Feeding the World: A Challenge for the Twenty-First Century by Vaclav Smil, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Feeding the World: A Challenge for the Twenty-First Century

Feeding the World: A Challenge for the Twenty-First Century

by Vaclav Smil
     
 
This book addresses the question of how we can best feed the ten billion or so people who will likely inhabit the Earth by the middle of the twenty-first century. Vaclav Smil asks whether human ingenuity can produce enough food to support healthy and vigorous lives for all these people without irreparably damaging the integrity of the biosphere.

This book differs

Overview

This book addresses the question of how we can best feed the ten billion or so people who will likely inhabit the Earth by the middle of the twenty-first century. Vaclav Smil asks whether human ingenuity can produce enough food to support healthy and vigorous lives for all these people without irreparably damaging the integrity of the biosphere.

This book differs from other books on the world food situation in its consideration of the complete food cycle, from agriculture to post-harvest losses and processing to eating and discarding. Taking a scientific approach, Smil espouses neither the catastrophic view that widespread starvation is imminent nor the cornucopian view that welcomes large population increases as the source of endless human inventiveness. He shows how we can make more effective use of current resources and suggests that if we increase farming efficiency, reduce waste, and transform our diets, future needs may not be as great as we anticipate. Smil's message is that the prospects may not be as bright as we would like, but the outlook is hardly disheartening.

Editorial Reviews

Dennis T. Avery
An extremely important and well-done book, produced by one of the few people in the world with the global and interdisciplinary professional breadth to write it.
— Center for Global Food Issues, Hudson Institute

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262194327
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
04/03/2000
Pages:
390
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Norman Uphoff
Smil has written a remarkably broad and thorough book. Its extensive factual analysis is enlivened by evaluative opinions. While not everyone will agree with all his arguments, all will find the exposition highly informative, valuable,and challenging.

Dennis T. Avery
An extremely important and well-done book, produced by one of the few people in the world with the global and interdisciplinary professional breadth to write it.

Per Pinstrup-Andersen
This work is based on the best available empirical evidence, and it presents, in my opinion, a balanced and science-based assessment of the future world food and environment situation. The topic addressed is extremely important for current and future generations. Much of the existing literature is ideologically biased. This book is not.

Gerhard K. Heilig
Rich in facts, balanced in its analysis, and well-written, Smil's book is awelcome relief from the doomsday literature that has dominated the field forfar too long.

From the Publisher
"An extremely important and well-done book, produced by one of the few people in the world with the global and interdisciplinary professional breadth to write it." Dennis T. Avery, Center for Global Food Issues, Hudson Institute
Wes Jackson
Once again Vaclav Smil's assiduous smithing of numbers and interpretation of results profoundly inform us as we deliberate on how to buy time in a hungry world.

Meet the Author

Vaclav Smil is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba.

He is the author of more than thirty books, including Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken from Nature and, most recently,Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing both published by the MIT Press. In 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2013 Bill Gates wrote on his website that "there is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil."

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