High-Rise Farms: The Future of Food?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 30, 2009   View Article

Salads of the future may still be served in bowls, but their ingredients might be grown in skyscrapers.

That’s the hope of scientists and architects who are erecting a unique strategy to feed a swelling population on a planet with finite farmland.

10 slices of summer science

Publication:   Date: June 15, 2009   View Article

From “shooting stars” to the growth of dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, there are several science-related things that occur in the summer. Check out ten.

Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 19, 2008   View Article

Centuries-old European explorers’ tales of lost cities in the Amazon have long been dismissed by scholars, in part because the region is too infertile to feed a sprawling civilization.

But new discoveries support the idea of an ancient Amazonian urban network—and ingeniously engineered soil may have made it all possible.

Fast Food Made Up Mostly of Corn

Publication: Fast Food Made Up Mostly of Corn   Date: November 11, 2008   View Article

If you are what you eat, most Americans are an ear of corn, new research suggests.

A chemical analysis of popular fast foods reveals that some form of the grain appears as a main ingredient in most items—especially beef.

Ancient Amazon Cities Found; Were Vast Urban Network

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 28, 2008   View Article

Dozens of ancient, densely packed, towns, villages, and hamlets arranged in an organized pattern have been mapped in the Brazilian Amazon, anthropologists announced today.

The finding suggests that vast swathes of “pristine” rain forest may actually have been sophisticated urban landscapes prior to the arrival of European colonists.

With U.S. Farmland Maxed Out, Growers Tap Into Reserves

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 2, 2008   View Article

Even though soaring commodity prices are bringing new pressures to increase agricultural output, U.S. farmland is maxed out, limiting any response to price hikes and highlighting how agricultural productivity has failed to keep pace with increasing world demand, experts say.

“Grass Gas” Shows Promise as Superefficient, Clean Fuel

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 8, 2008   View Article

Ethanol made from a prairie grass shows promise as a viable fuel that could be much more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient than corn ethanol, a new study says.

Ethanol is often touted as a cleaner-burning gasoline alternative that lessens dependence on oil.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach