Perilous Bounty

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 Californian - which grows more than 50% of the fruits and vegetables we eat - to the 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 trend that imperils 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 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. 

SKU 7652. Copyright 2020, hardcover, 247 pages.

About the Author:

Tom Philpott has been the food and agriculture correspondent for Mother Jones since 2011. Previously, he covered food as a writer and editor for the environmental-news website Grist. Philpott's work on food politics has appeared in the New York times, Newsweek, and the Guardian, among other places. From 2004 to 2012, he farmed at Maverick Farms in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. He lives in North Carolina and Austin, Texas. 

Praise for Perilous Bounty:

"A solid, keenly drawn critique of American agriculture circumstances and consequences." -Kirkus Review

"Since Tom Philpott is among the first rank of food and farming writers, it comes as no surprise, but Perilous Bounty is a tour de force - it showcases the danger we're in as the environmental vise tightens, and how we might still find our way out of this hole." -Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

"Tom Philpott knows how to farm and how to write. His warning in Perilous Bounty offers a simple choice. We can change our centralized, industrialized, corporate-controlled system of food production - or watch it collapse." -Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

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Michael D.
United States

Perilous Bounty

I can't say I enjoyed the contents as it was rather disturbing. The information was well documented, and believable, and it seemed right on the money. Hopefully, enough honest legislatures will heed his warnings to make some meaningful changes and encourage moving in correct directions for food production.

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