Addressing broad issues of production, distribution, and consumption, the seven essays in this volume introduce readers to recent anthropological work in food policy. They show how information gathered from anthropological field work - especially at the individual family and community level - can help professionals plan and assess policies. Ranging from a study of nomadic livestock herders in sub-Saharan East Africa to a survey of United States food aid to Latin America, the works collected in "Anthropology and food policy also discuss studies conducted in rural and urban centers in Mexico, Ecuador, and Honduras; at a farming systens research and extension project in Malawi; and in villages in the Sudan. Among the issues discussed are the frequent sacrifice of nutrition goals for increased crop production levels, the need to implement explicit nutrition goals rather than view them as a by-product of other goals, and the recognition of heterogeneity among individuals affected by food policies.
The studies also cover such topics as the improvement of existing food systems as opposed to the introduction of new methods and materials, the use of anthropological research to complement or correct economic measures of market efficiency, and the evaluation of policies based on available rather than total incomes of families. The contributors clearly show that the world's social, political , and economic systems are as varied as its climate and terrain. "Anthropology and food policy" complements recent food policy publications of the World Bank and suggests the many ways that anthropologists can help agriculture, food, and nutrition specialists; economists; and government officials in the struggle against world hunger.