News Flash: Ants Are Actually Better Farmers Than We Are

More

Here's a revelation that will give the words "ant farm" a whole new meaning: ants not only actually farm—they sow, weed, spray, and harvest huge gardens of fungi—but they do so with public health and safety standards that put our own to shame. According to Smithsonian entomologist Mark Moffett, if ants were in charge there would be no oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In an interview with Civil Eats, Moffett outlines what we can learn from our agriculturally gifted little friends:

The ants have evolved a much more serious understanding and ability to deal with environmental issues in their little scale than we have in ours.

The gardens are precisely regulated, their temperature, the humidity, any weedy things that enter in to their system are removed instantly, any diseases are micromanaged and they do things that might be impractical for us ... they put their gardens into hundreds of separate chambers so if any one of them has a problem they can cordon it off, and keep it separate from the rest of their society. Everything about their organization has a redundant fail safe to it.

Read the full story at Civil Eats.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In