Jun 26, 2012
the sun for photosynthesis. And they certainly don’t mind being separated from their pests. And they are fine with 90 percent less water, if they get it over and over again. Strikingly, PlantLab have also found a way to reduce crop dependency on oil. They have engineered the crops to be able to be grown using fewer fertilizers – which are made from oil. Secondly, the technology can be replicated anywhere in the world, drastically reducing the need for transportation of food around the globe. The crops can even be grown easily in cities, in high rise style buildings. But PlantLab believes we must rethink food production to survive. “In order to keep a planet that’s worth living on, we have to change our methods,” says PlantLab’s Gertjan Meeuws. The methods PlantLab is suggesting are revolutionary. They use LED lamps to grow the plants and water them with a slow trickle that drains through the soil and is collected and reused. The neon pink light of the lamps make the space look more like a nightclub than an indoor farm. Computers capture over 160,000 reports per second to determine the exact amount, cycle, and color spectrum of light that’s optimal for the plant, as well as water, so that no resource is wasted and the plant is neither undernourished nor overexposed. Plants convert light from the sun into energy through the process of photosynthesis, but plants only need some parts of the sun’s color spectrum. Blue and red LEDs can provide just the light a plant needs, making the process more efficient and growing a stronger, healthier plant. Such methods of growing also reduce unpredictability. They are not so much at the mercy of the elements and extreme weather conditions. They reduce the danger of both shortages and of waste, and also help to make prices more stable.