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Desrochers on Food: Politically Incorrect, Economically and Environmentally Correct

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 25, 2014

A culture war on college campuses today revolves around the politics of food production. In countless departments (history, sociology, anthropology, geography), and in so-called grievance (race, gender, class) programs, students are bombarded with the SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical) food narrative.

In an attempt to bring balance to the issuePierre Desrochers of the University of Toronto Mississauga  has developed a series of courses and reading seminars that take a broader perspective on the issue. He proceeds by discussing the economic and food safety and security concerns that led to the development of our globalized food supply chain.

Desrochers is author of the influential The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet and a featured contributor at MasterResource. His courses bring together insights about agriculture, business, economics, globalization, cities, and the environment.

A scholar’s scholar, Professor Desrochers’ food-related courses and readings are provided below for all readers to peruse and enjoy:

Food and Globalization deals with general food issues

Recommendations and Suggestions overviews the historical development of our global food economy along with a survey of recent trends and controversies.

Geography of Food: Geographical Patterns and Environmental Impacts examines the geographic patterns and environmental impacts of our food production and distribution systems.

Special Topics in Human Geography: The (Re)Localization of Food Production: Debates and Controversies looks at current proposals to “re-localize” our food system through the (re)development of urban agriculture and shorter supply chains (or “locavorism”).

 Special Topics in Human Geography: Long Distance Trade and Food Security is a reading seminar discussing the advantages and inconveniences of relying on international trade to achieve food security.

Pierre Desrochers is bringing the Julian Simon perspective to a whole new discipline, food studies. He might not be politically correct, but the force of his logic and evidence has made him a world renowned figure in his field.

Professor Desrochers contributions are novel and studied. Expect much more interest and momentum in his ideas in the years ahead. Perhaps even a Nobel Prize will be in this young scholar’s future if future decades build upon the work of his past.

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