Getting Enough to Eat

The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.  That’s 2 billion more than we have today.  How will we feed them?  National Geographic magazine ran an eight-month series of articles on this subject beginning in May 2014.  With some people going hungry now, it’s going to take some creative thinking to accommodate 2 billion more.

One idea that caught my eye recently, on a website named ThinkProgress, is a proposal to use old shipping containers to grow food in the middle of urban areas.  Already there are over 50 farmers across the country who are using refrigerated shipping containers known as Leafy Green Machines to grow produce.  Created by a Boston-based start-up named Freight Farms, these containers are equipped with vertical hydroponics and LED light systems to make 320 square-foot self-contained farming units that can grow as much produce as two acres of farmland.

The idea of using urban rooftop space for greenhouses is nothing new, but building a conventional greenhouse is very expensive, usually costing from about $1 million to $2 million to get started.  But repurposing a shipping container can be as low as $80,000.

Feeding 2 billion more people will be a daunting task.  but with a little outside-the-box thinking (or in this case inside-the-box), it can be done.

The full story is at



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