The Joy of Decommodification: A Cartographic Cookbook

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In this cookbook, we observe the ways in which the agricultural system and landscape of the United States are influenced and affected by the commodification of corn and soy. In researching a system that is defined by privatization and displacement, material transformation, and negative external effects, we hope to draw back the polished curtain of modern capitalism and offer a critical view of the realities caused by commodification. To do so, we utilize Marx’s theory of the fetishization of the commodity. In his writing Marx says that, “A commodity appears, at first sight, a very trivial thing, and easily understood. Its analysis shows that it is, a very queer thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.” We argue that this definition of commodity strongly applies to corn and soy. In the second half of the book, we offer “recipes for resistance” that aim to confront the commodification of food and offer forms of resistance to that cycle.

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Student contributors: Claire Conner, Makayla Davis, Adrian
Farhat, Kristiana Gresham, Jack Gruber, Emily Loomis, Colin
Martinez, Molly McCahan, Roshni Nair, Mann Patel, Marley
Renner and Brad Reuschling