In our series, Real Food, we take a look at the growing trend of vertical farming. Companies like Aerofarms are rethinking how we grow vegetables by going up to provided fresh and affordable produce. Michelle Miller reports.
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If we would stop eating meat we would have enouph food for the whole world population. For every 500 grammes (1 pound) of meat, you need about 6 kg (12 pounds) of grains and 9500 liters (1200 gallons) of water.
What about all the single use plastic, the only way to avoid this is by running an Organic Veg Box Scheme, so the local community would be your customers NOT unsustainable energy intensive supermarkets!. Cut out the Supermarkets and supply in Box’s to locals!
We already grow enough food to feed a population of 10 Billion people, but 80% of world grain and Legumes( +1/3 of all commercially caught fish) is fed to the 70 BILLION animals bred for eating every year!
Why not franchise this method of farming to other places and locations like the way you franchise your KFCs and McDonald's. I am sure there are plenty of developing and underdeveloped countries which could do with this type of farming? Imagine no more going under the hot sun to farm everyday is a big plus for those of us living in hot countries.
All the machinery they use on the farm costs money also and I notice those workers don`t have to be bending down all the time which most Americans don`t like to do. I understand that in California there`s problems between farms and cities competing for water usage. I think there`s a lot to be said in favor of this type of farming.
We already grow enough food to feed 10 Billion people, just 3/4 of it goes to feeding the 70 Billion animals bred for eating by a minority of people in mainly the ‘developed’ countries!. Vertical growth of crops is good for resource efficiency and food miles as they can be placed in a town. But I don’t like the fact that these Vertical farms use single use plastic packaging. To be Green they need to use the waste nutrients from the town they serve as fertilisers so they have a nutrient cycle, and deliver produce in boxes to independent small scale shops, Green Grocers etc. While they supply big stores they will keep using single use plastic!.
Brian Diehl But we can’t ignore the social and environmental costs of animal farming to our health, the environment, social justice, global warming etc. I would disagree with the 30% figure re waste food. Supermarkets on their own are responsible for not far off 30% on their own. When the factor in the loss on farms of Fruit n Veg that is discarded cos it’s not the usual shape or even size, whole fields of Veg are ploughed back into the land cos it grew a bit too big, and Orchards scrubbed up cos the supermarket that was buying their fruit suddenly decices not to use that particular Apple anymore. Then there’s the Supermarket warehouses where whole Pallets of food are wasted, then when you get to the supermarket they chuck tons of perfectly good food and other consumables straight in the skip together, I know cos I am many of my friends used live from the skipped food from just a small Coop, the mega Supermarkets Chuck trolleys full of perfectly good fruit n veg etc every day. Then there’s the waste many people cause from making too much food for a meal or buy too much salad n veg that ends up going bad and chucked!. We live in an extremely inefficient system, which is just the way the powers that be want it, cos more waste equals more stuff sold, and more Petroleum used in Transport etc.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Take wheat, for example. Imagine milling the wheat and turning into flour in the building next door. Now imagine building next to that makes many different types of bread. So on and so forth. No multiply this by every other potential indoor crop. How many jobs can we create in this manner? How much wealth can we create? The biggest impediment is energy cost. Free, or nearly free energy is the key to unlocking this door.
What about all the plastic trays that hold the plants they will break after not too long with constant use!. Also the single use plastic packaging is a big issue, that you don’t get with local independent Greengrocers where u buy the veg/salad loose and use a paper bag if needed. One last thing, I noticed no mention of where the nutrients come from or what they are made from. We as consumers are chucking away down our sewers and in landfill sites all our nutrients instead of using local veg waste etc to make Liquid fertilisers. So chucking nutrients away to be replaced with manufacered nutrient mix’s.
No soil ? So your nutrient rich solution where it come from, mining fertiliser, if you don't use a healthy living soil, the nutrients in your green are not what they should be, not good, eat those thing if you like you will pay the price later one : /
I would guess the biggest costs would be climate control more than LEDs, though most of their lights in this video are florescent t4s? Seriously, could you imagine paying to heat that building all winter in Chicago?
One question that needs to be settled, is the seeds GMO or Non-GMO? Also it almost seems as if we need ways of producing energy either from solar or wind, or adopt methods from Elon Musk , using re-usable energy to run the factories 24/7 with sustainable energy systems!!
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one question is left. are these hydroponic crops really rich in nutrients? it grows artificially (LED-light doesnt have the same spectrum of energy as the sunlight) and without the minerals that are found in soil.
