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Gizcast #9: can Vertical Farming solve the impending global food crisis?


August 4, 2009

Gizcast #9: can Vertical Farming solve the impending global food crisis?

Gizcast #9: can Vertical Farming solve the impending global food crisis?

Download the full episode as m4a (m4a is great, it contains chapters, links and images if your player supports them) or mp3 to put on your MP3 player.

In this week's Gizcast, we're privileged to be joined by Dr. Dickson Despommier of New York City, who is perhaps the world's leading expert on Vertical Farming, a topic we've covered several times in the past few years. Dr. Despommier speaks with Loz Blain about the social, economic and environmental issues we'll have to face as the Earth's population jumps to 9 billion in the next 40-50 years. If we keep farming the way we are now, we're simply going to run out of land to feed ourselves - so the solution seems clear: we need to start bringing food production and agriculture into the high-rise age. The farms of the future, it seems, will be skyscrapers. Geoffrey Baird also joins us for a weekly roundup of top stories.

Or listen right here:

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Further reading on the topics covered in this week's podcast (in the order they're mentioned):

Feature Story:

Vertical aeroponic farming - a solution to the looming global food crisis?

See also Dr. Dickson Despommier's Vertical Farming website, a fantastic resource which brings you the state of the art and future ideas around the vertical farming theme.

Quick Wrap:

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz loves motorcycles - at the age of two, he told his mother "don't want brother, want mogabike." It was the biker connection that first brought Loz to Gizmag, but since then he's covered everything from alternative energy and weapons to medicine, marital aids - and of course, motorcycles. Loz also produces a number of video pieces for Gizmag, including his beloved bike reviews. He frequently disappears for weeks at a time to go touring with his vocal band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain

This is a very interesting idea and there might be a future in it. But lets face facts. The only reason that people are starving is human greed. The world could easily produce enough food for all the people it has now. In the US, even in our struggling economy, we are paying farmers to let ground stay fallow. Of course the farmers take the money because they are hardly making ends meet. The large mega-corporation food factories (I refuse to call them farms) are using chemicals that help destroy the ground and the water table to make bigger vegetables that have hardly any nutritional value. Why? Because people, whether in 1st or 2nd world countries, want to pay $.16 less on a can of corn so that it can help pay off the 46" television they just bought. And that television will be laying in a landfill when the next better toy comes out.

Vertical farming is an amazing idea, I hope Dr. Dickson Despommier can do it. It would help the urban sprawl in large cities simply by limiting the pollution involved in shipping food over any distance. The problem is, as I see it, still human greed.

5th August, 2009 @ 12:51 pm PDT

Amen, sir.

5th August, 2009 @ 07:23 pm PDT

Vertical farming is here today and it makes a lot of sense on so many fronts. Check out our commercial system here: Reuters Video features Valcent's VertiCrop vertical farming system:

Or listen to Robert Kennedy Jr. talk about it here: "I can't think of any technology that addresses more urgent issues than Valcent's vertical farming system", says RFK Jr

Facebook User
6th April, 2010 @ 02:35 pm PDT
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