“The Tyranny of the Temporary”

“It took billions of barrels of cheap petroleum, the massive suburbanization of postwar America, the building of the National Defense Highway System, federal policies that tilted the playing field in favor of big producers and long-haul trucking firms, and decades of highly aggressive and dubiously legal monopolistic practices on the part of national chains, among other things, to steamroller the once diverse landscape of American food production and turn supermarkets selling national brands into the only option that’s still available to most Americans on grocery day. Only if those factors are ignored is it possible to think of supermarkets as the natural and inevitable form of a modern food distribution system, or to assume that it will remain frozen in place as all the factors that made it possible dissolve beneath incoming waves of change.”

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