We are definitely on the right path, but we must find a better way to package and not use plastics, and what other types of food can be added to the process?? Greens are fine, but can more vegetables, fruits, and trees be grown in these spaces??
this is not a news nor the report.
This is obviously another commercial.
so do you want to eat veggies that grew upon plastic? instead of actual natural soil? May be today but what about in the long run? what about next generations?
why do you think plants grow on the soil.
Do they know every factors, contents and so on about the nature and soil?
I won't let my family eat these.
They have to be labeled separately.
"these vegies are 'raised' by men off of artificial (man made) nutrition water on a plastic"
So we can choose to buy or not to buy
I'd like to share a piece I wrote on Atmospheric Water Generation - "A Straw in the Sky" which promises unlimited, free, clean water almost anywhere https://blog.graphisoftus.com/graphisoft/a-straw-in-the-sky
Although the tech looks like is solving problems, the story didn't mention the nutritional value of the greens being grown. It mentions controlling the nutrients for plants but that's about it. Just cuz it looks green doesn't mean it's healthy. GMO seeds have been engineered to look, taste and last a lot longer than your non-GMO seeds. Something to think about.
The problem with our Free Market Capitalist system is that it's LIFE BLIND, around 3 minutes into the video you have someone saying that it's not cost effective and energy efficient because of all the LED lights used to grow the food. This problem can easily be fixed by getting off the grid and using solar or wind energy.
We can end hunger on Earth with these vertical farms easily but Capitalism demands a profit first. It's time to end this Free market and get into a more emergent society where every bodies needs are met. Check out the Venus Project.
I know, read my post I never said it wasn't. The people in the video say that. What I was saying is that we can power all the Led's with solar or wind power thus getting off the natural gas and Coal driven power grids we use today.
This guy is against because of the high energy consumption, but what about the energy saved by growing food locally , no long distance transport needed, and it's freshest, i'm in NY and some of the vegetables and greens i buy comes from all the way in California, how much energy is spent doing that, plus the fact that this food can be grown all year long , pest control, weather damage , etc etc etc ...and the energy consumption could be mitigated by solar panels or something...
@James Asper Yep, I agree with you. I graduated in photonics (which is deeply about the light itself plus a lot about the solar energy, practical costs, efficiency, technologies etc but also a lot about LEDs) and I barely can see any costs there compared to the costs of regular farming. I mean come on... this is so bloody obvious that it hurts me to read any skeptical comments.
What if they were to build one of these in a desert where the outside was covered with solar panels using the sun, which is rarely blocked by cloud cover, to power all the components needed? One acre ten stories high could do the work of ten acres of open land. I wonder if crops like corn and wheat could be grown in this way. It would stop the polution of ground water from the pesticides now needed. Seem to be the future of agriculture.
@Jahn Khan incorrect. Deserts have the same issues as anywhere else. Most vegetables and fruit grown in the USA are actually grown in deserts (Central Valley in California), but are still limited by seasonality since contrary to belief, it snows in deserts. Water is an issue, but these systems use less than 10% of the water from traditional systems.
Their investment would show to other investors that they are missing out on something, which would create a pool of potential funds for potential entrepreneurs that would work in such industry and innovate better ways. :)
@Alexander Her Not the OP but I can give you Space Solar which gives energy returns in a equivalent of up to $18 Trill: https://np.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/4uxdbn/im_donald_j_trump_and_im_your_next_president_of/d5tmz74/
I've grown multiple varieties of lettuce in my living room and the taste is not bad actually. I'm going to grow swiss chard, kale and spinach next. It's just a matter of time before the science is tweaked enough to make them taste a little better.
Seriously!!! In the beginning, when they are zoooming in for a birds-eye view of the building, I was screaming: YOU'VE GOT SHITLOADS OF ROOM ON THAT ROOF FOR SOLAR PANELS!!! But, there's a lot of smart people running that business. Soooo, maybe, just maybe there's a reason why they haven't incorporated solar - building codes, might be an airport nearby that causes problems with glare, location of building/geo-location in relation to the sun....
Generally speaking they convert old derelict buildings. The Aerofarm shown for example was inside of an old steel plant. Reusing existing buildings is far more economical than building a new structure for it.
Also, there is no "free lunch" If it is all they say it is....how much electricity s being used? where does that electricity come from? How much more coal and nat gas is being burned to get that electricity? what happend when nat gas goes to infinity? what then? $100 arugula?
