Mmm, financialized food

You don’t get cheap meat without cheap feed. And you don’t get cheap feed without cheap grain. That’s the basic equation in the “feed-meat complex,” which is so heavily underwritten in the US by the subsidies in the Farm Bill. It’s part and parcel of the whole “American dream” promise (a chicken in every pot, a roast on the table) and the “development” narrative that assumes an inherent link between growing prosperity and the lust for animal protein.

Here’s the further spin on things: there’s so much capital sunk into the feed-meat complex at this point that it has taken on huge economic momentum of its own, with banks and investors pushing for continued expansion even when that contradicts their own climate policies. Sophie Kevany in the Guardian unpacks this really clearly in an article today.

This is the “financialization of food” in action, with speculative investments increasingly driving decision-making all the way back up the food chain no matter the consequences for animals, farmers, or the planet.

3 months ago

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