DeepResource

Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “food”

Insect Proteins

Prime time Dutch news item: king Willem Alexander opens the new factory of the insect company Protix, the largest in the world of its kind. The company produces high quality protein insects as animal feed. Currently one third of the global areal land is used to produce conventional animal feed. Entrepreneur Kees Aarts is in this business for nine years and hopes to contribute to freeing agricultural land for other purposes.

[nos.nl] – Insecten als veevoer: revolutie of ‘quasi-groen’?
[protix.eu] – Company site
[wikipedia.org] – Protix
[prnewswire.com] – Protix Acquires Fair Insects and Diversifies by Adding Mealworm, Cricket and Locusts to Its Portfolio

Developments in Growing Food in an Age of Climate Change

Scientists in the Netherlands say they are close to a breakthrough which will allow crops to be grown in deserts. Many say this could completely alter life on the African continent and even end hunger. World leaders meeting at the climate talks in Germany are being urged to commit to more funding for new agricultural projects in drought-stricken parts of the world.

  • productivity: 900 head of lettuce per m2 (200 kg). Any other crop will do as well.
  • 1 hectare (100m x 100m): 4 workers, mainly supervising. Planting, watering, harvesting, packaging, all automated
  • production: around the year, completely planned, meaning little necessity for storage. Straight from the “field” to the super market
  • these production facilities can be build next to Amsterdam, Stoke-on-Trent, Johannesburg, Riaydh, Reykjavik, anywhere. Almost complete independence from environmental conditions
  • almost no transportation cost: production next to consumers
  • lights from leds doesn’t take that much energy. And if you don’t stack, you can let in sunlight (Summer)
  • Water requirements: near zero. All water remains in the building, apart from the small quantities embedded in the product

[groentennieuws.nl] – “900 kroppen sla per vierkante meter en slechts 4 arbeiders per hectare”

The Great Nutrient Collapse

[Source]

Researchers claim that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere is not good for the quality of the food we ate.

[politico.com] – The Great Nutrient Collapse

Protix – Insects Replacing Fish as Protein Source

Over-fishing is a real problem in the modern world. A lot of fish is used for the production of protein, to be used for instance as food for animals. That protein can be obtained from another unexpected source: insects. There are about 1400 edible insects in the world. To name a few: crickets, cockroaches, worms, fruit flies, moths… Are you still there? These insects can produce high quality protein, suitable for humans as well. Europeans currently refuse to eat insects, but Africans and Asian do. Insects are cold-blooded so they don not need food to keep their body temperature high.

A big plus of insect farming: no harmful methane production. Operating farm temperature: 28 degrees Celsius. Regarding efficiency:

Insects are nutrient efficient compared to other meat sources… For every 100 grams of substance crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein, 121 calories, and 5.5 grams of fat. Beef contains more protein containing 23.5 grams in 100 grams of substance, but also has roughly 3 times the calories, and four times the amount of fat as crickets do in 100 grams. So, per 100 grams of substance, crickets contain only half the nutrients of beef

Farming method (crickets):

Crickets are usually housed in small (4′ x 8′) containers, furnished with simple items like egg cartons to provide shelter. Heat is a necessity for breeding crickets as they require temperatures around 90° Fahrenheit. House crickets live up to about eight weeks. Until they are twenty days old they are fed high protein animal feed, most commonly chicken feed, that contains between 14% and 20% protein. In the days before harvesting the crickets at around forty to fifty days old, they are often fed various vegetables, fruits and other plant matter. This is done to improve the taste of the insects and reduce the use of expensive, high protein animal feed. Crickets are normally killed by deep freezing, where they feel no pain and are sedated before neurological death. In some parts of the world crickets are baked or boiled.

[protix.eu] – Protix home page
[wikipedia.org] – Entomophagy (insects as food)
[wikipedia.org] – Insect farming
[thrillist.com] – We dare you to eat these 8 insect recipes
[fao.org] – Environmental opportunities for insect rearing for food and feed
[journals.plos.org] – Article expressing slight skepticism.

Read more…

Asparagus Robot

The video claims this is the world’s first automatic asparagus harvesting robot, developed in Heeze, the Netherlands. It takes 60-75 pair of hands to harvest a field of 40 Hectare. The machine is projected to harvest 1 ha in 1 hour.

In the Netherlands the work is often done by Poles or Romanians. This practice could soon be history. Perhaps the future unemployed from Eastern-Europe use their knowledge to begin asparagus farming at home.

[vk.nl] – Aspergerobot stuurt steker straks naar huis

“Chrissie” can do 1 ha in 8 hours:

Asparagus harvesting the old way:

Vertical Farming Taking Off

Wikipedia:

Vertical farming is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers, such as in a skyscraper, used warehouse, or shipping container. The modern ideas of vertical farming use indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technology, where all environmental factors can be controlled. These facilities utilize artificial control of light, environmental control (humidity, temperature, gases…) and fertigation. Some vertical farms use techniques similar to greenhouses, where natural sunlight can be augmented with artificial lighting and metal reflectors

The concepts was pioneered first in 2014, with Vertical Fresh Farms operating in Buffalo, NY/USA, specializing in a wide variety of salad greens, herbs, and sprouts.

Vertical Fresh Farms has been farming commercially on a small scale in Buffalo, New York for a few years, but a larger scale commercial facility is currently under construction in the Netherlands. Fruit and vegetables supplier Staay Food Group is erecting a 900 square meter vertical farm, which will have a total cultivation area of 30,000 square meters.

[cleantechnica.com] – Vertical Farming Is Taking Off: Europe’s First Commercial Vertical Farm Under Construction In The Netherlands
[wikipedia.org] – Vertical farming
[philips.nl] – Grootste commerciële stadskwekerij van Europa in Dronten

Edible City

Youtube text: Edible City is a fun, fast-paced journey through the Local Good Food movement that’s taking root in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the nation and around the world. Introducing a diverse cast of extraordinary and eccentric characters who are challenging the paradigm of our broken food system, Edible City digs into their unique perspectives and transformative work, finding hopeful solutions to monumental problems. Inspirational, down-to-earth and a little bit quirky, Edible City captures the spirit of a movement that’s making real change and doing something truly revolutionary: growing the model for a healthy, sustainable local food system.

Post Navigation