The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World

The End of Plenty The Race to Feed a Crowded World In The End of Plenty award winning environmental journalist Joel K Bourne Jr puts our fight against devastating world hunger in dramatic perspective He travels the globe to introduce a new generation

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  • Title: The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World
  • Author: Joel K. Bourne
  • ISBN: 9780393352962
  • Page: 317
  • Format: Paperback
  • In The End of Plenty, award winning environmental journalist Joel K Bourne Jr puts our fight against devastating world hunger in dramatic perspective He travels the globe to introduce a new generation of farmers and scientists on the front lines of the next green revolution He visits corporate farmers trying to restore Ukraine as Europe s breadbasket, a Canadian aquacuIn The End of Plenty, award winning environmental journalist Joel K Bourne Jr puts our fight against devastating world hunger in dramatic perspective He travels the globe to introduce a new generation of farmers and scientists on the front lines of the next green revolution He visits corporate farmers trying to restore Ukraine as Europe s breadbasket, a Canadian aquaculturist, the agronomist behind the world s largest organic sugarcane plantation, and many other extraordinary farmers, large and small, who are racing to stave off catastrophe as climate change disrupts food production worldwide.A Financial Times Best Book of the Year and a Finalist for the PEN E O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

    One thought on “The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World”

    1. Nothing is more precious than balance, stability, and sustainability. Today, we’re hanging by our fingernails to a skyrocket of intense insane change, and it’s the only way of life we’ve ever known. Joel Bourne has spent his life riding the rocket. He grew up on a farm, and studied agronomy at college, but sharp changes were causing many farmers to go bankrupt. Taking over the family farm would have been extremely risky, so he became a writer for farm magazines. Later, he was hired by Nati [...]

    2. Phew. I don't know enough about the background science to critique any of Bourne's conclusions, but I appreciated the 71 pages of extensively detailed sources in the notes.I highly recommend Richard Reese's review.

    3. This is easily the best book I've read in years! Since agriculture is often in the shadows in our society, it's great to a read a book that describes the history and present state of modern agriculture so well and it's centrality to a stable society. Since I see and talk about obesity so much, I forget how much of the world is food insecure even today and the potential for things to get much worse.Although we seem to live in a post agricultural society, Bourne reminds us we ignore food productio [...]

    4. This book should be required reading for all humans. It looks at the challenge we face of feeding a growing global population off a limited amount of arable land amidst climate change without further wrecking the planet. Bottom line: we need to produce as much food in the next four decades as we have since the dawn of civilization. It's a completely daunting and complicated problem, but Bourne works through it methodically, first outlining the broken promises of the Green Revolution and the extr [...]

    5. Bourne attempts to explain the complex topic of the human challenge of feeding ourselves on a finite planet with an increasing population and the looming menace of drought and coastal land loss from climate change. It's not a pleasant prospect, and he does a good job of explaining the scope of the challenge and the countless obstacles to success. The start and the finish are the best parts, as Bourne uses the early population scientist Thomas Malthus as his focus to set the stage and then finall [...]

    6. After reading this, one will be more inclined to waste less food, and maybe eat less meat? We may not feel the pressures of not having enough to eat yet, but with business as usual food pressure may soon become our reality. Maslow's hierarchy is very real.___Though I love my profession and believe it is fundamental to a functioning democracy, a nation can survive without journalists. It cannot last a day without farmers.Three plants (wheat, rice and corn) provide directly or indirectly (in the f [...]

    7. A farmer boy, majoring in agronomy in college, who then went to the Columbia School of Journalism, the author Joel Bourne is the perfect person to write a book on this pressing problem. He resurrects Malthus's stained reputation, and makes his population theory crystal clear: all other things being equal, the availability of food will control population growth. Period. It's true that Malthus did not anticipate the hybrid seeds and the petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides that made possible t [...]

    8. This book has informed me tremendously and has left me soul searching about the deterrent that capitalism is to our ability to feed the world. Every nation needs people willing to stand up to business and say the buck stops here. I kept notes that will make me feel more confident when I share my 'voice' with Canadian leaders. *Food is a moral right, the first component of social justice*Hunger and food availability are used as political weapons*Clinton's rice policy in Haiti which he later apolo [...]

    9. This book, along with This Changes Everything, should be required reading for everyone. A fascinating and well-written insight into food production, some of which I found surprising, some frustrating, some shocking. I knew little bits and pieces of what's in this book, but am glad to have had the satisfying experience of having it all placed into the big picture, so I now feel like I have a much better understanding of many issues. While this book is downright frightening in some ways, the autho [...]

    10. Best book I've read in a while. Appreciated the commentary on the wide variety of considerations, historical, different geographical locations (china, africa, india to name a couple) and that the author discusses in a mature fairly non-biased lens. It is reasonable discussion (in this way, Naomi Klein's style of argumentative writing comes a little to mind) often neglected agricultural factors are considered and also factors on economics, politics & impacts for development. Woo hoo - this on [...]

    11. Possibly the most important book you can read on the current crises facing our species. This is no joke. Joel Bourne also offers us some lights at the end of the doom tunnel. Not surprisingly GMOs, Organic Farming systems, family-planning, and worldwide education, as well as equal rights for women the world over top the bill for our continued satisfactory existence. it's a scary book, full of facts and figures, but the story is not one that we can ignore.

    12. A very interesting and at times troubling account of the extremely challenge facing us as we try to feed a quickly growing population with the added complication of climate change and not destroying the environment for future generations in the process. Through lots of research Bourne has brought together and described many issues and possible solutions. Scary but also hopeful with stories of farmers and scientists working together to try to help solve the problem. Ultimately the earth can only [...]

