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Balancing on a PlanetThe Future of Food and Agriculture$
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David A. Cleveland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520277410

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520277410.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Sustainable Agrifood Systems

Sustainable Agrifood Systems

Three Emphases

(p.97) Four Sustainable Agrifood Systems
Balancing on a Planet

David A. Cleveland

University of California Press

This chapter analyzes the three main emphases used in defining sustainable agriculture—economic, environmental, and social. These are compared in terms of natural resources, human nature, internalization of externalities, and risk management, emphasizing differences in value-based and empirically based assumptions. The production function is analyzed in detail, especially its assumptions, because it is the icon of mainstream economics and the economic emphasis in sustainable agriculture. The mainstream perspective on sustainable agrifood systems usually has a strong economic emphasis, while alternative perspectives have different combinations of social and environmental perspectives. Mainstream and alternative perspectives are illustrated by returning to an analysis of the world food crisis.

Keywords:   economic emphasis, environmental emphasis, social emphasis, natural resources, human nature, internalization, externalities, risk management, assumptions, production function

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