The fastest—and frankly, perhaps only—way to reverse climate change is neither the retooling of the energy sector nor the retrofitting of every building on Earth, supported by an all-electric fleet. The answer to solving food insecurity is literally underfoot (and overhead), and the numbers are stunning.
Marion Nestle, one of the world’s experts on the subject of nutritional health, had this to say: “Much as I think that soil is just great for growing plants, hydroponics has come a long way,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “I’ve seen hydroponic producers who have tested their leafy greens for key nutrients, and the amounts fall well within normal limits for their crop and are sometimes even higher.”
She goes on to point out that plants make their own vitamins, so we needn’t worry about those. And that while mineral content can vary depending on the fertilizer used—just as in conventional farming—she points out that these can be supplemented in the growth medium in vertical farms and in some cases, can represent improvements over conventional farming.
She then adds: “Keep in mind that nutrient content varies for produce in general, regardless of the growing method. The differences relate to the type of fruit or vegetable, the time of year it is harvested, how long after harvesting the crop gets eaten, and how it is handled and stored from farm to fork.”
The good news there is that we know how to make carbon-neutral buildings, and the use of green energy technologies is, as we saw earlier, far less destructive to the environment than are conventional fossil fuel sources.
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