Rather foolishly, when I set up my website some years ago, I wrote that I was thinking of writing a book provisionally entitled Food is a Key to Avoiding World War III. Life has intervened and I haven’t been able to do that. Now Australian author and science writer Julian Cribb has written a book that covers much of the ground I would have needed to. Food or War is not a jolly read. But it does end with a range of proposals to help humanity avoid what has been a recurring feature of human life – conflicts over food, land, and water leading to destructive wars. In this interview, Julian discusses the bleak history of the links between food and war and suggests what might be done to avoid them.
He outlines three key ways to avoid to conflicts over food, land and water and suggests how a Year of Food in primary schools and a Stewards of the Earth programme play a central part giving hope for the future and why fundamental economic drivers also need to change to avoid wars in the future.
His other books include Surviving the 21st Century (Springer 2017), Poisoned Planet (2014) and The Coming Famine (2010). Poisoned Planet is currently out of print, a new edition is being written for Cambridge University Press. See also his blog post ‘Is a Food Crisis the next big hit for humanity?‘
For a broad ranging set of talks on the food system visit the Food Systems Academy. In his talk, ‘The crucial century, 1945-2045: Transforming food systems in a global context‘ Prof Paul Rogers puts the challenges of transforming food systems in a global, human security context and argues that food is at the centre of the third great transition humankind has to go through.