The global food movement has expanded in the last few years to offer us a variety of choices. At the same time, we have never been more confused about our eating choices. Ever wonder why the fruits and vegetables we used to eat in our childhood no longer taste the same? Or why do fruits and vegetables sometimes have a waxy coating that makes them appear unnatural and artificial? And why is it so hard to find really fresh greens and vegetables in the market?
The answers lie in understanding how our food is currently produced and what processes shape the food we buy in our grocery stores. Most importantly, where does our food come from and how long does it take for it to reach us?
Commercial agriculture, especially in developing countries, has grown to rely heavily on chemicals to enhance the yield and production of food crops. The world of food today is dominated by chemicals. Pesticides and fertilisers are used indiscriminately to increase yield from commercial agriculture. Chemical coatings extend the life of fruits and vegetables so that they can be picked, packed, shipped and sold weeks or months after they have left the farm. It usually takes a while for the produce to end up in grocery stores in the cities, depriving us of fresh, wholesome and real food.
Modern methods of farming have led to high levels of human and environmental damage including soil and groundwater pollution. The unregulated and indiscriminate application of pesticides and fertilisers has raised serious concerns about human health. Studies show that more than 98% of sprayed pesticides reach a destination other than their target crops, becoming pollutants of air, water and soil.
India is the largest producer of pesticides in Asia and ranks in the top ten countries for pesticide consumption, including those that have been banned for their carcinogenic effects in other countries.
Is organic really good for you?
Contrary to what most people believe, “organic” food does not automatically mean “pesticide-free” or “chemical free”. In fact, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide variety of chemical sprays and powders on their crops. The rule being that pesticides that organic farmers use, must be derived from natural sources and not produced synthetically in laboratories.
We know that synthetic pesticides have shocking health impacts. About half of them have been known to be carcinogenic and can severely impair brain function and cause a variety of diseases. And we automatically assume that ‘natural’ pesticides mean that they are harmless. Scientists and researchers did not even study these pesticides and believed that if its natural, it must be better. Consumers, Farmers and researchers alike made the same mistake. We assumed that “natural” chemicals were automatically safer and better than synthetic materials. Guess what? We were all wrong.
Recent studies have shown that ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ pesticides are also equally harmful and are known to cause cancer. They can severely alter our central nervous system and erode our immunity. Even though organic farming promotes the use of non-chemical means to produce food, these methods do not always provide enough protection, and it’s necessary to use chemical pesticides. A study comparing the effectiveness of an organic ‘natural’ pesticide mixture with a synthetic pesticide, found that in order to achieve the same levels of protection, one needed to spray seven rounds of the organic ‘natural’ pesticide, as opposed to one round of the synthetic pesticide.
Moreover, since organic produce is grown in soil, it does not control the level of soil pollution, dangerous contaminants and hazardous chemicals. The groundwater pollution rates in India are amongst the highest in the world, including contamination by heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. A study shows that around 75% of groundwater in India is polluted and heavily contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Considering these factors, organic food doesn’t provide customers with safe, fresh and high nutrient-dense food. So, what is better than organic?
The Future of Food: Hydroponics and Aeroponics
A UN report says that “the population living in urban areas is projected to rise threefold from 2019 to 2022.” Most of that urban growth will be concentrated in the cities of the world’s less developed regions. Producing the freshest, high-quality nutritious food for the burgeoning cities and while simultaneously solving the nutrition problem of Indian consumers is a great challenge.
Hydroponically grown produce uses soil-less farming to produce the freshest, cleanest and the most flavourful food known to us. Hydroponics implies that the produce is grown using water and without any harmful chemicals. The plants derive their nutrition from water and porous materials such as coconut peat help in retaining the moisture for the plants. This also ensures that more can be produced in less time and using minimal space. Hydroponics uses 95% less water than traditional agriculture and leaves a lesser ecological footprint on our planet.
At Living Food Company, we decided to grow microgreens and herbs that are up to 40 times more nutritious than their mature counterparts, hydroponically. Our greens are grown using only clean and filtered water, with zero chemicals inside cutting-edge innovative climate-controlled farms. Our climate-controlled indoor facility is weather-proof and allows us to closely monitor the crop growth with precision for perfect produce. The use of innovative technology allows us to constantly improve our high-quality metrics and increase our crop production efficiently. We are able to achieve this through climate-smart farming resulting in produce that is good for you and the planet.
Our produce reaches our customers that same day that it is ready to eat. In fact, our living greens are delivered with roots intact so that our consumers can continue to eat the freshest food on the planet for days.
We are dedicated to solving the nutrition as well as the fresh food challenge for Indian consumers. We believe that everyone should have access to pure, clean and real food. Just like it’s meant to be.