Sean Gillon, food systems & society faculty, published an article examining the politics and economic dimensions of “flex crops” in the January 2016 issue of Journal of Peasant Studies: Critical Perspectives on Rural Politics and Development.
The Journal of Peasant Studies is one of the top-ranked journals in the fields of anthropology and in planning and development, according to Thomson Reuters’ 2015 journal citation reports. “It’s a journal that is consulted by both academics and activists,” Gillon said.
Gillon’s article, Flexible for Whom? Flex Crops, Crises, Fixes and the Politics of Exchanging Use Values in U.S. Corn Production, is part of a special issue focusing on flex crops and commodities that emerged out of conversations at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2014.
“Flex crops are crops that are used for multiple purposes; for example, corn is used for food, feed and fuel,” Gillon explained. “The intent of the conference was to think systematically about the trends and implications of the increasing use of several crops for multiple uses in order to inform future research and advocacy.”
Gillon’s article focuses on corn production in the United States.
“Flex crops may provide flexibility and financial benefit to well-positioned, economically powerful actors in the food system that have the capacity to make decisions about crop use allocation, but also exacerbate global food insecurity and do little to mitigate or adapt to climate change,” Gillon said.
Sean Gillon is a member of the faculty in the Department of Food Systems & Society at Marylhurst University, offering a master’s degree with a focus on issues surrounding food justice. He has conducted interdisciplinary research on a wide range of food systems topics, managed small farming operations, engaged community food groups working toward social justice, and founded and served as director for nonprofit organizations.