Demand for animal protein is surging, and so are the environmental costs of producing it. So researchers in the Netherlands are exploring alternatives to livestock, from insects to faux cuts of beef to lab-grown meat.
Efforts to encourage greater use of food resources growing within the city are taking root in Seattle. It’s part of a movement to bring urban foraging from the margins to the mainstream as a hedge against climate change and food insecurity.
In a poor region of northern India, a novel way of growing rice and other crops has quadrupled some yields while using less seed, water and fertilizer. The approach promises to be an important hedge against climate pressures, but some scientists doubt the reported gains are real.
Synthetic fertilizers have helped fuel a food boom over the last century, but they also contribute mightily to climate change. So now there’s a growing push for a return to the ancient practice of using human waste as fertilizer, but with modern sanitary safeguards. The idea is starting to catch on in India.
Growing more food with less water will be one of the biggest challenges in the coming era of surging populations and increasing climate disruption. In China, scientists say they’ve developed a new irrigation method that’s twice as efficient as today’s best technology, part of an increasingly urgent effort by researchers around the world to meet the water challenge.
“Aquaponics” is an almost climate-proof method of raising fish and vegetables using much less space, water and chemicals than land-based agriculture. It’s not new but it’s been slow to catch on in Africa, where the demand for vegetables and protein is soaring. Now one Ugandan entrepreneur thinks he’s finally hit on a winning formula.
Amaranth virtually disappeared in Central and South American diets after the Spanish banned it because of its use in Aztec human sacrifice rituals. Now, there are efforts to bring it back as a staple in Mexico, both for its nutritional qualities and its resistance to the pressures of a changing climate.