Let’s assume you’ve heard about a little something called your carbon footprint—it is 2017 after all. Perhaps you’ve made changes to help lower this impact; putting timers on your electrical outlets, using car-share programs and public transit, perhaps even installing solar panels (if this sounds like you, we think you’re awesome).
But how much do you know about the size of your foodprint?
If you haven’t heard this term before, here’s the summary: your foodprint is made up of all of the energy consumed, effort required, and waste created to produce and transport the food you eat. Each leaf of spinach (or any food) that makes its way through your front door has a much more complicated history (and foodprint) than you might expect, and your choices about where you get it from can help or harm the planet.
Let’s take some spinach on a trip to demonstrate two possible journeys to your plate,
- Adventure A → The journey of your spinach from a typical farm to your fork
- Adventure B → Spinach grown at home
Adventure A: Pre-harvest
Let’s say the ultimate goal is to get a bunch of gorgeous green spinach to your counter (hello morning smoothie…). This is what you’d have to do to get it there,
- Begin with figuring out where your seeds will actually come from, making sure you source the right type, ie choose between heirloom organic, or a modified one (GMO)
- You’ll also need to fertilize the soil on your land, which involves expense and manpower
- Make sure you’ve got plenty of water on hand in case of a drought in your area
- May also opt to do a little dance to appease Mother Nature—if she doesn’t beam down some sunshine your spinach could be in trouble
Spot some pesky insects lurking around your crops?
You’ll need to use pesticides, or if you’re against them, another technique such as biological pest control, trap crops (which attract pests away from your growing greens), or genetic engineering.
Feeling tired yet? We’re just beginning…
Adventure A: Post-harvest
Let’s say you powered through all these challenges (you really, really love your smoothies). It’s time to pluck your hard-won spinach from the soil.
Congratulations, by the way. But it’s not time to eat just yet. You’ve got to get that delicate cargo back home.
Now you have to figure out how to preserve this precious spinach:
- Growth regulators?
- Sprout inhibitors?
- Ripening hormones?
- All of the above?
None of these come for free, so make sure you factor in more time, expense, and energy.
And rent a climate-controlled storage truck to make sure that spinach doesn’t spoil on the way home.
Adventure A: Processing
You’re doing well so far. Hopefully you’re not broke yet. Kudos if you’ve managed to keep this spinach fully organic and pesticide free so far.
To keep that spinach in tip-top freshest shape for its remote blended smoothie destiny, you’ll take it to a factory where it will be washed and separated into individual portions. More machines, more manpower, more materials used and waste produced. This spinach has been handled by quite a few hands now, and the foodprint continues to rise.
Adventure A: Post-processing
Are we there yet? Not quite. Your greens will now be packaged in a plastic clamshell, and we don’t need to remind you that the earth needs more plastic waste like a hole in the ozone…
Time for transportation yet again; this time to a distributor, and then to your local grocery store – still more hands. All of this means a few more trucks in the mix before it’s ready to be grabbed off the shelf by you.
Just think about how your spinach must feel at the end of such a harrowing journey?
Ok so we’re done with Adventure A, now, let’s compare and take that piece of spinach on another journey—a tiny one.
Adventure B: Produce, grow and harvest right inside your kitchen.
The first step is bringing home a modgarden tinyfarm.
With modgarden’s nutrient-rich soil, no science will be required, and no enrichment needed. And with modgarden’s automated growing growing features, less hands! Yeah!
Everything you need to know is available in a handy interactive App on your phone. At the flick of a switch, the modgarden will water itself, provide all the light the spinach needs to grow to harvest, and its sleek Scandinavian-looking design will add some flair to your kitchen or living room.
….There will be no trucks
….No employees required (unless you count your own two hands)
Oh my goodness, no one’s hands have touched your food except yours!
Think about how your food will feel after this almost zero energy journey?
Think about how you’ll feel when you eat it?
It’s packed with evocative aroma, pulsating with vibrant REAL colour, and tastes as fresh as it gets.
Feeling hungry again? Glad to hear it. Time to start sprouting some food right next to the fridge.
Become a #tinyfarmer with Modgarden
Join our Beta Program starting in the Second Quarter of 2017. Sign up here