OUR HUNGRY EARTH: The Worm Food Crisis by Laurence Pringle

OUR HUNGRY EARTH: The Worm Food Crisis

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As usual Pringle handles a complex and controversial subject with clarity and good sense. Establishing right off that as of now ""there is plenty of food; it is just spread around very unevenly and used very inefficiently"" (for example, ""each year livestock in the United States eat as much grain as all the people in China and India combined""), he also makes clear that the present rate of population growth cannot continue for long. As for the Green Revolution, its main problems are political, economic, and social (though he doesn't slight the technical ones of genetic erosion, chemical fertilizers' hazards, etc.) and so far it has benefited large wealthy farmers in undeveloped countries but not the poorest ones with small plots. Overfishing, oil spills, and other pollution problems cut the ""promise"" of the sea, and it isn't clear that the poor would gain if Americans voluntarily cut down on waste and beef eating. Thus, Pringle reports, the UN World Food Conference ended on a note of optimism (that there were ways of solving the crisis) and doubt (that much would be done). Straightforward, solid, and without Lila Perl's (p. 408, J-142) tone of condescension.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1976
Publisher: Macmillan