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hydroponics

3 Organizations Sprouting the Urban Food Revolution

The face of agriculture is rapidly changing around the world as urban spaces are being transformed to grow greens. It’s true that there are economic benefits associated with urban farming as dollars circulate through the local community, but the true value in urban farming centers on food quality and health. The existence of farms in urban spaces will mean greater access to fresh and local foods as produce will not have to travel far distances to get from farm to plate. Let’s take a look at organizations in 3 cities across the world that are transforming urban spaces and bringing on the food revolution.

 

Zero Carbon Food in London, United Kingdom

The tunnels under London that served as safe havens during World War II are now being repurposed into underground farms. Zero Carbon Food has descended 100ft underground to develop an expansive system for growing salad leaves and herbs. The two founders, Steven Dring and Richard Ballard, have opted for a hydroponic growing system in their underground farm and keep a keen eye on the temperature, light, and nutrition – all equally important parts of growing healthy and delicious hydroponic greens. Dring and Ballard are set on creating a hi-tech farm that cuts down on the food miles bringing food from harvest to plate and improve freshness. Chefs are taking notice as restaurants are eagerly waiting for fresh local produce to populate their menus. They’re currently serving up eight different microgreens including celery, mustard, radish, and coriander. 

Zero Carbon Food is growing leafy greens, herbs and microgreens in a World War II bomb shelter in London.

Tokyo Salad in Tokyo, Japan

You will find more under Tokyo than an intricate conglomeration of subway lines. Tokyo Salad is the underground farm operated by Tokyo Metro after an employee suggested underground farming as a way to repurpose the space underneath the train tracks. This subterranean urban garden currently grows six kinds of lettuce and four kinds of baby leaf. Without the traditional methods of growing that uses soil or sunlight, these greens are grown with artificial sunlight and employ hydroponic technology by having plants float in nutrient-rich water. These plants are pesticide-free and Tokyo Metro even reports that “You can eat the vegetables without rinsing them, and they will keep for an extended period.”

Tokyo Salad

Edenworks in New York, United States

Edenworks brings hi-tech to urban growing in their rooftop farm in Brooklyn. Located on top of a metalworking shop, the team works tirelessly to bring fresh and locally grown greens to restaurants in the area. The entire ecosystem uses the concept of vertical farming so plants are stacked high on inclined surfaces throughout the space. By using an aquaponic system for greens and herbs, Edenworks remains soil-free and plants take their nutrients from fish manure. Wastewater from the fish travels through a system where bacteria are allowed to convert it into plant food for the farm. Along with their aquaponic system, the rooftop garden uses sensors to capture environmental conditions and water chemistry and uploads it to a large database of information about gardening. The “Farm Management System”, as they like to call it, learns from human farming data and runs algorithms to present the farmer with a daily task list in order to predict and suggest the best growing practices.

Edenworks

Be a part of this food revolution by attending the next community garden event in your area or learning more about one of the many indoor gardens to grow your own fresh greens.

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health

What is a healthy meal?

In 2011 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated the food pyramid and introduced what is dubbed MyPlate. MyPlate is a plate-like food circle that divides the different food groups by the amount of each that is recommended to be on your plate for each meal. This is an intuitive stepping stone from the food pyramid diagram introduced in 1992 since it visually illustrates the amount of each food that should occupy a plate during each meal.

choosemyplate

MyPlate is the most current nutrition guide from the USDA and divides the plate into four sections of approximately 30% grains, 40% vegetables, 10% fruits, and 20% protein. These approximations are accompanied by additional recommendations when thinking about holistic, well-crafted, and healthy meals. These recommendations aim to provide a broader understanding of health and nutrition and include statements such as “switch to 1% or skim milk” and “vary your protein food choices”. When MyPlate was unveiled in 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama remarked:

“Parents don’t have the time to measure out exactly three ounces of chicken or to look up how much rice or broccoli is in a serving. … But we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates. … And as long as they’re eating proper portions, as long as half of their meal is fruits and vegetables alongside their lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, then we’re good. It’s as simple as that.”

Be sure to consult MyPlate to eat healthy meals today and everyday! Everyone can find more information about MyPlate on the USDA website

Learn how to fill your plate with greens grown from Droponic today.

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