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The Problem with Feeding CitiesThe Social Transformation of Infrastructure, Abundance, and Inequality in America$
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Andrew Deener

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226702919

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226702919.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2021

The Transformation of the Food System

The Transformation of the Food System

(p.1) One The Transformation of the Food System
The Problem with Feeding Cities

Andrew Deener

University of Chicago Press

This chapter sets up the book's historical and theoretical framework about the changing interdependencies between economic and urban development and the uneven distribution of food. It introduces the concept of infrastructural regime, the underlying sociotechnical machinery stabilizing distinct periods of economic and urban development. In the distinct infrastructural periods, mundane and taken-for-granted ways of making markets and consuming have adapted to shifting conditions. This chapter explains why an investigation of the history of the food system is interwoven with the history of markets, urban settlement, consumption, and changes in the environment. To this end, it provides the conceptual tools for empirically disentangling how and why organizations, technical innovations, and land-use developments crystallized in particular contexts; rearranged the relationships between competing interests and methods for handling product quantities and qualities; and locked in the underlying logic of managing market risk—instead of population health risk—into a vital system.

Keywords:   infrastructural regime, sociotechnical system, complex system, uneven development, mundane knowledge, unintended consequences

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