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Food or War

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Ours is the Age of Food. Food is a central obsession in all cultures, nations, the media, and society. Our future supply of food is filled with risk, and history tells us that lack of food leads to war. But it also presents us with spectacular opportunities for fresh human creativity and technological prowess. Julian Cribb describes a new food system capable of meeting our ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published October 3rd 2019 by Cambridge University Press
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Pennie Scott
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are many explanations as to why the varieties of foods across our planet are diminishing yet the bullying nature of globalisation continues to cause scarcity and tension around food affecting billions of people every day. Until you read Food or War, many still apathetically believe 'that's just the way it is'.
The main reasons for the diminution of (once common) foods include man-made desertification through removal of biodiversity for cash crops, forced relocations of people from their lan
Casey Wheeler
I found the book somewaht interesting, but also disappointing at the same time. The author strives to make the case that the lack of food has been the cause for all wars since the beginning of time. While food scarcity may have contributed to some of them, it was not the major driver as he protrays. He goes into great detail on the subject citing numerous examples. He also does a good job of covering why we are experiencing a food crisis in many parts of the world and the challenges facing us in ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Julian Cribb’s Magical Thinking on Achieving World Peace

Julian Cribb is a science communicator with a novel idea to achieve world peace. He believes that, at the most fundamental level, all conflict on earth is caused by a lack of access to basic resources. His idea is simplistic and not particularly convincing.

Let me begin by stating that I understand that this review verges on the ridiculous, but then again so does this book. If it wasn't published by a serious publishing house I would have sc
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is timely, stimulating and a must read for all serious thinkers on the major existential issue of today. Urban distraction from the precarious state of the world’s food supply and its integral role in migration and war means that, for example the fact that without nitrogen fertilizers produced from fossil fuels, half the world cannot be fed and without gene editing, some pests would overwhelm known techniques of pest control and cause famine. These are today’s expressions of issues that ...more
Peter Day
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Julian Cribb has an unsurpassed breadth and depth of understanding. Earth is his backyard. He understands it, its history and that of mankind, and the melting pot of economic, environmental and social issues in which we bob about.

In 'Food or War' he paints two options for our future, and demonstrates the difficulty and importance of sustainable food production to avoid famine and war. As a solution, Cribb calls for a rethink of agriculture and urban design along ecological lines, recycling wate
Bill D'Arcy
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Do not eat. Die. Nothing to eat. Death. Little to eat. Hunger. Along the way. Fight. For food. There are 7.7 billion human mouths chewing, munching, picking, biting and gobbling three times a day. Where possible. Rising to 9.8 billion fellow citizens by 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. According to the United Nations. Now, as in 2019, one billion people are starving. So says the U.N. Half, 500 million, live in countries afflicted by conflict. Syria, Yemen, The Congo and Myanmar to name some. Add t ...more
Jen Juenke
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a timely read that everyone SHOULD read. Its about our planet, our ability to continue on the path we are on and what we can do about it.
I loved that this book also included water rights, big agricultural business, and wars. I thought it was really well written, researched, and timely.
We as a society MUST change our consumption and throw away mentality.
The other wonderful thing was that the author actually offered up ways in which we can start turning the tide against pollution,
Anastasia Alén
Aug 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
A lot of excellent points but formatting didn't work at all for me.

Food Or War is a very interesting title and together with the cover, it gives you the impression that the book itself would be popular science. Instead, I felt like I was reading an essay or an academic paper. Facts were often jotted down under bullet points and there was a bunch of quite small map figures and the language used was highly academic at times.

I suppose I was expecting this to be something else. I do love the amount
Karalyn Hingston
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At a time when world hunger is on the rise, many countries now dealing with the double burden of malnutrition and the number of climate refugees increasing, this book clearly explains not only the issues and their potential impact, but, more importantly, it details the solutions.
This book is a must read for all who care about humanity.
Razia Shaik
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Food or War details the consequences for the global food supply that humanity faces due to the cascading impacts of climate, resource scarcity, toxicity and other threats – and provides workable solutions. I am convinced that this is going to be one of the most cited books and will be an important source of guidance for future generations. I recommend this book to every single person who loves the planet they live on and cares for the future of their grandkids.”
David Hulme
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
An outstanding review of some of the most crucial risks facing us in the next few years. This time it's about the intersection of human need and human nature when it comes to our basic need for food. Cribb marshalls the facts and delivers valuable advice about remedies. ...more
Kitten Kisser
Feb 23, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business-farming
Food or war? The author sets out to convince the reader that the majority of wars have been fought over food. By cherry picking history, you could conclude that & many other things, but the reality is that for the most part wars are fought for power. To see who has the biggest ding dong. Sometimes as with King Alfred The Great, the wars are fought for religion rather than to see who has the biggest ding dong. King Alfred wanted there to be one "Englaland" all peoples speaking one language & all ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Insane Conspiracy Theories Bring Every Other Claim Into Question. I *wanted* to like this book. I *really* did. The premise is something I'm interested in and could see happening - if we do not solve the global food system and make it truly sustainable for billions of people, the food crises resulting from our failure to solve this problem *will* lead directly to war.

But in Chapter 4 in particular, and in particular the section of Chapter 4 regarding "Food or Poison", the author seriously espous
Nemo Nemo
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Review coming soon.
Helen Ampt
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
FOOD OR WAR by Julian Cribb (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
This extraordinary book offers the key to many things and links questions usually dealt with in separate compartments. The understanding it brings enables the world with its conflicts and politics to be seen in a much simpler light.
Many conflicts revolve around basic needs, especially food. Food production depends on land, soil fertility, water and predictable weather. The methods of industrial agriculture are stressing the very eleme
John M
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is very difficult to read, not because it isn’t well written – quite the contrary, but because it just keeps pounding on one’s mind with a seemingly unending stream of incontrovertible points. Each such point is like another nail in the coffin of ignorance – each like the others, but distinct in its specific nature. One after another! If one wants knowledge about this issue, read the book. In fact, the book should be required reading for those who really want to be prepared for the fut ...more
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
A timely, fascinating, and somewhat confronting treatise on the relationships between land, water, food production, environment and the economic and political drivers of war. While I was not completely convinced by the arguments about the link between food and war, I was impressed with the analysis of our usage and management of resources and the broader historical and geopolitical analysis. It took me quite a while to finish this book as I found the material in each section required time to pro ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book provides an informative view of how food and war are related to each other. The concepts are well-researched and the writing style of the author is easy to read.

People who enjoy multi-disciplinary approach on certain topics will enjoy how this book tackled the historical, political, social, economic, and scientific aspect food.

I will never look at my food the same way after reading this book.
Tim Hanrahan
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great book in terms of understanding the importance of food to our society and it's role in creating conflict. The book rightly focuses on sustainability of human population numbers given the hard limits on resources that we face. Unfortunately, this topic seems to be largely overlooked in most of the environmental debate. ...more
Anne Burbidge
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Read urban farming chapters, intro, not whole thing— very gripping. Regenerative farming and women’s involvement among fixes recommended by author at end of book. Good news: cities could supply all its own food needs by cutting waste and vertical farming, recycling water & nutrients & other intensive farming methods.
Yuen Jian
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
The history parts of the book to me was quite boring but it was really interesting looking at agriculture and food in a economic point of view and I enjoyed the part where the author suggestion some solutions for the future
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Julian Cribb is an Australian author and science communicator.
He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society for the Arts, the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE) and the Australian National University Emeritus Faculty.
His career includes appointments as scientific editor for The Australian newspaper, director of national awareness for CSIRO, editor of several newspaper inc

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