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Food as a Commons: Reframing the Narrative of the Food System

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Vivero Pol, Jose Luis
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8830
Sector: Agriculture
Subject(s): food supply
common pool resources
Abstract: "Our body demands food (calories), water (liquid) and air (oxygen) to keep its vital functions. Those are the only natural inputs, perhaps with sunlight, that are compulsory to live and nevertheless their economic nature is rather different for each one. Food has evolved from a common good and local resource to a national asset and then to a transnational commodity and the commodification process is rather completed nowadays, dating back from the origins of agriculture. Cultivated food is fully privatized although wild edible animals and plants are still considered commons. Being considered a private good means that human beings can eat food as long as they have the money to but it or the means to produce it, with some of those means also considered as private goods (land, agro-chemicals) although not all (seeds, rainfall, agricultural knowledge). Therefore, no money, no food and that is why hunger still prevails in a world of abundance."

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