Headline, July 30 2021/ HUNGER : ''' '' TECH -SCIENCE- TEST '' '''


''' '' TECH -SCIENCE- TEST '' '''

GLOBAL HUNGER GULPS : AROUND ONE-THIRD of the available food in the world is wasted while being handled at farms, in transportation, storage and at the kitchen level.

It is at the kitchen level that most food goes waste. People are deprived of food not so much due to shortage of it, but because they lack the purchasing power to buy food.

LIVING : JUST ADD WATER : New meg-indoor farms with high tech advances draw investors and critics alike.

The technical term for hydroponic farming is controlled environmental agriculture, but people in the business refer to it as indoor farming. What used to be simply called farms are now referred to as land-based farms or open-field agriculture.

In this pretty town on the edge of a coal country, a high-tech greenhouse so large it could cover 50 football fields glows with pinks and yellows of 30,600 LED and high-pressure sodium lights.

INSIDE, without a teaspoon of soil, nearly three million pounds of beefsteak tomatoes grow on 45-feet-high vines whose roots are bathed in nutrient-enhanced rainwater. Other vines hold thousands of small, juicy snacking tomatoes with enough tang to impress Martha Stewart, who is on the board of AppHarvest, a startup that harvested its first crop here in January and plans to open 11 more indoor farms in Appalachia by 2025.

In a much more industrial setting near the Hackensack River in Kearney, N.J., trays filled with sweet baby butter-head lettuce and sorrel that tastes of lemon and green apple are stacked high in a windowless warehouse, what is known as a vertical farm.

Bowery, the largest vertical-farming company in the United States, manipulates light, humidity, and temperature and other conditions to grow produce, bankrolled by investors like Justin Timberlake, Natalie Portman, and the chefs Jose Andres and Tom Colicchio.

''Once I tasted the arugula, I was sold,'' said Mr. Colicchio, who for years rolled his eyes at people who claimed to grow delicious hydroponic produce. ''It was so spicy and so vibrant, it just blew me away.''

The two operations are a part of a new generation of hydroponic farms that create precise growing conditions using technological advances like machine-learning algorithms, data analytics and proprietary software systems to coax customized flavors and textures from fruits and vegetables. And they can do it almost anywhere.

These farms arrive at a pivotal moment, as swaths of America wither in the heat and drought of climate change, abetted in part by certain forms of agriculture. The demand for locally grown food has never been stronger, and the pandemic has shown many people that the food supply chain isn't as resilient as they thought.

But not everyone is on board. These huge farms grow produce in nutrient-rich water, not the healthy soil that many people believe is at the heart of both deliciousness and nutrition. They can consume vast amounts of electricity. Their most ardent opponents say the claims being made for the hydroponics are misleading and even dangerous.

''At the moment, I would say the bad guys are winning,'' said David Chapman, a Vermont farmer and the executive director of the Real Organic Project. ''Hydroponic production is not growing because it produces healthier food. It's growing because of the money. Anyone who frames this as food for the people or the environment is just lying.''

''We've perfected mother nature indoors through that perfect combination of science and technology married with farming,'' said Daniel Malechuk, the chief executive of Kalera, a company that sells whole lettuce heads, with the roots intact, in plastic clamshells for about the same price as other pre-washed lettuce.

In March, the company opened a 77,000-square-foot facility south of Atlanta that can produce more than 10 million heads of lettuce a year. Similar indoor farms are coming to Houston, Denver, Seattle, Honolulu and St,. Paul, Minn.

The beauty of the process, Mr. Malechuk and other executives say, is that it isn't limited by seasons. The cost and growing period for a crop can be produced precisely and farms can built wherever people need fresh produce.

''We can grow in the Antarctic,'' he said. ''We can be on an island. We can be on the moon or in the space station.''

That's easy to picture : The farms are staffed by a new breed of young farmers who wear lab coats instead of overalls, and prefer computers to tractors.

TODAY, THE MORE THAN 2,300 farms growing hydroponic crops in the United States make up only a sliver of the country's $5.2 billion fruit and vegetable market. But investors enamored of smart agriculture are betting heavily on them.

In 2020, $929 million poured into U.S. indoor-farming ventures, more than double the investments in 2019, according to PitchBook data. Grocery chains and California's biggest berry growers are teaming up with vertical farms, too.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Science, Technology and the Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Kim Severson.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, Scientists, Innovators, Inventors, Leaders, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and  Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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