Here’s a mechanism to ensure around 7 billion people have enough to eat: vertical farming!

The idea comes from Dr. Dickson Despommier, a retired professor of microbiology and public health in environmental health sciences at Columbia University. What is vertical farming? It’s indoor farming, like the concept of greenhouses, but on a much larger scale. It’s buildings, many stores high, in the middle of urban centers, in which crops grow continually, protected against hail, disease, drought or monsoons. Vertical farming potentially offers “urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.” Or so “The Vertical Farm” website proclaims.

What’s more, Dr. Despommier proposes all the food grown in vertical farming should be organic, without herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.

In the United Arab Emirates, just as one example, 90% of food comes from elsewhere. Vertical farming would offer this country food security. And this urban farming would also allow much of the land used today to grow crops to revert back to forest, helping our planet along the way by restoring ecosystem functions. Fossil fuel use would be reduced, as a vertical farm requires no tractors, plows or food shipments far and wide. In addition, vertical farming could be implanted on abandoned urban properties, turning them into food production centers and creating sustainable environments for urban centers while providing new job opportunities.

This idea offers advantage after advantage. To learn more, read Dr. Despommier’s book, The Vertical Farm.