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Jennifer Clapp on Commodifying Food (rebroadcast)

Episode summary

Has the increasing commodification of food and financialisation of the food system left us more vulnerable to food crises? We speak with Jennifer Clapp about the 20th century history of food policy that led us to this moment, how the Covid-19 food crisis is different than previous ones, and how diversity, in all of its forms, is essential to building a resilient food system.

We are publishing this episode again (originally broadcast on 25 March 2021) as it's relevant to our season 2 theme on exploring power in the food system. Jennifer discusses who has the power to shape policy debates, who has economic power, and how speculators are gaining new power in shaping the food system.

[ Transcript available ]


About Jennifer Clapp

Jennifer Clapp is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She is a member of the Steering Committee on the FAO High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, and a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.

Dr. Clapp has published widely on the global governance of problems that arise at the intersection of the global economy, food security and food systems, and the natural environment. Her most recent research projects have examined the political economy of financial actors in the global food system, the politics of trade and food security, and corporate concentration in the global food system.


Background reading (Jennifer Clapp's recent publications)


Food, 3rd Edition (Clapp, 2020)

Speculative Harvests: Financialization, Food and Agriculture (Clapp and Isakson, 2018)


Explaining Growing Glyphosate Use: The Political Economy of Herbicide-Dependent Agriculture (Clapp, 2021)

This food crisis is different: COVID-19 and the fragility of the neoliberal food security order (Clapp and Moseley, 2020)

Precision technologies for agriculture: digital farming, gene-edited crops, and the politics of sustainability (Clapp and Ruder, 2020)


Food security and nutrition: Building a global narrative towards 2030 (Clapp, Moseley, and Termine, 2020)

Impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition: developing effective policy responses to address the hunger and malnutrition pandemic (Clapp, Burlingame, Moseley, and Termine, 2020)

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