“Mankind will be facing a revolution in the food production industry in the near future”, says Lars Thomsen, DC futurologist. He sees two trends which complement each other and both have the potential to tap into the mass market within the next ten years: vertical farming and genome research.
Vertical farming – fields on skyscrapers
Based on recycling economy and hydroponics, vertical farming is the practice of producing food in vertical premises such as skyscrapers or warehouses where fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and seaweeds can grow all the year. This may sound adventurous at first but it has many benefits: the food is cultivated under natural conditions without pesticides, the recycling economy minimizes the greenhouse effect of hydrocarbons, the scarce water resources are better used and the energy costs for transporting food would be eliminated because definitely the greenhouses would be built in urban centers where many people live. Moreover, by means of vertical farming more food can be produced in areas where land is infertile and nothing grows (anymore). Vertical farming bears a high risk for the traditional farming – it may even eliminate it – but for the large part of the population, vertical farming can be a blessing.
Ending livestock farming
Genome research offers another opportunity: meat can be grown from cells without killing animals for this purpose. The first experiments have already been conducted, however, Lars Thomsen anticipates the tipping point will not be achieved within the next ten years, maybe 15 years. He believes that in future, more and more people will only eat meat for which animals are not killed. This would be a huge step towards ending the much bewailed livestock farming.