Where did the ingredients in your dinner come from? A farm in Iowa, perhaps, or the Atlantic Ocean?
What if it came from a lab, a computer or an insect farm? Such novel farming systems are proliferating, changing how and where we produce food.
Scientific advances are also profoundly reshaping food production. Among the most powerful is our deepened understanding of the microbiome and its often-hidden role in our food system, from ground to gut.
One company innovating with these models and discoveries is Edenworks, an indoor aquaponics farm in New York City. I spoke with CEO and cofounder Jason Green about the microbiome, whole ecosystems approaches, and the future of aquaponics.
Lorin Fries: What does Edenworks do?
Jason Green: Edenworks is the world's most biodiverse indoor farm. Our mission is to replace today's globalized food supply with products that are local, organic and low cost. We design and operate vertical farms in which we grow products like leafy greens, salmon and shrimp through aquaponics.
Fries: What do you mean by “aquaponics” and what are its benefits?
Green: Aquaculture is fish farming—whether in tanks on land, like we're doing in Brooklyn, or cages on Norwegian fjords, or Thai ponds. That’s the “aqua” in the first half of aquaponics. The other half is hydroponics: growing plants by delivering fertilizer through their irrigation water.
We think aquaponics provides a better model for us, the consumer and the planet...
This interview is part of a series on how technology and innovation are transforming food and ecological systems – and how to get it right for people and planet. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length. View the Full interview via the links below.