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The Secret Financial Life of Food: From Commodities Markets to Supermarkets (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Hardcover – December 4, 2012
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The Secret Financial Life of Food is of benefit to anyone who is involved in the food industry, including growers, processors, consumers, and even professionals in the culinary arts. It also has appeal for those of us who buy and sell commodity futures, helping us gain a better understanding of how the markets have evolved.(Alan Bush, senior financial futures analyst, Archer Financial Services, Inc.)
Interesting, thought-provoking book for food aficionados.(Booklist)
Those who are interested in the history of the "food" commodity markets will find many treats in Newman's book.(Brenda Jubin Seeking Alpha)
a refreshing and much-needed look from a different perspective: food as commodity.(James Norton Washington Post)
Top Customer Reviews
Looking at the series of global trade that lies at the heart of much of what we eat, the author considers the various commodities that are sold such as coffee beans and pork bellies and looks at the impact that this can have throughout the chain from producer right through to the end consumer. Commodity trading over time has helped shape our culinary habits and traditions - wars and regime changes have happened even, as residents of Boston who threw lots of British tea into the harbour can show, all due to a precious foodstuff being traded.
Commodity trading is not just limited to the current "daily" price either, as many traders deal in "futures" (future event pricing) and the author has traced such futures trading in grain back to Biblical times. The book's primary focus is on commodities trading from a United States-perspective, looking back at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)'s foundation in 1848 and the various splits and consolidations that have occurred since that time.
A smattering of history is, of course, contextually necessary and a welcome addition but since the author has given such a great write up on a subject that is not such a "general interest" topic, hopefully there is scope for a second volume, considering perhaps the development of the world through technology and commodity trading?
Each key commodity gets its own chapter and it is interesting to compare and contrast the various developments in commodity trading and their impacts to producer, wholesaler and end-user too, both in isolation and in a general overview. Of course, in the latter decades the world has got a lot smaller thanks to air travel and containerised shipping.Read more ›
I wish more people understood how the 'financialization' of food came to be and how it influences our food systems. It really is critical in understanding how we got to where we are now and shaping where we go from here.