What Would We Eat without Sunlight? Exploring Strategies for Post-Catastrophic Food Resilience

Date and Time
226 Erickson Food Science Building

A global catastrophe such as a major asteroid strike would threaten humanity’s survival, both through its immediate impacts and by generating soot that would block sunlight, lower global temperatures, and alter precipitation patterns in a way that would severely inhibit conventional agriculture and raise the specter of mass starvation. An interdisciplinary project recently launched at Penn State is exploring how people might work together to grow, harvest, process, store, and eat nutritious food under post-catastrophic conditions. I will share initial findings from the project, highlighting the question of whether it would be possible to convert inedible plant biomass, an abundant potential source of calories, into edible foods that would sustain humanity during a global crisis.