09/12/2011 01:51 pm ET Updated Nov 12, 2011

Female Farmers: The New Food Industry Frontier

Men are the seed-sowers and women are the soil -- or so goes the basic premise behind the McElvaine Thesis, which argues that the shift from egalitarian, hunter-gathering societies to agricultural ones led to a revolution in gender norms. How much have these norms evolved since men and women began growing their own food?

Today in the U.S., fourteen percent of farms are now female-owned. Women are overrepresented in every strand of the alternative food movement, and women are the ones making the majority of decisions about what the members of their household eat. So why are shovels still designed for men and chicken feed bags weighing in at 50 pounds?

A few women have set out to change that.

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