Forty Chances-Finding Hope in a Hungry World

Most of the world's seven billion people found their destinies largely determined at the moment of birth. There are, of course, plenty of Horatio Alger stories in this world. Indeed, America abounds with them. But for literally billions of people, where they are born and who gives them birth, along with their gender and native intellect, largely determine the life they will experience.
Warren. E. Buffet
Foreword of Forty Chances
In discussing world hunger and agricultural policy in this book review, I want to clarify that I’m expressing my personal interpretations as a reader. I don’t intend to speak for or over-generalize the experiences of underprivileged groups facing these challenges firsthand.

Let me tell you right now. It’s a 10 out of 10.
Forty Chances is one of the most influential books I ever read.
Each page is wonderland full of wisdom, and amazing stories, but wait, What “forty chances” has to do with anything? Where does the name come from?
Well, I let the author tell you that:

But think about the period between the first time your dad had you climb up with him on the tractor to plant and the day you will turn your acreage over to your son or daughter. If you're pretty healthy, and you're like most farmers, you're probably only going to do this about forty times. You'll get forty chances to plant your crop, adjust to what nature throws at you, and hope for the best. It's enough time to learn to do it well. But it's not forever.
Howard G. Buffet

How’s that for the start? It hit me right in the mind. How many chances do I still have to drink a cup of tea with my wife? or my friends? How many chances do I still have to do the things I love to do? To make an impact? Not much. It’s scary as hell. Just close your eyes for a moment and think about it. See? It’s scary.
The author goes on with a series of amazing and inspiring stories about his journey around the world and all his efforts to find a sustainable solutions to world hunger.
The book is mega-informational for a guy like me who knows little to nothing about agriculture, or how the food I eat everyday ends up on my table.

Concentrate your resources on needs that would not be met without your efforts... Expect to make some mistakes, nothing important will be accomplished if you make only 'safe' decisions.
Howard G. Buffet

So much to learn and absorb in this book.
The author, Howard Buffet, is an amazing man, He’s a good writer, and he’s a fantastic photojournalist. Many times I found myself basking in the photos he took during his travels, photos of people impacted by food insecurity, poor farmers and their trivial equipment, militants and many other subjects.
I sometimes found myself trying so hard not to cry, and sometimes I was in awe from what people were doing selflessly to help others.
This book, this masterpiece, had four big impacts on me.

  1. It helped me to refine my expectations on appreciation.
  2. I learned a lot about how agriculture works, and what it takes to have food on our tables.
  3. I learned a lot about why on-the-ground assessment of a problem is crucial to solving it.
  4. I learned about why we’re going to experience a famine worldwide if we continue to deplete and waste soil, and what we can do about it.

This is a MUST-READ if you:

  • Like to read about a different subject than your usual go-to topics
  • Love amazing & inspirational stories that restores your faith in humanity
  • Want to learn about agriculture, world hunger and its possible solutions, problem assessment and problem solving skills in real world.