Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fixing Agriculture

Jared Diamond has called the invention of agriculture, "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race". His point is that is was bad for the nutrition of individuals, lead to cities and therefore large-scale conflict and is unquestionably bad for the planet.

There may be a solution. Enter Wes Jackson, founder of The Land Institute.

Jackson has famously said, "If we don’t get sustainability in agriculture first, sustainability will not happen." And he is doing something about it. His big idea is remarkably simple: Bio-engineer crops which are perennial underground, but act like harvestable, annuals above ground. We would get food without a continual depletion of soil nutrients. Cool!

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