One of the great challenges facing society today as mentioned in Sir Paul Nurse’s talk ‘The New Enlightenment’ on the BBC. Is the future security of humanities food source. Where Science once helped shape Agriculture as we know it today with Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution, which is credited with saving over a billion people from dying of starvation. How is it preparing to tackle the current pressure on our planets food sources, to feed the rapidly growing population which is expected to hit 8 billion in the next 12 years?
As well as in many other developed countries, here in England, where food is currently plentiful and food waste is more of an immediate concern. We are addressing the future requirements and working to secure future global food supply. To put the problem in scale, as it stands, to feed the population of Earth in 2030 we will need to increase world food production by 40%. Food production is at the highest it has ever been and we have to nearly double it in the next 20 years.
Some of the familiar ways in which we are tackling this problem is by improving pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and introducing more high yield crops. But, there are other, non-traditional ways in which we can economically grow our food. One of which, is through the processes of Hydroponics. This relatively new method aims to use cutting edge science and understanding of the natural processes involved in growing food to make food growth much more controlled and sustainable by replacing soil with a nutrient solution and in some case using artificial light.
This method has come along way from being the NASA inspired deep space food production method, as seen in Star Trek in the early 90′s, to becoming used commercially here on terra firma, with food grown from hydroponic systems available in Supermarkets.
Here are examples of Hydroponics being used by students to grow food and how it can be upscaled to meet the demands of the future.