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Could Hacking Photosynthesis Fight Deforestation & Famine?

April 30, 2019 |

This article was originally published on

“You might not be able to stomach soybeans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the animals you eat do. Cultivation of the staple crop takes up an area five times the size of the UK, and 85% of that area is used for animal feed. Thanks to projected rapid growth in both world population and in the meat-eating global middle class, demand for soybean is set to grow 80% by 2050 – more than any other staple crop.

With  at a premium, our desire for animal products is already responsible for the deforestation of vast swathes of the Amazon and other rainforests. This massive increase in demand is likely to lead to a whole lot more destruction, at precisely the time when we need to be curbing what is the second biggest cause of global warming.

But this destruction is not yet a certainty. I recently travelled to Iceland to investigate a cutting-edge commercial technology that soups up photosynthesis. It could help save the bio-diverse, CO₂-sucking ecosystems that are so vital to the health of our planet…”

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