Food Politics

The Future of Food: Vertical Farming

By Christopher Stewart | May 29, 2013

city, farming, food, science

Photo: Su H.P

A few weeks ago there were some online articles circulating about what the future of food will look like. A minimalistic picture of food on a plate was the given image and that image stuck with me. Food in general is a hot button topic, and how much we have, waist and how much we consume is also a major topic of discussion. In highly popular cities, and growing cities alike, the higher the population the more buildings need to be built, which makes less space for farming and agriculture.  This brings up the topic of urban farming, the future of food and also vertical farming.

Vertical farming, which turns a loft building(or skyscraper) into a vertical urban food center, growing produce and leafy greens, is now the talk of the future between horticulturists and diners. Sweden is already looking towards the future, with a plan to build a 177-foot skyscraper that will house and farm leafy greens towards the edge of each floor. Several horticulturists believe that vertical farming in cities will not help the food supply but actually drain the energy. Some believe that it’s better to have large warehouses in suburban areas where property and electricity are cheaper and more efficient.

How would the food grow in a vertical farm you ask? With the help of LED lights throughout the vertical farmhouse. LED lights help food grow, are energy efficient and can be turned to specific wave lengths. Carey Mitchell of Purdue University reported to The Salt blog via NPR.org  that the LED lights, which specifically will be blue and red will help the plants grow at a better pace, and provide better light all around, even when the plant boxes are stacked on top of one another. The LED lights would only supplement natural light, not replace it, and also it would be another way of growing food, not for the moment, but an option for the future.

What are your thoughts on Vertical Farming?  Is this the best way to grow food for the future? 

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