Eating locally produced food is one huge way to up-level your diet, and do so much more in the process.
I’m talking about supporting your local economy by buying from nearby farmers, growers, and producers and getting to know where your food is coming from; cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions from long-haul transportation and conventional growing methods (if you buy organic and regenerative food); and getting more nutrient-dense food thanks to a quicker turnaround from harvest to your plate.
The benefits are easy to see, but that doesn’t mean locally grown food is available to every one of us. Unfortunately, food deserts, or areas without access to healthy, fresh food within a reasonable distance, are quite prevalent. So how can you eat locally if there aren’t local farms or markets to buy from? A new approach, called urban farming, is providing new solutions to that problem.
This movement of growing fresh food without a farm spans from rooftops to warehouses and even shipping containers. Urban farming allows for some amazing advances in our food system, while also accounting for incredible flavor, variety, and nutrition.
Urban farmers are able to dial-in the exact climate and input needs of a crop for optimal flavor, even if it’s best grown halfway around the world. One of the most helpful aspects of farming this way is that soil isn’t even needed; crops can be grown hydroponically using water, and grown vertically to take up much less space; plus it makes local accessible in any region. Hydroponically grown food has even been shown to have equal or better nutritional value to soil-grown crops.
If you want to learn more about the next wave of farming and the other super interesting benefits of urban farming, hydroponics, and eating hyper-locally, be sure to listen to my latest episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy. I sat down with entrepreneur Tobias Peggs to talk about the amazing impacts urban farming is already having and what we can expect to see as this practice grows.
Tobias is co-founder and CEO of Square Roots, the Brooklyn-based urban farming company known for changing the way people think about growing local food and training the country’s future generations of farmers. We talk about the advances technology is making for sustainable food production, what urban farming means for the environment and our food system, and so much more.
I hope you’ll tune in.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD