Earth Policy Institute - Book Byte - February 7, 2013
In Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, Lester Brown explains that "The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity."
With the demand for grain increasing and the supply of grain decreasing, food prices are rising and hunger is spreading. "On the demand side of the food equation, population growth, rising affluence, and the conversion of food into fuel for cars are combining to raise consumption by record amounts. On the supply side, extreme soil erosion, growing water shortages, and the earth’s rising temperature are making it more difficult to expand production."
"Food shortages undermined earlier civilizations. The Sumerians and Mayans are just two of the many early civilizations that declined apparently because they moved onto an agricultural path that was environmentally unsustainable ... We, too, are on such a path."
"The bottom line is that it is becoming much more difficult for the world’s farmers to keep up with the world’s rapidly growing demand for grain ... We are entering a time of chronic food scarcity, one that is leading to intense competition for control of land and water resources—in short, a new geopolitics of food."