Il pianeta mangiato
with Mauro Balboni
Once known as agriculture, it has now become an industry that brings heavy collateral damage: inventing a pandemic, globesity; sucking up 70% of the world’s fresh water; throwing off planetary geochemical cycles; one of the causes of global warming. We know it must be changed. But we don’t know how, torn between the dominant optimism of constant growth (rebaptized “sustainable” when necessary) and the idealization of pre-industrial food production (which could feed a billion people, but perhaps not the 10 billion expected by 2050). Meanwhile the ultimate challenge is looming, at the most dangerous crossroads yet for human civilization: how to produce food on an overheated, hostile planet, with less and less fertile land and water for irrigation. A planet on which wheat for pasta might come from the Arctic, tomatoes from neighborhood roofs and synthetic proteins from laboratory-bred bacteria.