Gizcast #9: can Vertical Farming solve the impending global food crisis?
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.
Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.
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.
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: http://bit.ly/a9p47W
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 http://bit.ly/cPb00g