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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: 16 September 2021

Cracks in the System

Cracks in the System

(p.177) Six Cracks in the System
The Problem with Feeding Cities

Andrew Deener

University of Chicago Press

The mass merchandising system promotes extreme uniformity of products, even among fragile and decomposing objects. However, not all fruits and vegetables make it into the standard merchandising model. This chapter addresses the cracks in the system. It is out of the interstices where exceptions, accidents, avant-garde, and altogether “nonstandard” objects emerge as precursors to shifting distribution relationships. Locational expertise gave rise to the management, assessment, and valuation of object qualities excluded from the supermarket model. Three local distribution channels became pervasive. The first was older wholesale terminals repurposing supermarket rejections for alternative markets. The second was the food banking sector turning mass market excess into new tools for responding to food insecurity. The third was the transformation of local food from a market process outside of corporate standards into a consumer status category and moral economy unto its own.

Keywords:   standards, food banks, food insecurity, food waste, local food

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