Imagine yourself standing outside an old, deserted warehouse in downtown Chicago, on a frigid January evening. You see strange lights coming in through the windows and you're curious as to what they are, but the building is old, damaged and from the outside, looks completely abandoned. But your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to open the door. Now you perk up…all you can see are glowing lights, obstructing your vision. You can't quite make out what this is, but you see hints of green shining through. Your vision adjusts, and you can’t believe your eyes! Lush green, vibrant hues of red, yellow, and orange are scattered throughout the building. You then realize you are immersed in a room full of beautiful fruits and vegetables, housed in towers that seem to span the warehouse as far as your eyes can see. No longer is this building an old, abandoned warehouse, but a beacon of hope, a light in the darkness. This is the solution…now let’s talk about how we get there!
Purchase one of our grow towers and put a produce section in your home today.
Food Desert Definition Demystified
When you do a simple web search, the term “Food Desert” can have multiple meanings, leading to some confusion. According to Wikipedia, the definition for food desert is "an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food.” This is the broadest sense of the term; however, there are multiple ways this problem arises.
1. Low income, disadvantaged people that simply don’t have access to nutrient- dense foods, which may be due to some of the issues below.
2. The distance between the grocery store and the people.
3. Physical access to the production or growing of food. For example, an island that cannot grow all it needs, and requires ships to bring in the needed supply of fresh produce.
The above map shows the location of food deserts in the US, based on 2019 data from the USDA website.
Supply chain disruptions and food prices are on the rise. This is due to multiple factors:
• Weather patterns causing farmers to not be able to produce the amount of food they normally do. The Grand Solar Minimum will continue for several years.
• Heavily populated urban areas, where instead of farmland, there are high-rise buildings, industrial areas, and concrete jungles.
• Poor soil quality due to nutrient depletion with modern farming techniques, including the use of glyphosate.
• Poor water quality due to the use of herbicides, pesticides, and other factors.
• Drought and lack of irrigation.
It is getting extremely challenging to produce enough food for our growing population. By 2050 there will not be enough necessary agricultural output, globally, to support the exponential increase of humans. We would need additional farmland the size of Canada in order to keep up with the growth in global population.
When we lose the ability to grow enough food for our local communities, this further contributes to low income and disadvantaged communities, or even creates them. When you have to truck in all fresh produce, the cost of everything goes up. And when the cost goes up, more people are unable to afford it, or they are so far away from things (ex. very rural), that by the time the food trucks make it through all the cities and the ones who can afford the high prices, the good produce is depleted. Even worse, when people don’t receive nutrient-dense food, they are even more disadvantaged as a result of the negative health effects, limiting the ability for them to grow their own food even more. This is a vicious cycle to say the least.
“Poor diet quality contributes to morbidity, including poor brain health outcomes such as cognitive decline and dementia” (Diet quality and cognitive function in an urban sample: findings from the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span (HANDLS) study (nih.gov)).
There may be multiple definitions of food deserts; however, what we’re focused on at Eden are the basics…if there is a disproportionate amount of people to the amount of food production capacity (such as farmland) that’s required to feed those people, it is by definition a “food desert”. By focusing on this definition, we are able to address the problems of people having access to healthy, nutritious food, and distance to available food sources, as well.
By bringing the food back to the community and decentralizing the food system, complicated barriers are removed to allow nutrient dense food to go directly into the hands and mouths of community members without being at the mercy of supply chain disruptions and large corporations that want to control your food. At Eden we want to give control back to the people! We want to help you grow your own highly nutritious fruits and vegetables in order to feed the bodies and minds of your family and your community.
We believe the answer to this problem lies in growing your own food. If you have the land and resources to grow your own food and start a garden, start growing your own food now! However, as explained above, for almost 85% of the world’s population (that live in urban areas) this is simply not an option.
How Eden Has the Answer
Enter the Eden Grow Tower. 4 grow towers can feed one person all the fruits and vegetables they need every day, in all weather, 365 days per year. We are not just talking leafy greens here…root vegetables, including potatoes, beets, carrots; brassicas, including cauliflower, broccoli, kale; fruits, including grapes and strawberries; and of course, all the herbs and leafy greens you can think of, including medicinal herbs.
The amazing thing about the Eden Grow Tower, and why we feel it truly sets us apart, is that it is completely mobile - meaning compared to our competitors that are turning abandoned warehouses into grow operations in a centralized system, costing millions of dollars, the Eden Tower can literally be rolled into an old home or warehouse, and start growing food immediately without all the permits, huge overhead, and years to establish. You can produce your families, your community’s, or your own food, from any facility that has clean air, HVAC, and a water source, in as little as 3 months. We believe this is a solution to the food desert crisis, and the solution to feeding the future!
By bringing the food back to the people, this opens up huge opportunities, for not just individual growers and families, but also business opportunities for growing and selling food. This not only helps with food desert definition #2 (The distance between the grocery store and the people) but also helps bring jobs to communities, even further benefiting the community, also addressing definition #1 (disadvantaged people who do not have access to nutrient-dense food). There are also huge opportunities for non-profits, churches, schools, and other organization to use the Eden Towers in their facilities, in shelters for people in recovery, and in reclaimed abandoned buildings to bring “life” back to the community, while helping to feed the disadvantaged and underprivileged members in their own communities. This is a win-win!
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As you stare back at that old, abandoned warehouse, as the snow keeps drizzling down, you no longer wonder what that light is, you have seen the light and want to share that light with others! This is exactly how we feel at Eden. We have a mission and a passion to provide sustainable food and energy independence to local communities around the world, and one day, off it! Our solutions provide hope, a light, a very bright light, in an ever-darkening world. The solution to the food desert crisis lies in the hands of innovation, new technology, thinking outside the “box”, along with a heart to feed God’s children. Together, we can…Feed the Future!
To find out more how you “can” …head over here.
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Alicia Raymond is a Content Creator for Eden Grow Systems. Alicia is passionate about helping others live healthy lives and believes growing your own fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to achieve this. She loves to cook with the food she and her husband grow on their 20-acre homestead in the Pacific NW, where they have also documented their adventures of building and operating a self-sustaining off-grid food habitat on their YouTube channel, therealmartian.com. This effort has now turned into Eden Grow Systems, an indoor grow company. Alicia has experience growing microgreens for profit, and food blogging. She is a former registered nurse, holding a B.S. in Nursing.