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This is the edition with a publication date of 3/18/2013.
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This book provides a broad introductory textbook on food policies in the United States. The chapters cover the agriculture sector, food and beverage manufacturing, food retail and restaurants, and federal food assistance programs for the poor, as well as US policy on international trade in food and food products.While the tone is less polemical than other popular books, it is more lively and contemporary than traditional textbooks of agricultural and food economics. It assumes that the reader's concern is not just the economic interests of farmers, but also includes nutrition, sustainable agriculture, the environment and food security. The author gives accessible explanations of real-world data which remedy the temptation to over-generalize and thus maintains a clear focus on the most important industries and policies. No prior detailed knowledge of economics is assumed. An accompanying web site provides additional resources, including tabulated data and coloured maps. The author's well-known blog on US food policy will also provide a forum for discussion and debate of the issues set out in the book.The author does not aim to promote a particular policy agenda, but does hope to influence the policy debate. He argues that if current policies were more widely understood beyond the small community of food policy experts, political support for reforms could increase. The goal of the book is therefore not only to provide a balanced textbook, but also to make US food policy more comprehensible to those outside the agri-food sector whose interests and aspirations have been ignored.