Vertical Farming: can urban agriculture feed a hungry world?
By Fabian Kretschmer and Malte E. Kollenberg.
-Vertical farming has the potential to feed up to 10 billion people. The catch is that vertical farms require huge amounts of energy.
-The benefits of indoor farming:
1. Less land use while still producing the same amount.
2. Independent from weather conditions meaning there is a (almost) guaranteed regularity and food security.
3. More efficient due to regulations of temperature, light, humidity, etc.
4. Generally uses a lot less water than the conventional farm.
-The consequences of indoor farming:
1. The replacement of sunlight, a free natural resources, with LEDs.
(For example, "if you wanted to replace all of the wheat cultivation in the US for an entire year using vertical farming, you would need eight times the amount of electricity generated by all the power plants in the US over a single year - and that is just for powering the lighting.")
2. Reliance on renewable energy requires a complete change in our energy production methods today which will take a long time.
("At the moment, renewable energy sources only generate about 2 percent of all power in the US. Accordingly, the sector would have to be expanded 400-fold to create enough energy to illuminate indoor wheat crops for an entire year.")
-The model imitates the rice terraces in East Asia.
-I understand logically how vertical farming has the potential to meet all of our needs as the population grows and therefore demand for food grows. But in my opinion, it is still a temporary fix; the temporary term has just ended to perhaps a few more decades. I think this type of farming will continue to perpetuate the average city dweller's dissonance with nature and with food production. If this continues, a change in our consumption and our understanding will not occur and I think that is the key to fixing the problem at the root. I think one of the few ways for this to happen is for people to farm themselves; to understand the act of giving and taking from the earth.
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