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

March 2, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Joel Bourne with is book, The End of Plenty The Race to Feed a Crowded World

The Slow Food Russian River Book Group will be discussing the book The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World (New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2015) by Joel K. Bourne Jr. on Thursday, February 2, 2017.

To RSVP email the Book Group at sfrrbookgroup@gmail.com.  The Book Group is open to anyone who can read, loves cooking a dish, and likes a good conversation.

The Book Group meets the first Thursday of the month, 7 – 9pm in Sebastopol. It’s a convivial dinner. Please bring a dish for four and a beverage.


To be a member of the Book Group you don’t need to be a member of Slow Food, although – of course – we hope that with time you will become one.

Table of Contents

The curse — Famine’s lethal lessons — The green revolution : food, sex, and war — The plight of the punjab — China : landraces and Lamborghinis — Food, fuel, and profit — The gauntlet — The blue revolution — Back in the USSR — The blooming desert — Magic seeds : feeding shareholders or the world — Organic agriculture feeding the rich or enriching the poor — The Malawi miracle — The grand desiderata.


“In The End of Plenty, award-winning environmental journalist Joel K. Bourne Jr. puts our race to feed the world in dramatic perspective. With a skyrocketing world population and tightening global grain supplies spurring riots and revolutions, humanity must produce as much food in the next four decades as it has since the beginning of civilization to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe. Yet climate change could render half our farmland useless by century’s end. Part history, part reportage and advocacy, The End of Plenty is a panoramic account of the future of food, and a clarion call for anyone concerned about our planet and its people.”– Amazon.

From the website of the author, Joel K. Bourne Jr.

With skyrocketing population and tightening grain supplies spurring riots, revolutions, and immigration around the globe, experts now say we must grow as much food in the next four decades as we have since the beginning of civilization to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe. Yet climate change could render half our farmland useless by century’s end. Bourne takes readers from his own family farm to international agricultural hotspots to introduce a new generation of farmers and scientists engaged in the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. The stakes could not be higher.

Urgent and at times terrifying…Joel Bourne’s richly researched and passionately argued report is a wake-up call, and also a call to action.
Hampton Sides, author of In the Kingdom of Ice

Joel Bourne shows how food supplies will present a strategic challenge for America’s national security in the coming years. The time for action is now–and the consequences for failing to heed Bourne’s advice may be devastating.
Gen. Hugh Shelton, 14th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (retired), author of Without Hesitation

Other Publications by Joel Bourne

Other Publications are listed on his LinkedIn page.

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

Richard Reese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 National Geographic, where he has spent most of his career.

In 2008, he was assigned to cover the global food crisis, and this project hurled him into full awareness of the big picture. The Green Revolution caused food production to skyrocket, and world population doubled in just 40 years. Then, the revolution fizzled out, whilst population continued to soar. Demographers have told us to expect another two or three billion for dinner in 2050. Obviously, this had the makings of an excellent book, so Bourne sat down and wrote The End of Plenty.

The subtitle of his book is “The Race to Feed a Crowded World,” not “The Race to Tackle Overpopulation.” More…

Other Inter/Re/views of The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World

• Interview of the author by Dave Davies on NPR, As Global Population Grows, Is The Earth Reaching The ‘End Of Plenty’? (June 8, 2015)

• Review by Ry Patel in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, The End of Plenty, (July 24, 2015)

• In Kirkus Reviews, (March 20, 2015)

Harry Johnstone in TLS (July 13, 2016) Joel Bourne writes about this on his Facebook page: “The Times Literary Supplement (London) recently reviewed my book, The End of Plenty. Unfortunately the reviewer believes political reforms–not increased production–are all we need to solve the global food crisis. While such reforms are certainly necessary, as one African farmer told me years ago, “You can’t eat democracy.”

Bibliographic Information

Author: Bourne, Joel K., Jr.
Title: The end of plenty : the race to feed a crowded world / Joel K. Bourne Jr.
Imprint New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
Description: 408 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages [379]-392) and index.
Subject :Food supply — Forecasting.
Food consumption forecasting.
Food security.
LC CARD # 2015001552
ISBN 9780393079531 (hardcover)
0393079538 (hardcover)


March 2, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Slow Food Russian River Book Group


Private Home in Sebastopol
Address with RSVP
Sebastopol, CA 95472 United States
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