Supersized Earth

Food, Fire and Water

Series 1 - Episode 3 Food, Fire and Water



This series is billed as a celebration of how we have engineered a man-made world tailored to our needs, controlling nature on a gigantic scale. However this week it’s also, for children of the right sort of age, a good primer on where stuff comes from — where the beef in your burger comes from (see a Brazilian ranch with 125,000 cattle!) or the copper in your wires (a vast US copper mine) or the tomatoes in the supermarket (the endless greenhouses of the Costa del Sol).

And because Dallas Campbell always goes for the biggest and best of everything the pictures are often jaw-dropping, too. His conclusion? “We have entered an unprecedented age.”


Dallas Campbell examines what it takes to keep seven billion humans alive, in terms of energy, food and water. Forty per cent of the planet's land surface is now devoted to growing food. To understand the sheer scale of this, the presenter paraglides over the world's largest collection of greenhouses on the south coast of Spain and joins the cowboys on Brazil's biggest cattle ranch as they herd more than 125,000 livestock. He also discovers how the man-made Lake Mead helped transform harsh desert into the bright lights of Las Vegas and joins the team building an artificial river from south to north China. Currently the world's most ambitious engineering project, it is an example of how the planet is being remodelled to man's needs.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Dallas Campbell
Director Nigel Walk
Executive Producer Helen Thomas
Producer Nigel Walk
Series Producer Simon Finch