Soil and food: no-soil tomatoes and lab-grown meat

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Bra, Italy

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February 19th at 17:00 in your time zone

Free event

The speakers will speak in English, French and Italian.

English version (with translations for non-English sections)

French version (with translations for non-French sections)

Will food of the future be produced in labs? Will we resolve the problems of world hunger and agriculture’s impact on the environment by doing away with the soil altogether?

Among the world’s largest exporters of fresh tomatoes is the Netherlands, which has no historic culture tied to the fruit. The secret lies in their no-soil growing systems and advanced agricultural technologies which can grow fruits and vegetables with no need for soil or sunshine.

In the meantime, some of the largest corporations (including Cargill and Tyson Foods) are undertaking research and development activities aimed at growing meat in laboratories without any livestock or farming procedures. Is this the future of food? Will technology feed a constantly growing population with lab-made food? Is this the response to reduced soil fertility: to do away with the soil altogether?

Or, in another possible future, will food be reconnected to the cycles of the soil, water and the sun? Will we rear animals and grow fruits and vegetables in harmony with the Earth and its natural resources while ensuring the protection of ecosystem services?


Eric Schlosser, American investigative journalist and writer. He is the author of the books Fast Food Nation (2001; adapted into the 2006 movie Fast Food Nation), Reefer Madness (2003), and Command and Control (2013). He was co-producer of the documentary film Food, Inc. (2008).

Paul Ariès, French sociologist and political scientist, is a teacher of public law and researcher in the political sociology of food. Writer and journalist, he is editor of the review Les Zindigné(e)s.  His publications include: Les fils de McDo (1997) and Lettre ouverte aux mangeurs de viande qui souhaitent le rester sans culpabiliser (2019).

Winona LaDuke, American economist and author. She is co-founder of Honor the Earth, a platform that from 1993 works to raise awareness of indigenous struggles for environmental justice. Globally and nationally, she is known for his engagement in the issues of cultural-based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy, and sustainable food systems. She is one of the leaders in the work of protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.

Moderator Piero Sardo, President of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Onlus

This event is free and open to all. 

Cover image: Charles “Duck” Unitas, Unsplash


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Event languages: IT, EN

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