Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2009


Published in Great Plains Research 19.2 (Fall 2009): 255-56.


Copyright 2009 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Today’s food system is in need of remaking, to be sure. There is a sense that we have lost our way, as food-related health problems, environmental destruction, and food insecurity call into question the very premises of our contemporary food system. Remaking the North American Food System provides an excellent inventory and assessment of the ways in which people are working to solve these problems in different places and within different modalities. It draws on the vast experience of a number of the key experts in the world of alternative food systems, many of whom are pioneers in the field.

Ranging from assessments of on-the-ground practices to theories of politics and social movements, the chapters provide useful background and detail on a wide scope of alternative food institutions, including farmers’ markets, food policy councils, local food initiatives, and ecolabels. Many of the authors focus both on the ways in which communities can work to strengthen food systems and also the ways local food systems can strengthen communities. In so doing, the book is an apt legacy to the concept of civic agriculture developed by coeditor Lyson, who passed away before the volume was complete.