Published on June 4th, 2009 | by Guest Contributor2
Agriculture of the Future: Japanese Plant Factories Methodically Produce Lettuce
What do you do in a country where the average farmer is 65 and only 5% of all farmers are under 40? Make food the way we make everything else: in factories. The Ozu Corporation’s plant factories, located all across Japan, grow lettuce and green leaves all day, every day in sterile environments that are uncontaminated by dirt, bugs, and even fresh air.
Instead of dirt-covered overalls, factory workers wear protective suits, surgical masks, and gloves. The completely uncontaminated environment means that lettuce grown in the factories can be eaten without washing, and that it sells for a premium in grocery stores. Without contamination worries, the lettuce crops don’t have to worry about falling prey to disease.
It seems like something straight out of a scary science fiction novel, but plant factories will almost certainly crop up around the world if we can’t make farming appealing to younger generations–and release ourselves from the hold of disease-prone factory-farmed crops. Plant factories aren’t the end of the world, but removing our connection to the land is a dangerous prospect, and one that we would do well to avoid.
[Via UK Daily Mail]