News Flash: Ants Are Actually Better Farmers Than We Are

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.

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.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

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

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Health

Just In