“Famine” is part 2 in our Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse series. We discuss the Russian Famine of 1601, The Irish Potato Famine, the Holodomor, the Great Leap Forward, and more. Plus: what does it feel like to starve to death? Double plus: the ‘famine food’ pop quiz. Triple plus: which is the lesser of two evils, being inflicted with famine or pestilence?

Music: “Everybody Eats When They Come To My House” by Cab Calloway



Series Navigation<< PestilenceFour Horsemen: War >>
Recommended Posts
Showing 21 comments
  • Derek

    Thanks for posting an ep over the festive period, guys. 🙂 Out of interest, though, should it appear in the iTunes feeds soon? Haven’t noticed it yet (several hours after you posted this blog post).


    • Derek

      Yay, it’s there now. 🙂

  • zuzu

    where is my gay porno about famine??

  • Richard Lee

    The new design of the site is very nice. Thanks for all you effort putting out the podcast, I appreciate it.

  • sirik666

    I feel that Joe and Kevin are overlooking some things about desperate sickness. A symptom of MANY diseases is nausea. Another is lack of appetite. Yet another is raving madness.
    I’d rather waste away dreaming of sugarplums, than be repulsed by them, or worse, debating with them.

  • David

    I nearly starved due to celiac disease when I was a teenager. It was HORRIBLE. The gluten, which had built up all over my bowel caused the cilia to no longer function. I could eat anything and 10 minutes later it would pass undigested. Chewed, but undigested. It was like a Greek mythological curse- eat whatever you want and still starve to death. I was hospitalized when I passed out while simultaneously shitting (actually squirting) and puking at the same time. A biopsy diagnosed the celiac, and I’ve been on the hellish gluten free diet ever since.

  • thejiujitsulab

    Mobile site! Awesome. Great podcast guys.

  • Derek Weber

    Interregnum: from the Latin, I’m guessing, inter = between, regnum = to do with king(s). Only halfway through but fascinated, revolted and horrified so far.

    • Toren


  • Derek Weber

    I reckon this has to be my winner so far for most horrifying episode (and not just for Toren’s baby jokes, though they sure contributed 😉 ), for sheer numbers (min 2.5m dead in the Ukraine and 10m+ in China) of those killed by it but also for the manner of death. Just so awful! That said, I think dying of Ebola (bleeding out of all of my orifices) and ergotism (convulsions and cramping from fungus on the wheat that lead, ultimately, to the Salem witch trials) for a month sounds pretty unappealing (pestilence covers a lot of symptoms, Kevin).
    Btw, with regard to the Ukraine, didn’t Kevin mention that Hitler called it the breadbasket of Europe and wanted to grab as part of his rantings in Mein Kampf? That being the horrible irony of the famine there.
    Great ep for such a terrible topic.

  • Derek Weber

    Any suggestions for Charity of the Week? I like that idea. World Vision perhaps?

  • Alex

    Holy shite… I think that this episode, more than any, really bummed me out. The kid tearing off pieces of his own body to eat? Eff, that was messed up.
    On a related note, how about the North Korean famine (I believe it was in the 80s)? It’s rumoured that people ate their own children in order to survive.

  • Jan

    Hladomor means “hunger plague”. (hlad = hunger + mor = plague)

  • Donncha

    Excellent episode but I have to point out that Fir Gorta should be Fear Gorta. Fir is the plural of “fear” (pronounced like the English word “far”) so every time I heard you use Fir Gorta as a singular it grated and I wanted to scream!


  • dianadonnaherrer@aol.com

    One episode a week is not enough!! BTW, that neigh Joe did was hilarious!!

  • oldsoles

    Pestilence over famine? Really? But… every disease… every STD, leprosy… no one would want to be within 100 feet of you. You must have had some pretty amazing soup.

  • Chew

    My coworker found this online and ordered it and we kept the empty can on top of the cube frig: http://uncrate.com/p/2007/12/brawndo.jpg

  • Kieren Baillie

    Been looking everywhere for this anthony bourdain cuba starving children being beaten video on youtube, where is it?

    • Toren Atkinson

      The vid we referenced is embedded above

  • Kumar

    The black and white picture at the bottom (Hand Drawn) is actually about the famine in India during the British Rule (Queen,Guys wearing turbans and women in Saris) rather than Irish Potato Famine.