Jayson Lusk, Purdue University, USA
Jayson Lusk is a food and agricultural economist who studies what we eat and why we eat it. His book The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto about the Politics of Your Plate, is a critical account of food and agriculture economics. Following many years of studying food regulation and comparing costs and benefits of the policies in question, Lusk grew disenchanted with a movement that he feels ignores the realities facing most American consumers and farmers. Lusk argues that the “food elite” in America have made food more expensive—putting lower-income consumers at a disadvantage—and prevented us from taking full advantage of emerging technologies in the food industry. In his book, Unnaturally Delicious: How Science and Technology are Serving Up Super Foods to Save the World (2016), Lusk writes about how technology and agriculture can work together to help solve the world’s largest food issues and improve our farming system.
Since 2000, he’s published more than 190 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals on a wide assortment of topics ranging from the economics of animal welfare to consumer preferences for genetically modified food. Often listed as one of the most prolific and cited food and agricultural economists of the past two decades in a variety of outlets, Lusk has won numerous research awards, given hundreds of lectures, and has been interviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fox and Friends, the John Stossel Show, and Wall Street Journal Live, among others.
Lusk has served on the editorial councils of eight academic journals including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and Food Policy and consulted for various nonprofits, government agencies, and agribusinesses. He’s further been honored by being elected to and serving on the executive committees of the three largest U.S. agricultural economics associations, including most recently the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, which he is currently the president.
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