Taste has always been centric to dinner table conversation. The flavor of the food we consume drives discussion and evokes emotions that extend beyond pleasantry. But what if we took it one step further and instead of focusing solely on the delicious nature of the meal, we discussed how it arrived there in the first place? Perhaps this begins with how the meal was prepared: techniques, ingredients, etc. but transitions to where the ingredients came from and how they were produced. Better yet, how do we fuel the problems surrounding food with our eating habits and how can we do better?
It’s key to consider the effect food transportation has on your meal, and the environment. The transportation of food has become essential for its consumption but often at the expense of natural resources. On average, produce travels 1,500 miles to get from the farm to your plate.
While Farm to Table restaurants and “Eat Local” slogans have been helpful in educating people about where their food is coming from, we can further reduce the mileage of our food by growing food at home. In doing so, we can cut down on the emissions caused by the trucks transporting food, the resources used to farm it, and the waste at every stage of the process.
Beyond the environmental advantages, growing food at home means fresher and oftentimes more delicious and nutritious produce right at your fingertips instead of right off a truck. Crops that travel from those far-away farms were once fresh but degrade throughout the shipping process and pass through people and places to reach you. Many of us have never laid eyes on a fresh head of Red Leaf lettuce or smelled the scent of Amethyst basil growing in our very own kitchen, let alone tasted it. For most, the farm is counties, if not states away. A freshly harvested Farmshelf crop, on the other hand, is not only more convenient as it’s just steps away, but its flavor is unmatched.
Even if cleaning our plates was ingrained in us as kids, we’re still causing dramatic levels of food waste. Over one and a half billion tons of food goes to waste each year and that figure is growing. The environmental impact of food waste is undeniable, contributing to 22 percent of all landfills and almost a tenth of all greenhouse gas emissions.
A huge portion of food waste takes place at the consumer level, with produce topping the list of items tossed aside. While the farming and food industries have their own battles to fight, shifting consumer behavior can be tackled at home. Purchasing only food we can consume before it spoils, prioritizing in-season produce, and overlooking minor imperfections on the produce we do buy are all small steps we can take to reduce food waste. By shopping at farmer’s markets, you can also help localize the supply chain, which means less waste at every stage from farm to table.
Now, imagine a world where you can plant your own produce, pick only what you need, and leave the rest growing. While this is presently available to those with home gardens, we believe it should be available to everyone. That’s what we’re building with Farmshelf.
If talking trash isn’t on the menu, consider water. By 2050, over half of the world’s population will live in areas where the freshwater supply is under pressure. Agriculture is the largest consumer of water.
Traditional farming methods use inefficient irrigation systems that deplete and sometimes pollute the freshwater supply. As the global population rises, the evolution of growing food is a necessity if we want to sustainably feed the world and protect its water supply. With innovative hydroponic systems, a method of growing crops in a more-controlled water-based solution without the use of soil, growers are making strides in water-efficient farming.
Farmshelf technology takes hydroponics one step further. This smart indoor farm automatically delivers water and nutrients to your plants from a built-in water tank, giving your crops exactly what they need to grow. By optimizing water consumption, it uses 90 percent less water than traditional growing methods. And yet, your crops will be fuller in flavor and ultra rich in quality.