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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Perilous Bounty by Tom Philpott, read by Eric Meyers.  

An unsettling journey into the United States' disaster-bound food system, and an exploration of possible solutions, from leading food politics commentator and farmer-turned-journalist Tom Philpott.  

More than a decade after Michael Pollan's game-changing The Omnivore's Dilemma transformed the conversation about what we eat, a combination of global diet trends and corporate interests have put American agriculture into a state of 'quiet emergency', from dangerous drought in California - which grows more than 50 percent of the fruits and vegetables we eat - to catastrophic topsoil loss in the 'breadbasket' heartland of the United States. Whether or not we take heed, these urgent crises of industrial agriculture will define our future.   

In Perilous Bounty, veteran journalist and former farmer Tom Philpott explores and exposes the small handful of seed and pesticide corporations, investment funds and magnates who benefit from the trends that imperil us, with on-the-ground dispatches featuring the scientists documenting the damage and the farmers and activists who are valiantly and inventively pushing back.    

Resource scarcity looms on the horizon, but rather than pointing us towards an inevitable doomsday, Philpott shows how the entire wayward ship of American agriculture could be routed away from its path to disaster. He profiles the farmers and communities in the nation's two key growing regions developing resilient, soil-building, water-smart farming practices and readying for the climate shocks that are already upon us; and he explains how we can help move these methods from the margins to the mainstream.

©2020 Tom Philpott (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

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  • Ronald
  • 14-11-2020

A few fact and a lot of lecturing

I was fooled by the NYTimes review of this book. I wanted to know more about the US farm and food system, logistics, etc. Instead, Philpott includes some of that information, but the book came across to me as an overly detailed diatribe. Though it was less than 9 hours long, I had to struggle to complete the book. He simply kept hammering over and over again on how wrong the farmers and big agriculture are. OK, if that's true, why do those who've invested heavily in this sector keep doing the same thing? And the suggestions for alternatives that Philpott gives: can those be scaled up?

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  • Brent Jackson
  • 02-11-2020

A Must Read for Everyone Who Eats

A phenomenal work! Really does a terrific job of clearly explaining the unintended consequences of U.S. food policies. Describes the forces at work in opposition to more sane, healthy, and sustainable agriculture. Outlines possibilities to transition out of the agribusines-dictated status quo that impoverishes farmers, land and water resources, and people. We have a shared responsibility to understand our part in this food chain.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-2020

Communist nonsense

Full of facts. Fluffy solutions, summed up with communist nonsense. But the author makes one point clear, the only real solution is drastically fewer humans.

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  • Joe
  • 21-10-2020

please read this book

outstanding critique of American farming. clear warnings about the impact of climate change on agriculture and looming water shortages. highly recommended. we must act now

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  • Mike Callicrate
  • 16-08-2020

Without Water and Soil, We die!

Tom Philpot gives us the opportunity to understand that if we don't change our food system, we are finished.

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