4 comments on “Feeding Everyone No Matter What

  1. Capitalism appears to already be solving this problem. Several companies are manufacturing microorganisms that can produce nutrients much more efficiently than agriculture: https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/31zo1r/a_future_of_food_and_why_cities_wont_need_much/

    >the end result will be a system that produces pure nutrients at up to 220,000 pounds per acre per year (the global record for agriculture is 3,600) at less than 20 cents per pound, all while generating 99% fewer greenhouse gases than conventional farming means.

    >To provide what Berry calls “baseline protein nutrition” for every chronically undernourished person on the planet, it would only take the land area of 250 square miles. To provide complete protein nutrition to everyone in the world, it would take the land area of Rhode Island.

    Artificial light could be used to feed it without too much additional cost.

  2. Houshalter,
    They reject this (page 67) on the grounds that there’s only enough electricity to supply a few percent of global food needs via artificial lighting.
    They expect bacteria to be an important emergency food source, but it’s much cheaper to feed the bacteria wood, oil, and/or natural gas.
    I presume industry is doing some relevant preparation, but I see no reason to expect industry to develop a complete solution.

  3. Lighting only 250 square miles seems doable. It’s a lot more efficient than conventional agriculture which they measure in the book.

    But that’s only in a situation where all sunlight is blocked. if only 70% is taken, then you just need 833 square miles. Which still seems feasible.

  4. Houshalter,
    The text that you quoted in your prior message says 250 square miles will provide something that’s way short of world calorie needs.

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