THE COMING FAMINE
16 End waste re-use
An obvious way to enhance global food security is to reduce the colossal waste
of half the food we currently produce. This will also spare water, nutrients, energy,
soil and human labour.
However it means extensively redesigning our diets, our cities and the food production
and distribution systems that satisfy them.
It means greening our cities, mining and recycling the vast volumes of water and
nutrients they presently collect, purifying them and designing entirely new urban-based
food production systems.
New industries will turn what we now regard as organic waste back into food, fuel
and a great many other essential things
This will involve growing large quantities of fresh vegetables within urban areas
by hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic methods. We need to design this new urban
agriculture or mass permaculture from scratch and incorporate it into the buildings,
landscapes and social milieu of our megacities.
It will also involve creating an entirely new food industry that uses waste to produce
vegetable, microbial, fungal and animal cells in biocultures and turns them into
healthy and novel processed foods - but also into fuel, fertiliser, stockfeed, pharmaceuticals
and fine chemicals.
Above all, we need to declare a World War on Waste. Let us design farming and food
systems that do not waste or, if they do, that then reuse.