How do the authors describe “functional diversity” for food systems? What tends
How do the authors describe “functional diversity” for food systems? What tends to happen with specialized food systems?
How are “tightly connected” food systems bad? How is this problem tied to specialization and scale? How is it an issue for crops and livestock alike? How do spatial connectivity and economic connectivity reinforce one another?
How might decision-making autonomy mediate (be exacerbated by OR disrupt) the connectivity-vulnerability issue?
How has the industrialization of agriculture in the U.S. and Canada led to more genetic uniformity? Explain, using the terms “varieties,” “mechanization,” and “connectivity,” and reference specific examples from the reading.
How can “agreed standards” or “production standards” be harmful to smaller producers?
The authors describe the impacts of highly connected global food systems as being prone to disaster because of the “relationship between biophysical perturbations, vulnerability…, and global trade dependence.” Explain, using examples from the reading.
What do the authors summarize as the 3 major implications of increasing connectivity (p. 465-6)?
What is the evidence for – and what are the drivers of – declining decision-making autonomy?
The authors contrast “high-input methods of production with low-input agroecological methods.”
Briefly summarize the pros and cons of each.
What are the kinds of “stabilizers” that keep the “high-input methods of production” going?
Can we feed the world – or even just North America – with a larger shift back to low-input agroecological methods? Explain.
What are the 4 major suggestions with which the authors conclude the chapter? What do you think?
What does it mean to work at a “landscape scale” – how would that be beneficial?
According to the authors, how is “deregulation” really just “re-regulation”?