These are the CASSE blog articles on food and agriculture.


Recipe for Obesity: Ultraprocessed Foods and Economic Growth

by Gary Gardner

People of a certain age will remember the tagline from the Lay’s potato chip jingle: “No one can eat just one!” Lay’s’ marketing campaign ran successfully for years because it carried a deep truth: The chips are eminently enjoyable, even addictive. Eating them involves a nonstop cycle—hand to bag to mouth—that repeats until the bag holds only air. At least that’s been my Lay’s experience.

The chips’ addictive character did not emerge from Lay’s skill in finding exceptionally tasty potatoes.


The Steady State of Beautiful Bayfield County

by Dave Rollo

Bayfield County, Wisconsin is situated on the shores of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. Deep in the heart of the Great Northwoods, the county is unique in its glaciated beauty. It also happens to be a rare example of a county in harmonious balance between its natural and constructed communities.

Bayfield County has been refreshingly free of growth controversies and displays key attributes that approach the characteristics of  a steady-state county.


Debt, Deficits, and Warranted Money

by Brian Czech

If you recognize the damages done by a bloating economy, you’ll be alarmed by the global GDP meter, which hit the existentially menacing threshold of $100 trillion in 2022. If that doesn’t give you a dose of distress, try the global debt clock. Then, for a dizzying dose indeed, check the casino-like combination of debt and GDP maintained by “US Debt Clock.”

Almost all readers,


Conservative Idaho: Poised to Resist Sprawl?

by Dave Rollo

The USA, Canada, and other countries have long recognized sprawl as a vexing dimension of urban development. Especially challenging is the difficulty creating the public consensus needed for political and planning responses to the problem.

But growing numbers of residents today are expressing their distaste for sprawling approaches to development and are primed to resist it. Perhaps surprisingly, sprawl afflicts a U.S. state better known for its natural beauty and its potatoes: Idaho.


Putin the Heinous Strikes at Global Wellbeing

by Brian Czech

When the name “Putin” is uttered—from now until the end of human utterance—the first thing that should come to mind is hundreds of thousands (and counting) of dead and wounded. Putin has turned a verdant, peace-seeking country into a hell-scape of suffering, including starvation. Let’s not overlook the Ukrainian casualties, now or ever.

Now, Putin is taking an even deeper stride into the annals of infamy by orchestrating one of the most despicable episodes of wanton waste in history: his attack on Ukrainian grain stocks and infrastructure.


Hurricane Ian: A Profoundly Polluting Event

by Brian Czech

If you’re a steady stater, I know what you’re thinking about Hurricane Ian. For starters, of course, you’re deeply concerned about any family or friends you may have in Florida, along with folks in general along Ian’s path. But you’re also wondering, “What about the pollution?”

The marine pollution that accompanies coastal flooding, most notably from violent hurricanes, is probably ignored by the majority of folks,


Homesteading: A Steady-State Counterculture

by Muhammed Al-Refai

A counterculture with a focus on self-sustenance, self-reliance, and lifestyles in harmony with the land and local communities has been steadily brewing. This counterculture is best embodied by modern homesteading, which encompasses a wide range of alternative lifestyles marked by principles such as growing your own food, being a good steward of the land, and keeping strong ties with your local community to help each other build a better life for generations to come.


Biden-Harris Water Security Plan Springs a Leak

by Taylor Lange

The American Southwest is a bit parched at the moment. The region is in the midst of its 23rd consecutive year of drought, its longest and most extensive since 800 CE. The drought is so bad that California’s two largest reservoirs—Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville—reached critically low levels in March, when they should have been at their highest.

The southwestern USA (and Mexico) is not the only place facing water shortages.


The Environmental Consequences of Putin’s War

by Connor Moynihan

Steady-state advocates know that peace is required for a stable and prosperous world. Herman Daly said, “It is hard to imagine a steady state economy without peace; it is hard to imagine peace in a full world without a steady state economy.” Brian Czech emphasized succinctly, “Peace is a steady state economy.” And peace campaigners have long connected their goals to the environment.


War of the Words: Rebranding the “Healthy Economy”

by Mark Cramer

Industries strive incessantly to increase human productivity, often by way of mechanizing or automating tasks. After all, there are limits to purely human energy, strength, and ability. Without more workers, we require technological innovation to overcome these limitations. Fortunately for the pro-growth industries, technology doesn’t earn wages.

Even outside of the workplace, technology takes the place of utilitarian exercise. Long ago, most people hunted and gathered their own food.