Urbanites may now grow produce in their own houses thanks to vertical farming, which also enables entrepreneurs to address the rising need for more and fresher locally sourced produce.
We frequently hear about vertical farms that produce better-tasting crops while using 95% less water than regular open-field harvesting.
But how does this soilless agricultural method affect people's health?
Harvesting when freshness is at its peak.
With the ability to farm vertically inside one's own house, consumers may now harvest their crops just before eating, leading to crops with a higher nutritional content, better-tasting greens, and a large reduction in food waste.
According to &ever, their Grow Box is a one-stop shop for leafy greens and may even be used by untrained employees. In addition to using "dryponics" to help keep the plants alive until the consumer is ready to harvest them, the proprietary technology of the climate cell creates a consistent microenvironment that enables plants to flourish independently of weather, seasons, and pests.
The crops' freshness is crucial in this situation. Produce no longer needs to travel countless distances via nations or states before arriving at your dinner table. The crops' nutritional worth is also protected because to the time saved on transport. Another advantage is that no synthetic preservatives, such as wax coatings, are required to preserve the product ready for consumption.
Growing in ideal circumstances
In most vertical farms, plants are grown using hydroponics or aeroponics in nutrient-rich water that can be closely monitored by digital sensors. The fertilization techniques are created to fit the needs of the plants for all 14 important plant nutrients throughout the growth period as a result of the degree of control over plant nutrient supply.
Additionally, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels in the grow facility are balanced via control mechanisms to deliver the ideal mix of these elements for the particular crop or crops being cultivated. A consistent year-round output of higher quantity and the greatest quality is available to growers because climatic factors have no impact on the crop's success.
In this way, vertical farms may concentrate more on improving nutritional value and less on ensuring a successful harvest. One such program looking into elements that boost crop nutrients is the SKY HIGH program run by Dr. Leo Marcelis of Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
The Customization Of Genetic Varieties' Development
This startup says it can improve crop productivity, beauty, nutrition, and flavor by creating seeds designed for indoor vertical farms using "only analytics, not gene-editing or GMOs," according to its claims.
They use a data-driven strategy in their seed design method to offer any type of genetic variety, customized for each client. Each property is independently editable, claims Vindara.
Today's seeds are still being developed for lengthy storage and shipping, disease and insect resistance, and other qualities that aren't as important for indoor vertical farming operations. Genetic trade-offs occur from this, lowering nutritional value. Vindara provides producers with nutrient-dense seeds, removing the restrictions imposed by conventional seeds.
Growing Foods That Are Dietary Needs-Adapted
Those suited to certain nutritional demands are increasingly in demand in addition to foods that are fresh and pleasant.
For instance, Prime Delica collaborated with Tamagawa University, CCS, and Signify to perform research to identify the ideal light mix for boosting the vitamin content and nutritional value of lettuce. Similar research has been conducted by Dr. Céline Nicole of the Philips Lighting Research team on the effects of daily light integral (DLI) and light quality on the nitrate and vitamin C levels of arugula, spinach, and tomatoes.
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has achieved success in producing low potassium, high glucosinolate kale through vertical farming as a unique dietary choice for people with renal impairment.
Growing plants with modified nutritional requirements could therefore significantly improve our ability to control our diets and provide produce that can be used as a kind of medication instead of regular produce.
Vertical farms are inherently free of dangerous chemicals since they use controlled growing environments. The use of biological controls eliminates the requirement to taint crops with potentially harmful chemicals.
"Traditional food safety risk profiles associated with conventional farming include analyzing the physical dangers and microbial hazards from water use, herbicide and pesticide use, and effect from animals and animal byproducts," the CEA Food Safety Coalition states. Although the chance of contamination within CEA facilities isn't nil (as evidenced in this recent report), CEA-grown product has a lower probability of such events. These do not affect CEA growers in the same way, if at all.
We discover that the EPA regulates pesticides individually rather than collectively, which means that the pesticides may have a cumulative harmful loading effect on human health when compared to conventional field-grown crops.
According to studies, pesticides most commonly cause symptoms including nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, anxiety, and confusion in farmworkers and pesticide applicators. We can see from this lengthy list of adverse effects that pesticides should not be used carelessly. Therefore, it's advisable to stay away from them at all costs. Thankfully, vertical farms enable us to accomplish this.