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Ep27: Jayson Lusk on Markets and Consumer Power

Episode summary

Agricultural economist Jayson Lusk puts forward a vision of how science, technology and innovation are what we need for a sustainable food future, and what aspects of power he feels are getting in the way of this future. We discuss: whether having more information actually changes what food people buy; why Jayson is excited about venture capital flowing into the food system; and why he disagrees with some of the narratives and policy proposals put forward by the “food movement”. We also touch on some hotly debated topics like agricultural subsidies, GMOs, and true cost accounting..

[ Transcript available ]

About Jayson Lusk

Jayson Lusk is a Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University. He is a food and agricultural economist who studies what we eat and why we eat it. Since 2000, he has published more than 260 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals on a wide assortment of topics ranging from the economics of animal welfare to consumer preferences for genetically modified food to the impacts of new technologies and policies on livestock and meat markets to analyzing the merits of new survey and experimental approaches eliciting consumer preferences.


Background reading and resources

Publications by Jayson Lusk

Book: Unnaturally Delicious (2016) and other books by Jayson Lusk

Article: Evaluating the Polcy Proposals of the Food Movement (Lusk, 2017) 

Article: What consumers dont know about genetically modified food, and how that affects beliefs (Mcfadden and Lusk, 2016) 

Article: Distributional effects of crop insurance subsidies (Lusk, 2016)

Blog: Are farm subsidies making us fat? (Lusk, 2016)

Lunch with Pigou: Externalities and the “Hidden” Cost of Food (Lusk, 2013)

TABLE resources and efforts to facilitate constructive debates

What is ecomodernism (2022), and other TABLE Explainers

TABLE hosted event on advertising, consumption and limits (2022), and more Events

Letterbox series on GMOs in Ethiopia (2021), and other Letterbox


Other relevant resources

TEEB AgriFood Evaluation Framework

R&D Spending, Knowledge Capital, and Agricultural Productivity Growth: A Bayesian Approach (Baldos et al., 2018)

Framing the Farm Bill (Bosso, 2017)


Related Feed podcast episodes

Channa Prakash on GMs, Golden Rice, and the Green Revolution

Julie Guthman on Capital, Tech and Alternative Food

Phil Howard on Corporate Consolidation

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