Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Food Crisis

Situation: The world is in a food crisis. Rising cost of oil is causing rapidly increasing food prices. Increased population is resulting in more mouths to feed. The UN gathered world leaders in Rome recently and they determined that world food production would have to increase 50% in the next 40 years.

How we got here: Food used to be produced locally everywhere that a society grew. Now food is distributed is by industrial farming then shipping the food great distances. Because of economies of scale and agricultural processes local food producers could not compete with the low cost of the imported food.

Solutions: Keep producing more and more food to be given as aid -or- Educate and enable local people to plant their own local produce. In America during World War II as much as 80% of homes had "victory garden". A patriotic self sufficient solution to food shortage due to the war. Surface area vegetation - planting urban surfaces of a building, be it roof tops or vertical walls.

Actions: Our building is in the urban environment and we do not have access to dirt or space to plant so we have begun experimenting with vertical gardens. We are looking to install a geodesic dome greenhouse on our roof and produce food for our Restaurant Prana using hydroponic techniques.