Imagine going to the beach, looking out across the ocean, and seeing an endless stretch of...tomato plants. Those days may still be years off, but the case for using seawater for farming is getting stronger. Italian researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Chemical Society say that when tomato plants are watered with a 12% saltwater solution, they produce sweeter, tastier fruit that's also higher in vitamins A and C.
It's a great step forward, and with our planet 3/4 covered in water, why not take it to the logical extreme? A future-agriculture group called the Seawater Foundation has shown in the past that they could grow crops in otherwise barren parts of Eritrea in east Africa using just ocean water.
But could we take it even further? with a little genetic tinkering, would it be possible to cultivate great floating farms out at sea? Could the Pacific Ocean be Earth's bread/rice basket of the future? With the way food prices have been skyrocketing and words like 'food crisis' being thrown around, it's an idea worth some exploration.