On why food shouldn’t be a good to make profit on, and what can be done about it


“ Technology can resolve a lot of issues faced by agriculture, but it doesn’t address why producers would decide to leave food in the field rather than bring it to market, or why distributors would rather throw out food than deliver it to those in need. Both are absurd facts if your goal is to feed people. But that is not the goal of capitalist food production. Capitalist production is animated by an insatiable drive to profit and accumulate (…) Food can be for exchange or for use. This means, of course, food can be something other than a commodity; it can have a goal other than producing profit. If our goal was to feed people as opposed to profit, what would that entail? At bottom, it would mean changing food from a commodity into a right (…) Freeganism involves the act of reclaiming edible food waste as an act of political critique, demonstrating how capitalist value does not equate to social or biological value. Reclaimed as an ex-commodity, food can return to its use value of satisfying people’s hunger ”

Andrew Smolsky, ‘Capital’s Hunger in Abundance’, Jacobin Magazine


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