Hey foodohoolics this post is all about the benefits and the advantages of the vertical farming and the future of food. indoor vertical farming can be the future of the food also there are many advantages of vertical farming, So if you live on planet Earth and you’re one of seven billion people that eats food every day.
I need you to pay attention, because over the next three decades, we will need to address one of the most critical global challenges of our generation And I’m not talking about climate change. I’m talking about food and agriculture.
In 2050, our global population is projected to reach 9.8 billion, with 68 percent of us living in urban city centers. In order to feed this massive population, we will need to increase our agricultural output by 70 percent over current levels.
Just to put this number into perspective, we will need to grow more food in the next 35 to 40 years than the previous 10,000 years combined.
Put simply, not only is our global population becoming bigger, but it’s also getting denser, and we will need to grow significantly more food using significantly less land and resources. Complicating our current efforts to address these major demographic shifts are the challenges facing the agricultural industry today.
Globally, one third of all the food that we produce is wasted, acquitting to 1.6 billion tons of food that spoiled on the way to the market or expired in our refrigerators or were simply thrown out by supermarkets and restaurants at the end of the day.
Every single year,up to 600 million people will get sick eating contaminated food, highlighting the challenge that we have of maintaining global food safety. And, maybe unsurprisingly, the agricultural industry is the single largest consumer of fresh water, accounting for 70 percent of global usage.
Now, you’ll be relieved to know that the agricultural industry and that the global movement by universities, companies and NGOs is putting together comprehensive research and developing novel technology to address all of these issues. And many have been doing it for decades.
Let’s know more about the advantages of vertical farming
One of the more recent innovations in food production being deployed in industrial parks in North America, in the urban city centers of Asia, and even in the arid deserts of the Middle East is controlled environment agriculture.
Controlled environment friendly farming is in fact just a fancy way of saying weather or climate proof farming, and many of these farms grow food three dimension ally in vertical racks, as opposed to traditional farming two-dimensions.
And so this type of food production is also referred to as indoor vertical farming. .
Commercially speaking, indoor vertical farming is a fairly recent trend, which is why consumers are more concerned about food health and where their food comes from, and
the necessary technology to make this possible is more readily available and lower cost, and the overall cost of food production globally is actually increasing, making this type of food production more competitive. In indoor vertical farming natural sunlight is replaced with artificial lighting like LEDs. While there are many different types of LEDs being used.
In addition to the advantages of vertical farming it often use and install racking systems to grow vegetables vertically to maximise production for a given area, and some of the largest facilities stack their production up to 14 to 16 floors high.
Now most of these farms are hydroponic or aeroponic systems, which means that instead of using soil, they use a substitute material like polyurethane sponges, biodegradable peat moss and even use inorganic materials like per lite and clay pellets.
Another unique aspects about the indoor vertical farming is that they use a precise nutrient formula that is circulated and recycled throughout the facility, and this is pumped directly to the vegetables’ root zone to promote plant growth. And lastly, these indoor vertical farms use a sophisticated monitoring and automation system to significantly increase productivity, efficiency and consistency, and these tools also provide the added benefit of producing food that is more traceable and safe.
Some of the obvious benefits of growing food in this way is that you have year-round vegetable production, you have consistent quality and you have predictable output. Some of the other major benefits include significant resource use efficiencies, particularly water.
For every kilogram of vegetables grown in this way, hundreds of liters of water is conserved compared to conventional farming methods. And with the water savings come similar savings in the use of fertilizer. One of the highest-yielding farms grows over 350 times more food per square meter than a conventional farm.
And weatherproofing means complete control of incoming contaminants and pests, completely eliminating the need for the use of chemical pesticides. And not to be mistaken, these farms can produce enormous amounts of food, with one of the biggest facilities producing 30,000 heads of vegetables a day.
However, as with any new technology or innovation, there are some drawbacks. As you would imagine, growing food in this way can be incredibly energy-intensive.
Also, these farms can only produce a small variety of vegetables commercially and the overall cost of the production still is quite high. And in order to address these issues, some of the biggest and most sophisticated farms are making significant investments,starting with energy efficiency.
In order to reduce the high energy usage, there are efforts to develop higher-efficiency LEDs, to develop lasers optimized for plant growth and using even fiber-optic cables like these to channel sunlight directly into an indoor vertical farm during the day to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
Also, to reduce the labor costs associated with hiring a more sophisticated, more urban and also more high-skilled labor force, robotics in automation is used extensively in large-scale facilities. And you can never really be too resource-efficient.
Building vertical indoor farms or doing indoor vertical farming in and around urban city centers can help shorten the supply chain for agriculture and also help preserve vegetable nutritional content.
Also, there are food deserts in many countries that have little to no access to nutritious vegetables, and as this industry matures, it will become possible to provide more equitable access to high-quality,highly nutritious vegetables in even the most under privileged of communities.
finally, and this is really exciting for me personally, indoor vertical farming can actually be integrated seamlessly into the city scape to help re-purpose idle, underutilized and unused urban infrastructure.
In fact, this is already happening today. Ride-sharing services have taken hundreds of thousands of cars off the road and they have significantly reduced the need for parking.
There is a farm that is installed in central Beijing in an underutilized-underground parking structure to grow vegetables for the nearby hotels. Underutilized infrastructure is not simply limited to large-scale civil engineering projects, and they can also include smaller spaces like idle restaurant corners.
This is an example of a farm installed directly into the partition of a hotel entrance in order to grow fresh herb sand micro greens on-site for the chefs.
Honestly, if you look around, you will find underutilized space everywhere, under, around and inside of urban developments.
I hope by getting more familiar about the information of vertical farming and the advantages of vertical farming you must have thought of starting that.
Do check my other post about food recipes and other food and beverage related content at foodohoolic.