Solar is effectively a free lunch. The sun won't go out for billions of years (read: forever, for you) irrespective of whether we use all that energy pelted at Earth for our own purposes or let it radiate back into space on its own.
Buy kilowatts from a solar farm in a desert or other very good place for solar. Use that money earned from selling kilowatt-hours over there to buy kilowatt-hours for the local vertical farm. Also buy solar panels on your building if it'll be profitable where you are. Use only Red and Blue spectrum LEDs because plants reflect green and thus green would be wasted. (you can tell they reflect green because they look green) Pump water back up to recycle it. Be sure to calibrate the pH, clean it, add nutrients etc. You don't need to have a water bill if you simulate the water cycle in-house.
F F modern nuclear reactors have very few radiation concerns. They are well shielded enough to reduce radiation levels to levels safe for humans to live next to. Honestly, the radiation given off by the sun in more of a concern then the radiation given off by a nuclear reactor. . For example, I believe close to 75% of France’s energy (don’t quote me on it) comes from nuclear power and you never hear of health related problems because of it. The main problem with nuclear energy is public perception.
The craziest premise I have ever heard of. Vertical farming...whatever go ahead and do it. POPULATION REDUCTION AT ANY COST YES!!!!!! NOW If you think t is increasing by 20%.... do anything to stop and reverse it... not feed them!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Countries like Taiwan, South Korea and Eastern Asia are already doing this. Africa and Somalia? Would be much more difficult. For many countries it's a lack of space and dirt that is their major problem. In Africa it's a water, disease and revenue problem.
And who is supposed to pay to get the produce from USA to Africa?
And this idea would be counterproductive in Africa, lack of space isn't a concern, lack of sunlight isn't a concern, whereas energy is. Sorry, but the issues throughout Africa are far deeper than what is seen on the surface. The poor and starving are that way because of the rich and powerful across the continent, not simply because they are poor and starving by chance.
darthvader5300 you're using one area of the planet where human settlements aren't common because of its climate
most areas where people live in are near oceans and sunny areas where sunlight is abundant with also having the option of creating geothermal plants in any area nowadays.
the problems for vertical farming as I've seen are minimal since companies could just ship foods from the area towards any designated place where it's in demand.
wow amazing how far our aquaculture has come now. the funny thing their talking about energy about the lights but our government has worked out free energy but they don't want you to know it cuz of the big oil company's that would loose money because most of our government has their hands in the pockets of the oil industry. we could have been saving this Earth a long time ago but we live in a money hungry Society where our government is the ones benefiting from the riches and the poor stay poor and the ones feeling all the problems at the end of the day. America is the new North Korea where our government lies and keep secrets from us and uses mind control through the news networks to lie to the citizens of their states. it's very sad what we have come to and disgusting. if anyone speaks out against them about peace and change they will be killed like Kennedy, Martin Luther King ,Malcolm X, Lincoln and there's proof backing it all up. such a sad time to be living in.
America has been that way for quite some time. Did you know the government has a cure for cancer and aids and have had it for quite some time too. Hemp can also be used for oil as it is the longest burning and most eco friendly. Hemp can also be used for lots of other things as well like paper and it takes less time to produce than trees.
I think you're right for the most part. But, in a free-market society, like USA, when the demand is high enough private citizens will do what's necessary to develop a decent product at a fair price and the government won't be able to stop it. Soon my friend, we will be able to give the middle eastern countries and the powerful oil corporations the middle finger because our cars won't need gasoline. Soon......... very soon!
+Aubrey Sweatt, In most developed countries they are trying to cut down their oil usage. It needs to be changed slowly because most countries are dependent on oil, right? You can't just change it instantly.
And actually, we live in the most 'comfortable' era, sure the wealth gap is growing bigger, but that's the side effect of capitalism.
And my view about the US (YES this is purely my opinion, correct me if I'm wrong), it's going backward, as Trump just cut the budget to climate change research, and doesn't believe in climate change.
Though yes I can agree that we will still be seeing oil as parts of our lives in decades to come.
This has nothing to do with aquaculture, aquaculture is essentially fish farming, aquaponics is the use of fish to provide nutrients to plants in a closed system and aeroponics (this) is a plant being grown with the roots exposed and them being regularly fed through a mist/sprinkler or such like....
Aside from that, I agree with the rest of your comment, absolutely the technology is there to make sustainable/renewable energy. Imagine how much governments would lose in tax revenue if oil was no longer essential - That's why it will never happen in our lifetime.
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