195. FACTORY FARMING IN JAPAN
Futuristic farming methods are a popular topic here at POD, and we've previously talked about a number of ways to reduce/eliminate fossil fuel dependence (see
87. EATING URANIUM, 92. QUORN ,121. HYDROPONICS).
The following article from asahi.com describes the rapid growth of "factory farming" in Japan:
Vegetable factories take root across Japan
By KAZUYOSHI ISHIGAMI
The Asahi Shimbun
We are all used to automobiles, vacuum cleaners and the like being assembled on production lines, but lettuce and tomatoes may take a little getting used to.
Still, factories around Japan are pumping out a lot more farm food than you might think.
And there's good reason for it. For starters, chemicals are not needed because the tightly sealed facilities minimize exposure to harmful bacteria and pests.
Bad weather? Not on the vegetable production line, where light, temperature and water are all meticulously controlled by computer.
It's no wonder that the factories are a fast-growing business for start-ups as well as large companies seeking to take advantage of their dormant real estate.
One such business is Tsuchiura Greenhouse in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Visitors are required to don white linen clothes and rubber boots and clean their hands with a sterilizing agent before being led through an air shower that blows away dust.
"Factory farming is one of the most viable ways to save Japanese farming from its ills, such as a lack of new workers to take over from the current farmers and a declining self-sufficiency ratio of food," he says. "It's bound to be a big business in the near future."
-- by JD