Sunday, December 12, 2010

the future of farming?

Meet George Jetson, Jane his wife... Remember that old cartoon?  The early 60's vision of what life would be like in the future - including eating all meals that popped out in pill form from a contraption called the Food-A-Rac-A-Cycle. Feel like having turkey and mashed potatoes for dinner, just type it into the computer.  Tofu with roasted vegetables, oh wait... that didn't exist it the Jetson's utopia.

Two articles caught my eye this week regarding the future of food production in our world with rising population rates.  The first from The Economist, concerning growing plants hydroponically in a skyscraper like tower. Interesting, unlikely I think because of the sunlight issues mentioned within.  However towards the end of the article, they suggest the more practical solution of using the flat roofs of large retail buildings as growing space.  In the suburbs at least, imagine your average Whole Foods or regular supermarket for that matter growing food upstairs all year round.  One stop shopping for those who want to buy local, but find the time constraints of having to shop at both farm or farmers market and a supermarket difficult.  It's interesting to think about.

The second find regards the FoodTubes UK project.  An idea that has underground tubes propelling food and other goods around the UK (and eventually the world) at a significant reduction in cost and carbon emissions.  An idea that probably (at least it seems so to me) needs a lot more work, but at least someone is thinking.  Thinking about solutions that will ease the burden we are putting on the planet with our global need for stuff.  I have to say, this is an idea that really does sound like it came from Orbit City - maybe this was what Spacely's Space Sprockets were working on?

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