The future of food production may be among skyscrapers. With potential benefits such as year-round crop production and reduced food miles, advocates of ‘vertical farming’ believe growing crops in urban high-rises may soon be a more sustainable and cheaper method of farming. Presently, vertical farms are producing only a small amount of food, but advocates are working to develop different building designs and growing techniques to boost the efficiency of cultivating food indoors. With time, the idea of vertical farming on a large scale will increasingly be explored as a way to localize urban food systems. Dickson Despommier, a microbiology professor at Columbia University and director of the Vertical Farm Project, believes that vertical farming will become more popular as climate change drives up the cost of conventional farming and technological advances make greenhouse farming cheaper. In fact, he hopes the world will be able to produce half of its food in vertical farms in 50 years.
Today, October 24th, is Food Day, a nationwide celebration and movement towards healthy and sustainably grown food. The goal of Food Day is to rethink the American diet and work towards improving the current food policies of our nation. With a current food system that relies heavily on fossil fuels and chemicals that are destruction to the environment, animals and people, Food Day encourages people to learn about the health and environmental impact of their food choices. Check out an interactive map at www.FoodDay.org, for more than 1,600 events that are scheduled nationwide in schools, on campuses, and in government buildings, parks, and fairgrounds and include film screenings, debates, educational programs, and other activities.
As the fate of Propostion 37 approaches, more than 700 of the nation’s chefs and professional foodies, have lined up to support the California ballot measure that would require food companies to label products containing genetically engineered ingredients. With the encouragement of Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food movement, well-known chefs such as Alice Waters, the founder of Chez Panisse in Berkley, California, and Dan Barber, executive chef and owner of Blue Hill restaurant at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, have added their name to growing list of chef’s supporting Propostion 37.