Revealing the Middlemen: An Inquiry Into the Market Structure of United States Agribusiness - A Work in Progress Side: 1 of 1
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r UNIVERSITY OF
Discover the power of ideas.
Faculty: Susan B. Eve,
Inquiry Into the Mark
,d States Ag
ruggs, Department of
Department of Sociol
Economics, College of,
ogy, College of Public A
The purpose of this inquiry is to establish the merits of the Food Movement's
objections to the changes in U.S. Agriculture.
With food there are three phases: (1) biological growth; (2) Intermediary
and Value-added Processes ; and (3) Distribution.
Food Inputs and Value- Distribution
There were overlapping changes that could have been more effective with
these changes (Alston, Sumner, and Vosti, 2006)
(1) Technological Innovation
United States Agriculture
The term Agribusiness is applied to agriculture in the U.S. because firms in
the food industry to be corporate and large, a feature unique to the U.S. This
tendency has lead to fewer firms in the market, especially over the last
century (Allen & Abala, 2007).
The Food Movement
Around fifty years ago, issues regarding food began to gain momentum with
a part of the population. The people involved had noticed issues with the
American diet and their concerns have since expanded. Michael Pollan has
developed into a public leader within this group and his book the Omnivore's
Dilemma outlines many key issues this movement champions (2006).
Some New Developments with Links to Food
(1) Obesity Epidemic
(2) Ethanol-based fuel
(3) Changes in livestock raising practices
(4) Environmental Push for Organic Eating
Note that these changes have occurred within the last hundred years, an
astoundingly short period to deconstruct an element of culture which
characteristically establishes itself over long periods of history.
Initially the process of investigation began with uncovering the effects of a
particular emphasis on the negative results, a direction that was inspired b
agricultural subsidies in Michael Pollan's book, the Omnivore s Dilemma,
dietary issues. Overall, the work appears to show some bias with overstate
to agricultural subsidies. Pollan (2006) argued that government policy supn
causing excessive consumption. This idea has gained momentum with mec
academics appear to give the notion credence. The literature regarding this
overlaps, explaining the unlikelihood of a meaningful cause-effect relation
price supports. Fields (2004) indicated that the removal of agricultural sub
food with inputs from support crops rather marginally, and thus, the intuiti,
product could not account for the change in diets. Alston, Sumner, and Vos
detail explaining how other factors such as income effects, technological i
opportunity costs overlap to explain the changes in diet that the U.S. is exr
There is room for work on this link with these other factors as they are sub
reliable standardized measurement. Examining the changes in the aforemei
technological innovations, and increasing opportunity costs in an empirical
of outlaying causes for diet. Also, the writings acknowledge the mystery o
as a key concern.
Moving away from the link with nutrition, agricultural subsidies additional
issues with world trading policies, bio-fuel practices, and famine. Current.
encyclopedia (2007) is serving as an introduction to the practice of what is
research will be pushed toward investigating the intermediary processes to
nutrition, eventually causing a change in the body of literature addressed t(
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Scruggs, Hallie & Eve, Susan Brown. Revealing the Middlemen: An Inquiry Into the Market Structure of United States Agribusiness - A Work in Progress, poster, April 14, 2011; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86743/m1/1/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Honors College.