Dickson Despommier reassures us that vertical farming is ultimately safer than traditional farming. Question: What risks are involved with growing food indoors?Dickson Despommier: The only risk of raising food period, is that somehow you’ll lose it. So if you design an urban landscape that included a single giant indoor farm, and something horrible happened to it like someone decided tojust blow it up well that’s tragic. You can’t have your whole food supply disappear all in one shot, however, it happens all the time. We call those hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, insect pests, bacterial diseases, viral diseases, food insecurity is the rule. Not food security. Remember it’s an ecosystem out there that we’ve disturbed and it’s getting even with us. It’s trying to get back to where it was. We did that to them. If we did that to them, then it’s like the little Dutch boy trying to hold back the flood by sticking his finger inside the dike, eventually the water will win. I can tell you right now. This little Dutch boy grew up and watched the whole damnthing change back to the way it was because the Dutch realized the water table is rising. They’ve going to give the Zuiderzee back to the ocean. They don’t need these dikes any longer, right? There’s another country that wants to farm vertically. And in fact Holland and China have an agreement now to invent urban agriculture. I had the privilege of being at that meeting last year so I know that on the books now there are many, many, many groups working on this process, so what we need to do is combine forces into research institutes, based on theseprototype buildings for various crops to make sure that we know how to monitor for diseases. We treat our […]
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