Can an chemical company ever produce something that could be welcomed by fans of local, organic agriculture?
How about a portable, hydroponic farm-in-a-box, made by Mistubishi Chemical? It holds the potential to provide hyper-local, highly-efficient agriculture even in areas utterly devoid of arable land. But did I mention that it’s made by a chemical company?
Here’s the story, by Kasey Coholan, for Canadian Business magazine: Portable vegetable factories
For all the vitriol directed against “factory farming,” you would be hard pressed to find an argument against Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.’s latest concept — the portable vegetable factory. Resembling a shipping container from the outside, measuring 12.2 by 2.4 by 2.9 metres, each insulated unit can grow up to 2,000 leafy vegetables at a time with the capability of harvesting 50 plants each day. What’s more is that all of this is done without soil and — because of the tightly controlled environment — without the use of pesticides….
For now, the $75,000 price tag is likely to restrict this item to niche markets. But it’s an intriguing idea, and one that may bring into conflict certain food-related values that are typically thought to go hand-in-hand.