised a paper based on the international research of food self-provisioning in 5 European regions has just been published in June issue of Rural Sociology. According to my best knowledge, it is one of relatively few international comparisons of socio-demographic aspects of food self-provisioners in countries of Global North. I believe that this might be interesting also for the growing group of researchers dealing with food and rural sociology in US.

Vávra, J., Megyesi, B., Duží, B., Craig, T., Klufová, R., Lapka, M., Cudlínová, E. (2018). Food self-provisioning in Europe: An exploration of socio-demographic factors in five regions. Rural Sociology 83 (2): 431–461. DOI: 10.1111/ruso.12180.


RSS Member's New Publication
Lawrence Busch (under the nom de plume, Mite B. True) has published his new work, The Hole Thing About Sophie.  A link to the amazon page can be found by clicking this link.
Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations
Please see the link below for the Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations from the Administration, which proposes organizing the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Census Bureau, and Bureau of Labor Statistics into the Department of Commerce. Relevant details being on page 62. 
Obituary for Bill Flinn

Flinn, William (1938 - 2018)

William "Bill" Flinn passed away peacefully at his home in Columbus, Ohio on the morning of June 9th surrounded by family. He was born on November 22, 1938 in Piqua, OH to Margorie Marie Flinn and Charles E. Flinn of Houston, OH. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law, William Barber and nephew Charles Barber. After graduating from Houston High School, he went on to earn a B.S. in Agricultural Economics (1960), an M.S. in Rural Sociology (1961) and a PhD in Rural Sociology (1966) all from The Ohio State University. He had a long and distinguished career as a Professor at The University of Wisconsin and The Ohio State University where he received numerous teaching and research awards among other distinctions and honorary positions including a Fulbright Lectureship at the National University in Bogota, Columbia, President of the Rural Sociological Society, Distinguished Rural Sociologist by the Rural Sociological Society, Alpha Gamma Rho Brother of the Century Award and Sigma Delta's Outstanding International Award and Outstanding Research Award. He became the President and Executive Director of the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities in 1980 and remained in that position for over 20 years even though it was initially only supposed to be a short-term appointment. Under his leadership MUCIA enjoyed unprecedented international growth and success. Later in his career he returned to academics and his passion for teaching. He had a full and well lived life traveling the globe and making many friends along the way. He was dedicated to teaching and serving others with love and compassion and was an amazing story teller, the life of the party and a loyal friend and colleague.

Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years, Susan; two brothers Dick (Marla) and Gary (Susan) Flinn; sister Kathleen Barber; brother-in-law Glen Heller (Sandy); daughter Anne Clark and her husband Jim; son Jim Flinn and his wife Sara; five grandchildren Danny, Thomas, Johnny, William and Oliver along with nieces and nephews: Holly Flinn, Heidi McCabe (Tim), Victoria (Brian) McCurdy and Nick Flinn and their families; best friend Bob Caldwell and his family and honorary son Morgan Clark. Per his wishes, no formal services will be held but a celebration of his life at The Varsity Club will be announced at a later date. One last Bill Flinn party.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 11, 2018
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