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An Eco-Egalitarian Solution to the Capitalist Consumer Paradox: Integrating Short Food Chains and Public Market Systems

Mario Del Roble Pensado-Leglise () and Andrew Smolski ()
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Mario Del Roble Pensado-Leglise: Department of Territory and Environment, National Polytechnic Institute, Calle 30 de Junio de 1520 s/n, Barrio La Laguna Ticomán, Mexico City 07340, Mexico
Andrew Smolski: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, 334 1911 Building, Campus Box 8107, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Agriculture, 2017, vol. 7, issue 9, 1-15

Abstract: Presently, alternative agri-food networks are in a renaissance, utilizing an economy of proximity to compete against transnational agri-business and food distributors. While this is positive ecologically and socioeconomically, the overreliance on market mechanisms in short food chains has led to class distinctions in food distribution and consumption. The result has been a capitalist consumer paradox exacerbating inequality in the alternative agri-food networks. To resolve this inequality, we focused on how public policy can leverage state investment in public markets to reduce or overcome the capitalist consumer paradox in short food chains. To clarify our argument, we began by examining the benefits of short food chains in the urban food system. Then, we explained how type of consumption and policy regime effect food access. After this, we utilized Mexico City and New York City’s public market systems as representative of an alternative policy regime and the effects of moving away from state-oriented development. We concluded by describing possible conflicts and complements to the integration of public markets into short urban food chains.

Keywords: short food chains; public market systems; sustainable urban food system; eco-egalitarian policy; capitalist consumer paradox (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q1 Q10 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q16 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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