Kylie Farrell

Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


At first glance, it would not seem that Americans must worry about their country’s current food system. After all, American grocery stores are equipped to accommodate consumers’ needs year-round and at all hours: shelves remain fully-stocked. What is not exactly comprehensible at this moment, is that it is highly possible that the American food system is economically bound to fail in the near future. This paper aims to explore the possibility of eventual failure of the American food system. This potentially looming event could be catastrophic for the United States, thus, this paper coins it as the Food Apocalypse. In this context, the term food apocalypse can be defined as the reconstruction of the current American food system due to its structural failure. Specifically, this paper discusses what food consumption looks like currently for Americans, what it might look like as failure approaches and what American diets might look like post-food apocalypse. Chapter one explains the complexity of the American food system and how it currently operates. Chapter two discusses the history of the American food system, why this system is problematic and why failure is probable. In chapter three, this paper describes the economic implications of what a failing food system might look like to the American public: this includes poverty, shortages, rations and massive economic decline. The aftermath of a failed food system is explained in chapter four. It reveals what the diet of a typical American might look like post-food apocalypse from an environmentally sociological standpoint. Chapter five is concerned with policies that might construct a food system that is truly sustainable in America, so as to avoid another catastrophic event like the food apocalypse.