Have you ever spent hours in the grocery store looking for blueberries, only to be told that they are out of season and not available at the store? Yeah me neither, blueberries aren’t that special. But fruits and veggies might always be “in season” thanks to Mirai, an indoor farm in Japan that can produce 100 times what a normal farm produces in the same amount space. In a 25,000 square-foot building, the farm produces 10,000 heads of lettuce per day, using 40% less power, 80% less food waste and 99% less water than outdoor fields.
General Electric has formed a partnership with Mirai, providing LEDs that allow the indoor farming company to grow crops using less power. LEDs substitute fluorescent lights, which require significantly more power. Mirai and General Electric are looking to expand their indoor farms to Hong Kong, Mainland China, Mongolia and Russia.
Companies that have designed agricultural seeds like Monsanto and DuPont spend millions of dollars preventing farmers from overusing their seeds. If these companies decided to build indoor farms they could reap the rewards of their innovations.
The combination of synthetic biology along with indoor farming could change the agricultural game. Plants that require dramatically less resources to produce and are more nutritionally beneficial could become available to farmers. Also rare plants in exotic locations that are used for medicinal purposes may be better exploited if produced in indoor farms. The possibilities might be endless. It’s about time Minnesota had some fresh fruit in the winter. No more bland fruits for the folks up north, sign me up for one of those indoor farms as soon as possible.
Original article here.