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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 13 2019, @08:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the Balconies-and-roofs dept.

Urban farming has grown by more than 30 percent in the United States in the past 30 years. Although it has been estimated that urban agriculture can meet 15 to 20 percent of global food demand, it remains to be seen what level of food self-sufficiency it can realistically ensure for cities.

One recent survey found that 51 countries do not have enough urban area to meet a recommended nutritional target of 300 grams per person per day of fresh vegetables. Moreover, it estimated, urban agriculture would require 30 percent of the total urban area of those countries to meet global demand for vegetables. Land tenure issues and urban sprawl could make it hard to free up this much land for food production.

Is urban farming a pipe dream, or can appropriating vacant lots for traditional farming or employing hydroponics make it work?

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @11:41PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @11:41PM (#800786)

    That sounds great, but how do they prevent things like particles of rubber, asphalt, soot, lead (I assume all gas is unleaded, but...), and other toxins from entering this food. It's probably better to exist than to have neighborhoods have no fresh produce at all, but is there any health hazard to be concerned with?

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  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday February 13 2019, @11:49PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday February 13 2019, @11:49PM (#800789)

    One of the hoops they have to go through is doing a soil test of the lot from a qualified lab. If there's nasty stuff in the soil, they have to do a bunch of work to ensure that they're not growing crops that will pick up the contamination. There are also some plants you can put in that will specifically pull out the pollution from the soil, and then you don't eat those.

    (I was involved in a different project to start up something similar to the spot I just highlighted above, which is how I know something about the process.)

    TL;DR: Yes, they thought of that problem.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.