Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?

| 01.07.2019

CONTACT: Erik Hazard, ehazard@foodfirst.org, 562-472-6908

(Oakland) In his new book titled Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It? Eric Holt-GiménezExecutive Director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First) argues that under our present food system, initiatives to double food production to feed 10 billion people by 2050 will push our planet beyond its limits and destroy the lives and livelihoods of billions of people— and will still fail to end hunger. The book shows how our present food system actually causes chronic hunger and environmental destruction by overproducing food. Holt-Giménez asserts that to end hunger and stop global warming we must make fundamental changes to the global food system.

“I wanted to show how the social and environmental failures of our current food system are the result of an inequitable, extractivist food regime that has been centuries in the making,” says Holt-Giménez. “The good news is that technologies, expertise, and resources to feed everyone—without destroying the planet—have existed for a long time.”

The monopolies at the Global Economic Forum recently claimed new technologies from the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” will end hunger, poverty and environmental destruction. Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It? debunks these (unproven) technological silver bullets by looking at the root causes of the crises of our food system—poverty, dispossession and exploitation. His book proposes structural reforms to address the widespread inequities in the food system, and strategies to scale up the effective agroecological innovations already building resiliency and improving livelihoods. Holt-Giménez makes the case that to create the political will to transform the current food system, the global food movement must come together with other progressive forces fighting for social and economic change.

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Author Raj Patel writes, “An important and accessible guide for critical thinking to tackle the root causes of hunger. Read it to inoculate yourself against the food industry’s fake news, and learn about the insurgent hope that food sovereignty offers.”

Susan George, president of the board of the Transnational Institute, said: “Short and not at all sweet where destructive capital-intensive agriculture is concerned, this book delivers fact-based diagnoses and solutions to benefit people and planet. Armed with this information, the battle for good, nutritious food, a healthy planet, and an end to hunger and malnutrition everywhere is one everyone can join.”

Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It? ultimately takes on the bigger question: What is keeping us from feeding the world without destroying it? Holt-Giménez interrogates not only the agronomy and ecology of food production, but how capitalism creates hunger by determining the way resources, value, and power are distributed across the global food system. The book sheds light on the alternatives to the status quo that are being forged and practiced by farmers and activists around the world, while also examining how the social power within the food system can be a catalyst to transform not just how we produce and consume food, but society itself.

CONTACT: Erik Hazard, ehazard@foodfirst.org, 562-472-6908