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Home | Philip H. Howard

New Book

Nearly every day brings news of another merger or acquisition involving the companies that control our food supply. Just how concentrated has this system become? At almost every key stage of the food system, four firms alone control 40% or more of the market, a level above which these companies have the power to drive up prices for consumers and reduce their rate of innovation. Researchers have identified additional problems resulting from these trends, including negative impacts on the environment, human health, and communities.

This book reveals the dominant corporations, from the supermarket to the seed industry, and the extent of their control over markets. It also analyzes the strategies these firms are using to reshape society in order to further increase their power, particularly in terms of their bearing upon the more vulnerable sections of society, such as recent immigrants, ethnic minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status. Yet these trends are not inevitable—opposed by numerous efforts, from microbreweries to seed saving networks, this book explores how such opposition has encouraged the most powerful firms to make small but positive changes.

Winner of the Fred Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award, Rural Sociological Society (2016).

Preview of Chapter 1


Buy at: Bloomsbury Powell's IndieBound Barnes & Noble Amazon

Recent Information Graphics

Recent Outreach Articles
  • Beer behemoths struggle to fend off craft brew craze. The Conversation. September 29, 2015.
  • Who owns organic brands? Maybe not who you think. Edible Wasatch, Issue 15 (Winter 2014), 49-51.


Recent Academic Publications
    See Outreach and CV (or Google Scholar; for additional publications.

    Student Publications

    Contact information
    Philip H. Howard
    Department of Community Sustainability
    Michigan State University
    Natural Resources Building
    480 Wilson RD, Rm 316
    East Lansing, MI  48824