CHEF PROFILE:Chef Jose GonzalezCUBA LIBRE, ORLANDO FLPLAY THE VIDEO
Average field grown water consumption figures source:
US produce on average shipped 500 -3,000 miles with average COG calculated per mile $___
The Science of Great Greens,
The Next Era of Farming
Each plant grown in our precisely-controlled facilities receives just the right amount of nutrients, filtered water, light, and humidity.
Produce is crispier, fresher, more flavorful and colorful and the growing environment is precisely controlled to impact the nutritional value of the plants.
Because our produce is grown near to where it is needed, there is a substantial reduction in shipping time and distances. Our produce holds onto more nutrients and flavor than a crop that’s been harvested a week or more in advance and shipped. Produce sold in a grocery store is typically shipped 1,000 - 2,000 miles. We don't make deliveries outside of a 50 mile radius.
THE NEW ERA OF FOOD CULTIVATION:
THE CONTROLLED GROWING ENVIRONMENT
Only in a controlled growing environment can we dial in exactly what makes plants thrive. Unlike other living things, plants thrive on carbon dioxide. Because our facilities are sealed growing environments, we can precisely control the CO2 levels. Actually, we measure and control all of the essential variables... heat, carbon dioxide levels, ambient humidity and most importantly, light are all managed by sophisticated computer systems and algorithms developed by horticulturalists.
NO BUGS MEANS NO PESTICIDES, EVER
The absence of pests or soil-bound pathogens means Kalera's products never come in contact with pesticides. That's different to being washed a bunch of times. This is a new era in farming.
NUTRIENTS AND FERTILIZERS
The simple truth is that plants need specific nutrients to grow. Plants thrive on carbon dioxide and require an abundance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Growing plants outdoors may seem natural, however it has always presented many challenges; The light and temperature variables can drastically affect plant growth, then there are issues of water quality and availability, pests and also soil contaminants. Through mankind's entire history of farming, we have worked to give plants what they need, however, we have largely been at the whims of nature in this fight. Finally, that has changed - as we move forward into the next era of plant cultivation, where we can fully control the environment.
Most of the differences between modern farming techniques come down to nutrients and fertilizers - because, if you are combating the insects and bugs by bringing the growing into a controlled environment, nutrients, temperature and light are the remaining factors... So what are the options?
ORGANIC - what it really means
Farming went in two directions at about the turn of the century – industrial farming began using chemicals and anything else it could to grow more (often referred to as "traditional") and then there were those who resisted this movement…
Organic farming is a term to describe using natural solutions to giving plants what they need to thrive. It's not always perfect... Organic farming involves using a variety of animal and plant materials to deliver the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium needed. In nature, this often comes from animal feces and rotting plant material - using bacteria to help convert these base materials to the chemicals needed. Animal waste products as feces becomes useful to plants as it rots, and as plant material decomposes - but it takes time and there are any number of dangers, including infectious pathogens.
In organic farming, natural solutions are found to battle insects, fungus and other pests that are trying to live off the plants grown. These have varying levels of success, but invariably have compromises. The truth is that organic farming usually requires more of the insecticides required to kill parasites - and that even if they are "natural" these are things you really don't want on your food. Many of the world's most dangerous poisons are after all, natural.
HYDROPONIC the term means "grown with water" and has come to mean plant cultivation without soil.
In hydroponics, mineral nutrient solutions are used to deliver concentrations of key building blocks for plant growth. These nutrients are often derived from salts, extracted from naturally occurring mineral deposits. This is a clean and controlled methodology for achieving what organic farming is doing with animal waste and bacteria. It is efficient and when achieved in a controlled environment, removes the need for pesticides. We can now reliably deliver consistent, wholesome, safe, clean produce in abundance.
DANGERS OF TRADITIONAL INDUSTRIAL FARMING
One of the great success stories of the industrial era is the mechanization of outdoor farming… After that, industrial farming focused on the "battle of the bugs" or how to defeat the insects and parasites looking to eat our crops. Industrial scale farming has been waging war on anything that threatens our crops by all means necessary - including use of chemicals and other substances that are poisonous to insects and parasites, while (hopefully) not bad enough to significantly harm the people consuming the products after they have been washed quite a bit...
We can all imagine the dangers of this methodology. Genetically modified seeds have been created in order to tolerate the poisons used to fight pests... but who knows the long-term effects. Have these chemicals affected the bee populations? Should we be experimenting with nature on a large scale without decades-long testing in this way? Scary.
We think the solution is not to try to kill everything that wants to eat plants in an all-out war, but rather to move the plants we are cultivating into a controlled environment but yet to use the best of the science that has virtually eradicated the scarcity of food in the world.
CLEAN, FRESH UNCONTAMINATED:
Many of the worst cases of plant-born infectious pathogenic diseases have been traced to contaminated water sources. The water we use is pure and uncontaminated by any environmental factor and is in fact pH balanced and optimized for natural plant growth. There are also soil-bound dangers, such as poisons and carcinogens. Then also atmospheric problems that could include proximity to chemical spraying, toxic waste, past dumping, run-off, acid rain, and any number of unknown factors with unknown long-term effects. Something dumped inadvertently 30 years ago, may have leached into the water table nearby and finally found its way into a field. Who knows...
A NEW ERA OF ABUNDANCE WITHOUT FEAR
Foods grown in a controlled environment are simply better for a multitude of reasons. Central to our business ethos, is the idea that the future of farming is in controlled environments. The costs out-weight the benefits and the technology to automate these processes is here. Finally, we can create the perfect conditions for the plants we want to grow.