In a world faced with the conundrum of mountains of waste and obesity for some and dire shortages and malnutrition for others, the future of food is the main dish on today’s global menu.
A key ingredient is a trend in ever more imaginative forms towards urban agriculture, a multi-faceted recipe already being pored over by some 800 million people globally, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
The trend takes many forms—from collective market gardens in even the most run-down of urban districts to connected vertical farms using indoor farming techniques to meet spiraling food demand in areas largely bereft of arable land.
The FAO wants to see the trend prosper and become durable and sustainably embedded within public policy.
Yves Christol, of French cooperative In Vivo, has identified six models of the genre.
They include a key European variant, electronically managed without recourse to pesticide—or even soil or sunshine.