By 2025, the Earth’s population is expected to exceed eight billion. How will all these mouths be fed, given the realities of climate change and the impact on arable land and water scarcity? What energy sources will we turn to when traditional fossil fuels become harder to obtain?
Researchers at Washington State University believe the plant sciences offer the most promising solutions to feeding the world and powering the planet. The “Feed the World” component of WSU’s Festival display focused on the plant science behind developing disease-resistant crops that need little or no pesticides, fertilizer, or water. The “Power the Planet” component explained the development of various biofuel feedstocks—including camelina, woody biomass, and algae—and how they are converted into fuel. Interactive activities, including extracting the DNA from a strawberry, allowed visitors to learn more about feeding our world and powering our planet.