Synopses & Reviews
throws a cold shower of reality over the dream of organic agriculture in California, demonstrating all that is lost when organic farming goes industrial. This is a challenging book, and until we can answer the hard questions Julie Guthman poses, a genuinely sustainable agriculture will elude us."and#151;Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
"Agrarian Dreams puts organic agriculture in a broad intellectual, social, and theoretical context in a readable way. Nobody has written at this scale and scope about organics. The availability of this basic data and interpretation will open discussion to a broad range of citizens, scholars, and decision makers. This is an outstanding work."and#151;Sally K. Fairfax, Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor of Forest Policy, University of California, Berkeley
"Guthman takes on the sacred cow of organic agriculture: that farmers and consumers can transform our food system simply through by adopting new philosophies of eating, farming and nature. With an analysis that is at the forefront of agrarian theory today, she shows that organic farmers, no matter what their philosophy, have to work under the economic gun of markets and land prices. As a result, organic growers in California are forced to become increasingly industrialized, unjust and unhealthy. Her analysis is proof that it will take more than new kinds of thinking to create sustainability in our food system."and#151;Melanie DuPuis, author of Nature's Perfect Food: How Milk Became America's Drink
In an era of escalating food politics, many believe organic farming to be the agrarian answer. In this first comprehensive study of organic farming in California, Julie Guthman casts doubt on the current wisdom about organic food and agriculture, at least as it has evolved in the Golden State. Refuting popular portrayals of organic agriculture as a small-scale family farm endeavor in opposition to "industrial" agriculture, Guthman explains how organic farming has replicated what it set out to oppose.
About the Author
Julie Guthman is Associate Professor of Community Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
1. Agrarian Dreams
2. Finding the Way: Roads to Organic Production
3. Organic Farming: Ideal Practices and Practical Ideals
4. California Dreaming: Californiaand#8217;s Agro-Industrial Legacy
5. Organic Sediment: A Geography of Organic Production
6. Conventionalizing Organic: From Social Movement to Industry via Regulation
7. Organic Regulation Ramified
8. The Agrarian Answer?
Glossary of Key Terms