Feeding Everyone No Matter What

Feeding Everyone No Matter What

Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe

1st Edition - November 14, 2014

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  • Authors: David Denkenberger, Joshua Pearce
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128023587

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Feeding Everyone No Matter What presents a scientific approach to the practicalities of planning for long-term interruption to food production. The primary historic solution developed over the last several decades is increased food storage. However, storing up enough food to feed everyone would take a significant amount of time and would increase the price of food, killing additional people due to inadequate global access to affordable food. Humanity is far from doomed, however, in these situations - there are solutions. This book provides an order of magnitude technical analysis comparing caloric requirements of all humans for five years with conversion of existing vegetation and fossil fuels to edible food. It presents mechanisms for global-scale conversion including: natural gas-digesting bacteria, extracting food from leaves, and conversion of fiber by enzymes, mushroom or bacteria growth, or a two-step process involving partial decomposition of fiber by fungi and/or bacteria and feeding them to animals such as beetles, ruminants (cows, deer, etc), rats and chickens. It includes an analysis to determine the ramp rates for each option and the results show that careful planning and global cooperation could ensure the bulk of humanity and biodiversity could be maintained in even in the most extreme circumstances.

Key Features

  • Summarizes the severity and probabilities of global catastrophe scenarios, which could lead to a complete loss of agricultural production
  • More than 10 detailed mechanisms for global-scale solutions to the food crisis and their evaluation to test their viability
  • Detailed roadmap for future R&D for human survival after global catastrophe


Researchers, professionals and students in food security, food engineering, disaster management and public health

Table of Contents

    • About the authors
    • Chapter 1: Introduction
      • Abstract
      • 1.1. Introduction to the challenge
    • Chapter 2: Worldwide Crop Death: The Five Crop-Killing Scenarios
      • Abstract
      • 2.1. The five crop-killing scenarios
      • 2.2. Abrupt climate change
      • 2.3. Lesser evils – global crop irritating scenarios
      • 2.4. Serious problems that do not threaten global food supply
      • 2.5. Food spoilage
    • Chapter 3: No Sun: Three Sunlight-Killing Scenarios
      • Abstract
      • 3.1. Three sunlight-killing scenarios
    • Chapter 4: Food Storage, Food Conservation, and Cannibalism
      • Abstract
      • 4.1. Reduction of pre-harvest losses
      • 4.2. Increased food supply for moderate disasters
      • 4.3. Limited crop supply
      • 4.4. Maximum food storage
      • 4.5. Food solutions from preppers and survivalists
      • 4.6. Beyond Mormon preparedness: practical Limitations to storing 5 years of food
      • 4.7. Survivalism and Cannibal Mathematics
    • Chapter 5: Stopgap Food Production: Fast food
      • Abstract
      • 5.1. The 10 °C crisis and the 20 °C crisis
      • 5.2. Stopgap food production: fast food
      • 5.3. Mushroom fast food
      • 5.4. Not quite as good as mushrooms – bacteria to humans fast food
    • Chapter 6: Fiber Supply for Conversion to Food
      • Abstract
      • 6.1. Fiber supply for conversion to food
      • 6.2. Worst case: 20 °C crisis fiber availability
      • 6.3. Wood chipping
      • 6.4. Fire suppression
    • Chapter 7: Solutions: Stored Biomass/Fossil Fuel Conversion to Food
      • Abstract
      • 7.1. Solutions introduction
      • 7.2. Sushi for dinner?
      • 7.3. Oil and gas for dinner? the case for industrial food
      • 7.4. Trees for dinner? stored biomass conversion
      • 7.5. What will probably not work: shipworms, termites, gribbles, earthworms, and reptiles
      • 7.6. A banquet
      • 7.7. Most extreme catastrophes
    • Chapter 8: Practical Matters: Energy, Water, Nutrition, Taste, Biodiversity, & Cooperation
      • Abstract
      • 8.1. Practical matters
      • 8.2. Energy in the sun-obscuring crises
      • 8.3. Water
      • 8.4. Nutrition and taste
      • 8.5. Biodiversity
      • 8.6. Other problems
      • 8.7. Cooperation: the elephant in the room
    • Chapter 9: Moral Hazard
      • Abstract
      • 9.1. Moral hazard of writing this book
      • 9.2. Nuclear stockpiles increasing if reduced risk of nuclear winter causing mass starvation?
      • 9.3. Greenhouse gas emissions increasing if starvation risk of abrupt climate change diminished?
      • 9.4. Moral hazard of other risks
      • 9.5. Conclusion: why you are able to read this book now
    • Chapter 10: Serious Prepping: A Guide to Necessary Research
      • Abstract
      • 10.1. Policy implications
      • 10.2. Applying solutions to catastrophes now to provide food for today’s hungry
      • 10.3. Future work
      • 10.4. Preparation
      • 10.5. How can i prepare myself and my family?
      • 10.6. What can i do?

Product details

  • No. of pages: 128
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2014
  • Published: November 14, 2014
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128023587

About the Authors

David Denkenberger

Dr. David Denkenberger received his bachelor's from Penn State in Engineering Science, his master's from Princeton in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and his doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Building Systems Program. His dissertation was on his patent-pending expanded microchannel heat exchanger. He is a research associate at the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. He received the National Merit Scholarship, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and is a Penn State distinguished alumnus. He has authored or co-authored over 30 publications and has given over 60 technical presentations.

Affiliations and Expertise

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, Durango, CO, USA

Joshua Pearce

Joshua Pearce
Dr. Joshua M. Pearce received his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He then developed the first Sustainability program in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education as an assistant professor of Physics at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and helped develop the Applied Sustainability graduate engineering program while at Queen's University, Canada. He currently is an Associate Professor cross-appointed in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University where he runs the Open Sustainability Technology Research Group. His research concentrates on the use of open source appropriate technology to find collaborative solutions to problems in sustainability and poverty reduction. His research spans areas of electronic device physics and materials engineering of solar photovoltaic cells, and RepRap 3-D printing, but also includes applied sustainability and energy policy. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and is the author of the Open-Source Lab:How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs.

Affiliations and Expertise

Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA

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