Hungry, Hot & Crowded

On Casaubon’s Book, Sharon Astyk asks if we can stomach a new kind of cuisine— in case, you know, a massive volcanic eruption wipes out all our staple grains. Instead of wheat, corn and rice, “we probably would begin getting comfortable with acorn pancakes and turnip stew with taro dumplings.” But Sharon says that even barring catastrophe, “something *is* happening, something disastrous. The wheat is being grown often on dry prairie soils that should never be plowed at all. The corn and soybeans are being grown continuously in the midwest at a high cost to both topsoil and the ability of soils to hold carbon.” Sharon suggests we dig into that cassava now—not only will we get used to it, but we’ll help keep bread on the menu as well. James Hrynyshyn also looks to the future on Class M, saying that when it comes to predicting population growth and carbon emissions, “the uncertainty matters almost as much as the trends themselves.” The question is, what can we do now to make our way of life more sustainable?

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