Agricultural technology has evolved rapidly, radically transforming the way most of our food is now produced. The industrialization of agriculture has resulted in incredible gains in agricultural output per acre—but there’s increasing recognition that many of these new techniques come at significant social and environmental cost due to over-extraction of natural resources, depletion of soils, and generation of abundant pollution.
These challenges are driving the reassessment of food production, prompting increased interest in shifting to a regenerative agricultural system. In some ways, this will involve returning to traditional agricultural techniques like composting and pasture-based livestock production. But it may also involve new technologies and techniques like precision irrigation and vertical farming.
It’s clear though, that feeding the world without sacrificing the wellbeing of current and future generations will require thoughtful assessment of the agricultural techniques we choose.