    13. This is an important read as face an administration that is determined to reverse policies that we need to keep living on Earth sustainable.In this case, the challenge is feeding a world with a rapidly rising population and an environment under increasing stress.This book is an excellent combination of hard science, anecdotes, history and commentary. Very readable and compelling.I wish more people, especially policy makers, had these issues in mind when they make decisions.

    14. I struggled with this book. Initially i was impressed with the detail and his emphasis on science. however there was a niggling feeling that there was too much emphasis on population control without any serious discussion on education. despite this I still think this book is a good introduction to agriculture abd it's relevance to being able to feed a growing population in a world afflicted with climate change.

    15. A clarion call on our vulnerable but destructive agricultural systems. Radical shifts in agricultural practice will need to occur for civilization to keep feeding people. This book surveys both the problems and the promise inherent in modern agriculture.

    16. The book presents a confronting view on how science and technology advances; and excessive farming, consumption and population; have ravaged the world's natural resources.

    17. End of Plenty caught my eye at the library, because food and water security are issues that really bother me. I like to eat and drink, because it's kind of important for living. And I believe food and drink are basic human rights. So I picked up this book and started reading. The first few chapters struck me as extremely familiar-- I'd read Bourne's National Geographic article a few years back that was either part of his research for this book or the start of it. The book was, by virtue of forma [...]

    18. Wow - the final chapter had some remarkable statistics and ideas. Good read overall.a lot to process.Here are some of my favorite clips:Feeding the world in 2050, in a sustainable manner, will be the biggest collective hurdle humanity has ever faced.Fish farms currently consume 90% of fish oil. 700 of the worlds top water experts conclude that water demand by agriculture will double by 2050at amount of water doesn't exist. "The slow poisoning of the life of the soil by artificial manures is one [...]

    19. Reading this books is a mix of despair and hope, with the balance towards despair, but even a small amount of hope can be powerful. There are many accounts of squandering agricultural resources, of misusing land, and of poisoning. This book takes us through accounts from many places in the world, showing agricultural practices which do not work in the long term, despite some amazing short term benefits, and also looks at other practices which may be more sustainable The importance of long term t [...]

    20. Not too bad. But heard previously about most of the facts, places and people mentioned in this book. The father of the wheat breeding, Nobel prize winner (Piece), Norman Borlaug is mentioned in a few chapters. It doesn't surprise me. After reading a beautiful trilogy by Noel Vietmeyer ( "Right of the Farm", "Wheat Whisperer" and "Bread Winner") on Norman Borlaug's life and work I can understand that every other reader of these books will always remember and want to talk about Borlaug's semi-dwar [...]

    21. A well-researched and impressive look at the difficulties of providing food for the earth's expanding population. The author looks at the "green revolution" created by scientists and large seed and chemical companies beginning in the 60's, as well as various newer attempts to increase the food supply, including organic farms and aquaculture. He is both a journalist and an agronomist, and grew up on a farm, so he has a real understanding of the benefits and problems of modern corporate agricultur [...]

    22. The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World (Hardcover) by Joel K. Bourne from the librarynothing new here"When the demographer Robert Malthus (1766–1834) famously outlined the brutal relationship between food and population," from intro, Malthus counted on patriarchy controlling women's lives forever. He never considered women being equal, being educated, or having reproductive freedom. Neither does this book. Contents: The erstwhile agronomist -- The curse -- Famine's lethal lessons [...]

    23. A great book on an important topic. Mr. Bourne asks timely questions about how we will feed the world in coming years, with population growth exploding, food converted to transportation fuel, the pollution of farmland by big agribusiness, and the impact of climate change. It is a dire problem humanity is facing, but he offered tidbits of hope for things we could do that would help. It made me a believer that a plant-based diet is better for my health and better for the planet. If we ate the grai [...]

    24. An easy read, but an important one. Bourne makes a strong case that we're reaching the end of the green revolution that has pulled most (though not nearly all) of the world's population from the brink of regular famines and starvation. He lays out the different challenges - population growth, pests, crop diseases, global warming, water supply, monoculture agriculture, biofuels, securitization of global food commodities - that are introducing huge new challenges to the global food supply. He addr [...]

    25. "American consumers spend about 14 percent of their daily income on food, most of which is highly processed " p133"Las Vegas alone consumes some 60,000 pounds of shrimp a day " p170"The WHO estimates that 250 million preschool-aged children suffer from vitamin A deficiency. A reliable, affordable beta-carotene source could prevent a third of the deaths of children under five every year -- roughly 2.7 million kids." p238I somehow became obsessed with this book the more I read, but it also manage [...]

    26. Enjoyed the book throughout. I will probably read it a second time because almost even single sentence is like a well researched fact. The book flows nicely between scientific research and one on one interviews going over the environmental impacts of different types of agriculture, food production in a changing climate, and population growth. The book is at times both depressing and uplifting but that makes sense given that food production is outpaced by the world's growth rate unless we make so [...]

    27. a timely, level-headed look at a very hot button subject. Well written and clear even for me. The author is an agronomist and journalist (who writes for National Geographic, among others) and sounds like he knows what he's doing and seeing, and remembers where he comes from (that being a farming family in North Carolina). No academic soapbox nonsense to my ear. Grateful to have found this.

    28. Very interesting. The author stresses the need to deal with these problems urgently,but presents his facts, viewpoints and proposed solutions in a calm and reasoned mannerA good book to give college going kids to read

    29. An agricultural revolution supported our booming population in the twentieth century, but we’ll need another one to sustain us in the years to come. Notable Book List Winner 2016 for Nonfiction. For a complete list of winners, please visit ala/rusa/awards/notabl.

    30. As important as Darwin,s natural selectionShould be required reading in all schools and by religious zealots and anyone seeking political office. Unfortunately, the dye may have already been cast.

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