Vertical Farming - Turning Agriculture Upside-Down
Food is one of the essentials of life, it is not something that we can choose to eat or not; but rather something we need in order to produce energy and survive. Not only is food essential but also sparse. Until the introduction of large scale agriculture food was something which people needed to forage and hunt. Lack of food has been a source for wars, famine, and starvation; all things we as human beings should strive to avoid.
Here are some facts about what to expect by 2050. There will be a population increase of 3 billion people to 9.5 billion. Currently 50% of the population is living in Urban areas, by 2050 that number will jump to 80%. Currently 15% of suitable land has been laid to waste by poor management practices. These are some shocking figures, and the reason is down to two things misappropriation of technology and greed.
Throughout the past 100 years agricultural processes which have been born out of the industrial, chemical, and then later the genetical revolutions are at first viewed as saviors to growing crops at cheaper and cheaper prices based on the principals of economies of scale. The more you produce, the cheaper you produce it. However this technological advances which border upon miracles are in-fact destroying the nutritional value of soil all over the world, and opening new doors to infectious disease and immune parasites.
After the industrial revolution farmers began growing only cash crops; what ever could make them the most money at that point in time. The problem with this method of farming is that when there is no crop rotation only certain minerals and nutrients are drained from the soil where as others which can even be toxic to other plants in higher doses, are added.
During the introduction of household pesticides and large scale farming with pesticides during the mid-1900s up till now has seen a dramatic shift in the types of flora and fauna that we see around farming communities around the world. Many pesticides are harmful to only on type of plant or animal, and when that species is removed from the local ecosystem it can offset the balance between itself and other species it interacts with.
The last 20 years has seen the introduction of Genetically Modified crops. They are now the most common type of corn, soya been, and soon sugar beat grown in North America. The European Union has till thus far made illegal the sale of GM Foods for public consumption but it is used as animal feed for European livestock. These GM Food products have been created by Monsanto and are the product line is called "Round-Up Ready..." and then the name of the plant.
This Round-Up Ready tag means that the plant can withstand the poisonous effects of the Round-Up; Monsanto's pesticide. This pesticide kills all plants and animals in the area it's used except for the one crop which is being planted. This completely obliterates ecosystems and simply injects more toxic...