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How to feed 9 billion with less land, water and oil?

world-populationWe’ve dubbed 2010 the “year to really start worrying about food security,” and now we want to hear your thoughts. Where do believe the best solutions lie for feeding an ever-more-hungry planet? Will they involve:

  • The miracles of food technology: Lab-grown meat, nanotech wizardry and genetically modified crops that can grow in Dust Bowl conditions?
  • A farm in every yard: A return to Victory Gardens, more small-scale farming, Transition Towns and home-made beer, bread and chips?
  • A different kind of Green Revolution: Converting empty high-rises into vertical farms or finding new food sources we haven’t considered before (insects or algae, anyone?).
  • Getting by with less: Less meat, cheese and wine for those who can still afford them, and pretty much nothing for the hundreds of millions who are already hungry today?
  • Something else we haven’t mentioned here?

Let us know what you think in the comments section below — we’re interested in hearing your ideas.

1 Comment

  • Julian Plyter
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    commercial hydroponics is already up and running, but like big organics all it does is feed the corporate maw. i think widespread small-farm hydroponics applications offer a greater possibility of food-supply enhancement. victory hydro-gardens, maybe!?

    if the yield on one hydroponic acre of tomatoes can top 300 tons a year, and per capita consumption in the us is 20 pounds per year, and there are 300 million of us (6 billion pounds; 3 million tons), wouldn’t just 10,000 acres cover it? Since there are 400,000 acres of tomatoes right now, that would leave 390,000 acres for other things, like cows that walk around and eat grass instead of stand around and eat corn. it’s only a step toward the 100,000,000 acres that our 10,000,000 cattle need in order for each of them to pasture, but we’re also talking about only one vegetable.

    imagine if we could cut corn from 90,000,000 acres to 10 million? 80 million acres for the cows, and we’re almost there. plus, the cows wouldn’t need to eat the corn anymore, which they shouldn’t be doing anyway, so we’d need even less. and if we have that much space for cows, we could sure as heck add a lot of chickens, who get along so beautifully with cows. of course, the government won’t ever stop subsidizing corn – it just can’t let go – so maybe it’s a moot point.

    now make all those small hydrofarms small aquafarms, and you’ve got more fish than you know what to do with. to boot, it’ll be lower in mercury than fish usually is, and it’s better for you to begin with.


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