At NuLeaf, we believe that food security is quickly becoming one of the most important issues of our time. With an estimated 10 billion people on the planet by 2057, the need to invest into developing new technologies and methods to grow more food while using a fraction of the resources we use today.
Around the world, roughly 50% of our habitable land and 70% of freshwater is used to support a tired and often frail agriculture system. Wasteful and inefficient supply chains depend on an aging workforce to feed a hungry planet in the face of growing list of challenges most often beyond their control.
- Climate Change (droughts, fires, floods)
- Rising Input Costs (energy, fertilizers, seeds)
- Mother Nature (pests, disease)
- Ageing Workforce (Avg 59 years old)
- Reliable supply chains (get product to market)
- Land degradation due to topsoil loss
Unfortunately, the volatility from most of these threats seem likely to subside anytime soon.
In order for the global food economy to carry use into a sustainable future, we must first tackle the challenge of feeding ever growing population while simultaneously protecting the environment.
We’re on a mission to combine plant science and technology to improve people’s access to fresh, locally grown agriculture products. We believe that environmentally sustainable, indoor farming will play a large role in how we resolve the food security challenge.
Why is food security important? Read below to learn more about this global issue and what we can all do to create a sustainable and secure future.
What Defines Food Security?
We know that food security affects individuals and households all around the world. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explains:
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
The FAO further describes the four dimensions of food security:
- Availability – sufficient quantities of quality food through domestic production or imports
- Access – adequate resources to acquire nutritious food
- Utilization – reaching a state of nutritional well being through a healthy diet
- Stability – having access to a suitable food supply at all times
What is Food Security vs. Food Insecurity?
Food security is our ability to maintain access to the nutritious food required to live a healthy life. Food insecurity occurs when this access erodes. Because food accessibility is a basic human entitlement, national governments typically assume the responsibility of ensuring food availability for individuals.
The Government of Canada defines household food insecurity as:
the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so.
Countries in colder climates, where traditional farming operations are seasonal, rely on global trade and food imports to maintain food security. However, indoor farming technology represents a new opportunity to reliably grow fresh local crops 365 days/year.
NuLeaf’s indoor farming solutions are tested and proven to meet the highest standards of safe and reliable crop production. Suitable for a wide range of applications, hydroponic farms offer solutions to help address food security.
The NuLeaf team has decades of experience in growing plants indoors using a wide range of hydroponic farms. From easy-to-use home grow systems to industrial warehouse sized vertical farm operations, the NuLeaf team has the experience and know how to ensure every project is a success.
Improve Food Security
Pick for Freshness, Not Shipping
Maintaining shelf freshness is a common challenge for grocers. This often leads to sub-optimal produce being sold in supermarkets leading to an all too familiar situation for most of us. Having to throw away food you just purchased just days prior. Not only is this a waste of your hard-earned money, but it is also a waste of all the resources such as water, energy and nutrients that went into growing that food. To make matters worse, this wasted food will be sent to a landfill where it will emit methane gas (a very destructive Green House Gas) while it decomposes.
With highly perishable fruits and vegetables, up to 60% of all the food planted could be wasted before ever making it to your dinner plant. If we want to address food security, we must first fix how food is distributed. In cold Northern climates like Canada, we depend on over 80% of our perishable food being imported into the country. These imports, most commonly from the United States, travel and average of almost 3000 Kilometers before making their way into our kitchens. If we want to reduce food waste, we must grow locally to feed locally.
Reduce Dependency on Food Imports
If you live in a cold climate like Canada, many of the foods you eat travel across the world to your local grocery store. It’s even common for certain “fresh” foods to take weeks to get to store shelves weeks after harvest.
However, by bringing our farms into our cities, planted inside old warehouses or repurposed industrial space, indoor farms can provide safe, reliable and fresh food and also local jobs year-round. Creating resilient communities with food going from plant-to-plate in less than 24 hours… now that is fresh!
Fresh, Locally-Grown Produce
Stay Local, Grow 365 Days a Year
When it comes to solving the food security issue, we all have a role to play.
As individuals, we can focus on creating sustainable consumption habits when buying products at a store. For plant lovers or people just looking to save some money on their monthly grocery bill, there is a wide range of easy to use, low maintenance solutions for you to grow your own food at home, indoors, all year-round.
These may seem like small efforts. But combined, these actions can make a big impact. Governments, food retailers and distributors also have roles to play. Localizing the food economy with vertical farming technology is an important step in the future of food security. With continued investment and interest from our partners, companies like NuLeaf are building networks of farms across countries. Building stronger communities’ while growing tomorrow’s future today.