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George Monbiot on the New Food Revolution

Is Monbiot’s vision of an almost farm-free future viable or even desirable?

We need a food revolution – one that will transform the face of the planet and our relationship with it. That will be George Monbiot’s rallying cry when he came to Intelligence Squared to talk about the themes of his major new book Regenesis: Feeding the World without Devouring the Planet. 

As Monbiot argued, farming is the world’s greatest cause of environmental destruction – and the one we are least prepared to talk about. We have ploughed, fenced and grazed great tracts of the planet, felling forests, killing wildlife, and poisoning rivers and oceans to feed ourselves. Yet millions still go hungry. But, as Monbiot claimed, there is a solution. Drawing on new scientific breakthroughs, he revealed how technology could allow us to grow more food with less farming. He discussed the extraordinary pioneers who are changing the way we get our food, from the farmers who are freeing the land from ploughs and poisons to the scientists who are finding new ways to grow protein, fats and carbohydrate in the lab – with the possibility of making the arguments about plant-vs meat-based diets ultimately irrelevant. 

Is Monbiot’s vision of an almost farm-free future viable or even desirable?

Praise for George Monbiot’s Regenesis 

Regenesis weaves the poetry of soil into the politics of farming to shake the ground on which we all grow. This is Monbiot’s masterpiece: an urgent and exhilarating journey into remaking what and how we eat’ – Kate Raworth

Regenesis speaks to us like a poem … It must be read’ – Yanis Varoufakis

Regenesis is a world-making, world-changing book; at once visionary and rigorous and practicable. It rings and sings throughout with Monbiot’s extraordinary combination of passion, generosity and justice.’ – Robert Macfarlane

Photo Credit: Guy Reece



George Monbiot

Guardian columnist, environmental campaigner and author of Regenesis: Feeding the World without Devouring the Planet.

Author, Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner. His bestselling books include Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life, Heat: How We Can Stop the Planet Burning, and Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis. He co-wrote the concept album Breaking the Spell of Loneliness with musician Ewan McLennan, and has made a number of viral videos. One of them, adapted from his 2013 TED talk, How Wolves Change Rivers, has been viewed on YouTube over 40 million times. Another, on Natural Climate Solutions, which he co-presented with Greta Thunberg, has been watched over 60 million times. His new book is Regenesis: Feeding the World without Devouring the Planet. 

Alice Thomson

Columnist and interviewer at The Times

Columnist and interviewer at The Times. A former Times trainee, she became a foreign correspondent, feature writer and political reporter for the paper before moving to The Telegraph as a columnist, restaurant reviewer and leader writer. She returned to The Times in 2008. She is the co-author with Rachel Sylvester of What I Wish I’d Known When I Was Young: The Inspirational New Book About the Art and Science of Growing Up, and co-host of the Past Imperfect podcast.