The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It by Julian Cribb is a reminder of the worst things to come unless humankind embarks on a different trajectory. Cribb warns against painful food shortages, water scarcity, displaced populations, collapsed stocks of fish,
and the unilateral failure of megacities by mid-century.
Initially, there will be regional failures due to increased population, greater demand for resources, a dwindling supply of fresh water, land scarcity, overextraction of minerals, soil erosion, ocean acidity, and the coming climate change.
Essentially, Cribb believes that there can be no peace in the world until people address the food shortage problem forthrightly. Food First by Lappe’ has a series of strategies aimed at doing just that. The solution, according to Lappe’ is to de-corporatize food production and place the function and the technology back into the hands of millions of local farmers and neighborhood food growers.
Cribb provides another solution for dealing with food shortages. He points out that a kilogram of beef depletes 3900 gallons of water; whereas a single tomato can be grown utilizing only three gallons of water. Vegetable production yields more food per acre than legumes, cereals, and beef. In short, vegetables have the power to feed the hungry worldwide, reduce poverty, and conserve water production.
The Coming Famine teaches an important lesson about conserving scarce resources on earth before growing populations are harmed irreparably by the upcoming scarcities.