EPIBuilding a Sustainable Future

Released 2012

Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

Lester R. Brown

With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes.

What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing.


Table of Contents (Chapters available in PDF and html.)

Free Download of Book (PDF)

Complete Data Sets

Full Planet Slideshow Presentations

Full Planet, Empty Plates Team
(People who have purchased five or more copies.)

International Publishers

Fact Sheet (PDF)

10 Things to Know About Food on World Food Day (PDF) (Persian)

Press Release

(More videos here.)



Named one of the top 10 books of 2012 by The Globalist.

"Full Planet, Empty Plates arrived and I straight away set aside all my other activities in order to enjoy the latest wisdom. He certainly pours out his insights with vigour—and time after time he is bang on target."–Norman Myers

"Though heavily packed with statistical information and evidences compiled from the work of hundreds of scientists, this book is an approachable resource for those who are interested in understanding food scarcity, regardless of their educational background."–Maira Niode, Omar Niode Foundation

"Each subject is covered in enough detail and with enough supporting evidence to be clear, concise, and convincing. It is the clarity of argument and the brevity that makes this such a valuable book."–John Coulter, Sustainable Population Australia

"As with all of Brown’s books, Full Planet, Empty Plates is very well-documented: over 150 data sets accompany the book. Brown fully explains the extent of food challenges in various regions of the globe, and the potential impacts based on environmental and socioeconomic factors in these regions."–Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Sustainablog

"This is a great little book that sums up the global situation, and ties it all together. Best explanation of how everything is interconnected. I wish every American would read this book!!!"–Diane Stewart, environmental activist

"Brown presents his compelling arguments in straightforward language, buttressed with numerous facts, statistics and graphs."–Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division

One of the top eco-books for the new year according to The Green Insider.



Available for the paperback edition of Full Planet, Empty Plates.

2-4 books: $13 ea.
5-10: $11 ea.
11-20: $10 ea.
21-40: $9 ea.
41-100: $8 ea.
101+: $7 ea.


Refund Policy