Food production

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Technology is becoming more efficient and automated, leading to food production that is now capable of becoming abundant and healthier. With vertical farm technology and low energy/low impact cultivation methods such as hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics and soilless methods, agriculture and food production methods can become efficient. For example, in Singapore, a low energy/low impact vertical farm system was custom built in a transparent enclosure. The system utilizes one liter of water per tower, collected from a rainwater-fed overhead reservoir, and costs about $3 per month to run. This hydraulic expenditure system leaves a small environmental footprint, and requires minimal energy equivalent to lighting a 40-watt light bulb. Vertical farming is reported as ten times more productive per square foot than conventional farming, saving more resources and energy.8

Genetically Modified production methods could become a consideration of an optimized method of food production. GM technology alters organisms using genetic engineering. GM food production methods can enhance or eliminate potential risks in an organism. GM technology helps farmers in making plants more resistant to disease and stress. For example Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV) plagued the Hawaii’s papaya’s industry for decades. Thanks to GM technology, researchers developed a genetically modified papaya, known as the Rainbow papaya, designed to be resistant to the virus. Just consider the possibilities of GM technology beyond agriculture. Around 7.9 million children each year are born with serious birth defects that have significant genetic contributions. GM technology can feasibly help solve issues like this and like the previously mentioned issues in food production. If we could safely and technically correct these errors why would we contend with this advancement?

With the combination of GM and soilless farming, GM technology can assist in ending food scarcity.9 Aside from it’s association to an unethical corporation, GM technology can be an option if adequately researched correctly. It is time to efficiently allocate our financial resources for the intelligent production of our food sources. Our level of food waste and inefficiency does not need to of this magnitude. In the words of food waste researcher Valentin Thurn, “the number of calories that end up in the garbage in North America and Europe would be sufficient to feed the hungry of this world three times over.”

Aquaponics

Portable soilless farm

Japanese vertical farm lettuce production

Singapore vertical farm

Genetically Modified Methods

Pamela Ronald: The case for engineering our food