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‘Post-organic produce’: Expanding indoor farming industry aims to make agriculture more sustainable

| | November 8, 2019

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

If you live in the U.S., the last time you ate a salad, the lettuce inside it almost certainly came from California or Arizona. But the geography of leafy greens is very slowly starting to change as the trend of indoor farming—growing greens in large warehouses using artificial light and automated technology—expands. The latest farm to open is in Baltimore. It’s the largest, so far, from the New York-based, tech-heavy startup Bowery.

The company, which just announced that it raised another $50 million from investors, grows what it previously called “post-organic” produce in sprawling warehouses (it no longer uses the phrase, but the greens are grown without any pesticides). It’s one of a handful of startups trying to make a dent in some of the challenges of traditional agriculture.

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If the business model can succeed, it could help farming become more sustainable. “When you look at the footprint of agriculture globally, it’s the largest consumer of resources in the world by a quite a wide margin,” says [Bowery CEO Irving] Fain. The majority of the world’s water is used for agriculture—often in places like California that struggle with frequent drought …. Indoor growing systems can shrink water use by more than 95%.

Read full, original article: This Google Ventures-backed indoor farming startup just opened its biggest farm yet

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