7.4 billion people make up the earth’s population today. This statistic is supposed to increase drastically over the next forty years leaving behind questions of resources and the abundance of land to produce enough food for everyone. Our overall food system has so much room for improvement. As of now, our food travels for many miles, uses a lot of water, is wasted and pollutes the environment. The Rise of Vertical Farming is a documentary directed by Geert Rozinga that may have a few solutions to this ongoing problem.
Farming in today’s world is essentially unsustainable. We are giving up so much of our ecosystem’s land for cultivation to feed the society that we are running out of land to farm. We can’t stop eating, so new ways to cultivate and harvest crops has to be put in motion before it is too late. Urban farming has to be included in the conversation. Statistics show that of the 7.4 billion individuals on earth, most of which reside in cities. Vertical farming could be a solution to this problem by bringing locally grown produce right into the heart of cities worldwide. Rows of crops are no longer bound by the earth, instead stacked stories high in an indoor environment. Taking residence in old factories, apartment buildings, and office buildings can supply local produce to the inhabitants of the city while greatly reducing the destruction to the environment.
There is a demand for locally grown food now more than ever before. The organic food industry went from basically nothing to a 40-billion-dollar company over the last decade. Vertical farming uses absolutely zero pesticides or other fertilizers that alter the production of the crop in any way. Data is taken repeatedly of all the crops so that if any disease or mutation of any kind arises, the plant will be pinpointed and disposed of for little to no risk of harmful risk such as E. coli. The growth media is 100 percent reusable and water is used thoughtfully throughout the vertical farm. The vertical farms bring produce that has been cultivated just miles away to the table of many individuals in city location. For example, Square Roots is a company that has provided urban farming techniques to Brooklyn, New York. The company can provide 130 acres worth of produce in a 1-acre vertical farm.
In conclusion, I feel that this documentary is a useful tool to open the minds of all humans in preparation for a better environmental approach to our food system. I agree with many of the points made in this documentary such as bringing locally grown produce “more locally” than we think. This eliminates the harsh travel times, pesticide use to keep the food good, and loss of nutrition value due to when it was harvested. Our food system needs safety, security, and sustainability. Vertical farming provides all of these qualities along with trust in our food. This documentary was well put together, although, I feel like it was a little bias toward vertical farming being the only way to reduce the consumptions of fossil fuels. Vertical farming along with many other advancements in the way we can live a more sustainable life is exactly what we need to do if we want to survive as a nation.
Rozinga , G. (Director). (2017, May). Rise of Vertical Farming [Video file]. Retrieved February 21, 2018.