Remembering the commons and reinvigorating them


  • Krishnendu Ray New York University



Commons, Governance, Food System, Sustainability, Sovereignty, Public Good, Real Utopias


First paragraph:

The Routledge Handbook of Food as a Commons proposes a normative view of what food ought to be, in the process highlighting instances where and when that potential has been actualized. Food currently is an object to sell and extract pri­vate value rather than social sustenance. This book proposes that food be reconceptualized against its long liberal and recent neoliberal history as prop­erty, making a persistent argument about decom­modifying food in 24 detailed chapters. It is in re-commoning that the more than two dozen authors of the book—many of them leaders in their field—find better, alternative ideas about the right to food, global public good, food justice, and food sovereignty. They highlight how food as a com­mod­ity is currently characterized by its tradable features (appearance, calorie, price, packaging, purchasing power, taste, etc.), thereby denying its non-economic values. It asks two central questions: what would good policies look like if we build on the assumption that food should be the commons, and how do we get there?


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Author Biography

Krishnendu Ray, New York University

Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

Cover of Routledge Handbook of Food as a Commons



How to Cite

Ray, K. (2021). Remembering the commons and reinvigorating them. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 11(1), 215–217.