free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 195. FACTORY FARMING IN JAPAN

Saturday, December 24, 2005


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

The following article from describes the rapid growth of "factory farming" in Japan:
Vegetable factories take root across Japan


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


At Sunday, December 25, 2005 at 9:49:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only crop that competes in such an energy-intensive system is marijuana. The cultivation of this illegal plant for high profit in the black market is what has driven hydroponic and indoor-grow technologies since their inception. Do you propose outlawing tomatoes when the oil peaks to keep the price up?

At Sunday, December 25, 2005 at 12:52:00 PM PST, Anonymous Not-A-Lemming said...


What do you do for a living, just out of curiousity?


At Sunday, December 25, 2005 at 12:56:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, (a) why is it rapidly growing in Japan? and (b) how can any illegal crop drive the development of a mainstream technology? Drug traffickers don't share anything above ground. Can you give any other examples? Does cocaine cultivation drive any technological development?

At Sunday, December 25, 2005 at 2:40:00 PM PST, Anonymous popmonkey said...

Anonymous #2:

please! it's like saying you can't buy water pipes (read bongs) in a science supplies store (hint: you can)

i don't agree with anonymous #1 either.

hydroponics are developed in r&d labs and have caught on with marijuana growers because you can hide a small space that produces a decent yield.

get your chronology and relationships straight:

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 12:24:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Japanese man don't do marijuana because they are already smiling man

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 1:17:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well since under any circumstance barring total nuclear destruction there will be plenty of fertilizer anyway (at least, there will be no geological cause of fertilizer drop), this doesn't need to "Save the world", however it's a neat way to do things in a densly populated area.

Since people forget I have to remind: right now we use liquid fuels for fertilizer, we used to use coal, some states are already switching back to coal because it's cheaper than NG. We have more than enough coal to supply our fertilizer needs. This should be the end of this area of discussion, areas of concern should focus on efficient, safe, reliable, and economical ways to transport, package, process, and prepare food with minimal/no petroleum or natural gas consumption.

Sitting here and crying that we are running out of fertilizer is pointless and frankly a waste of breath.

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 1:19:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Err not breath, umm... A waste of blog space

... 3:18 AM

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 3:56:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

coal fertilizer is nonsense. It is not even garbage or compost. It is drek.

From wikipedia: "The Haber Process (also Haber-Bosch process) is the reaction of nitrogen and hydrogen to produce ammonia fertilizer."

The hydrogen is supplied in the natural gas and the nitrogen comes from the atmosphere. There is nothing on that page (or in anywhere in industry today) about coal.

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 4:38:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

"60% of China's nitrogen fertilizer production is currently based on coal."Source

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 6:33:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

popmonkey, that's what I (anon #2) am talking about. Hydroponics are developed by the mainstream and used by drug growers, not vice versa. The reason you can buy pipes in aboveboard stores is NOT that they are used as bongs.

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 6:34:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last anon, WATER + ENERGY = HYDROGEN. The energy can come from anywhere, coal included.

At Monday, December 26, 2005 at 8:11:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"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."

The Japanese need to use much more petroleum and natural gas instead of natural systems to grow their food. That way Cargil and Archer Daniels Midland executives will have lots of extra cash to buy cigarette racing boats like George Bush Senior

It is going to be so neat to replace the idyllic and beautific japanese countryside with a network of industrial/agricultural/factory machines so that it will look just like Kansas or the Central Valley.

Progress is fun!

At Saturday, December 31, 2005 at 11:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are very space efficient, you could build vertically in a city too, why the heck would they be sprawled over the countryside??

At Monday, January 2, 2006 at 3:17:00 AM PST, Blogger Roland said...

How exactly does this work?


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