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  • Writer's pictureJulian Cribb

The Coming Famine: the global food crisis and what we can do to avoid it

Updated: May 10, 2021

In The Coming Famine, Julian Cribb lays out a vivid picture of impending planetary crisis--a global food shortage that threatens to hit by mid-century--that would dwarf any in our previous experience. Cribb's comprehensive assessment describes a dangerous confluence of shortages--of water, land, energy, technology, and knowledge--combined with the increased demand created by population and economic growth. Writing in brisk, accessible prose, Cribb explains how the food system interacts with the environment and with armed conflict, poverty, and other societal factors. He shows how high food prices and regional shortages are already sending shockwaves into the international community. But, far from outlining a doomsday scenario, The Coming Famine offers a strong and positive call to action, exploring the greatest issue of our age and providing practical suggestions for addressing each of the major challenges it raises.

Published by University of California Press, 2010


“The sheer number of terrifying facts make the book gripping.”—Mark Bittman, New York Times Book Review

“All of us interested in a sustainable food system should read this book and become part of the conversation to determine how we can best redesign the global food system to meet the challenges ahead.”—Audubon Magazine

“Makes clear just how intertwined global warming is with food security.”—Chronicle Of Higher Education

“Cribb . . . advocates making much better use of our brains and investing much more in improving both small and large-scale agriculture.”—Stephen Booth, Law Society Journal

"Cribb writes both eloquently and accessibly. . . . The book is well structured for its target audience of a general public."— Oscar Forero, Human Ecology

“Julian Cribb presents a smart and compelling description of the challenges our children will likely face as the world’s growing population and our shrinking resources collide.”—Rich Heffern, National Catholic Reporter

"Julian Cribb warns with a well synthesized evidence base about a potential famine in the making. The food crisis is already daily reality for one billion people. The book is not just a warning but offers sound guidance for the needed actions; easily understandable but suitably comprehensive, leaving no excuse for inaction."—Joachim von Braun, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute "The Coming Famine is an erudite and learned analysis of humanity's greatest challenge. At this very minute we are jeopardizing the rights to food for a billion people, and the effects will be felt by us all through migration, dietary changes and increased health risks, whether we believe it or not. This is a book all thinking people should read."— Lindsay Falvey, University of Cambridge

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