Farming is the world’s greatest cause of environmental destruction – and the one we are least prepared to talk about. We criticise urban sprawl, but farming sprawls across thirty times as much land. We have ploughed, fenced and grazed great tracts of the planet, felling forests, killing wildlife, and poisoning rivers and oceans to feed ourselves. Yet millions still go hungry.
Now the food system itself is beginning to falter. But, as George Monbiot shows us in this brilliant, bracingly original new book, there is another way.
Regenesis is a breathtaking vision of a new future for food and for humanity. Drawing on astonishing advances in soil ecology, Monbiot reveals how new discoveries about the world beneath our feet could allow us to grow more food with less farming, and transform our relationship with the living planet. He meets the people who are unlocking these methods, from the fruit and vegetable grower who is revolutionising our understanding of fertility; through breeders of perennial grains, liberating the land from ploughs and poisons; to the scientists pioneering new ways to grow protein and fat. Together, they show how the tiniest life forms could help us resolve the biggest of our dilemmas: how to feed the world without devouring the planet.
Here, for the first time, is a thrilling vision of abundant, cheap and healthy food, which could trigger a shift as profound as the invention of agriculture. Here is a new cuisine that would let us make peace with the planet, restore its living systems, and replace the age of extinction with an age of regenesis.