In the early 20th century German-Jewish scientist Fritz Haber and his colleague Carl Bosch worked out a way to synthesise ammonia, making it possible to create industrial amounts of fertiliser for the first time. It’s said that two out of five humans on the planet today owe their existence to the discovery, which led to an explosion in the amount of food the world could produce.
Today there is a new revolution going on in agriculture.
Vertical farming divorces crops from the land entirely, which is in many cases more sustainable than traditional farming and allows previously dead areas to be repurposed for growing food. All across the world, disused underground bunkers and empty shipping containers are being jazzed up with high-tech equipment — like flashy pink LEDs and environmental control sensors — to grow a new style of crop on stacked trays indoors.