Agrarian ideology—the celebration of farming and rural life for the benefit it brings to individuals and the nation—has become part of a widespread national discourse about what we eat and how we live. This essay examines major tenets of new agrarian thinking and offers a critique of many of the assumptions that underlie the new agrarian movement. The author argues that incremental changes in consumer behavior can only achieve incremental improvements in the food system and that true systemic change depends on a fundamental alteration of in federal agricultural policy.

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